Scotland’s Life Sciences Dinner and Annual Awards | New Year, New Job: CV & Interview Tips for 2019
Scotland’s vibrant life sciences industry contributes more than £3 billion a year to the Scottish economy and is globally recognised for its impact and high levels of innovation.
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New Year, New Job: CV & Interview Tips for 2019

Hyper Recruitment Solutions are an official sponsor of Scotland’s Life Sciences Awards 2019! Having recently opened the HRS Scotland office in Edinburgh, we’re thrilled to be a part of this fantastic event and we’re very much looking forward to the awards dinner on 28 February 2019.

Hyper Recruitment Solutions (HRS), founded and run by Ricky Martin in partnership with Lord Alan Sugar (both pictured), has a wealth of recruitment expertise as well as outstanding compliance and commercial awareness. Our vision is to provide recruitment services that will assist in improving quality of life for all. To do so, HRS will focus on the support of sectors whose primary focus is on making the world a better place.

If you’re looking for a new job in the life sciences sector this year, we have a number of tips to help you get the role you want – read on for expert advice from the HRS team!

An article published on Buzzfeed last December offered a number of suggestions for job seekers hoping to land their ‘dream role’ in 2018. The tips were fairly wide-ranging, touching on everything from cleaning up your social media accounts to choosing the right interview clothes.

Still, as comprehensive as that list was, we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions feel that we can add a few additional tips for 2019. If you’re serious about getting a new job this year, here are 8 more things that you should keep in mind – especially if you’re looking for science jobs!

1. Name specific lab techniques and technologies.

Many recruiters and hiring managers in the life sciences field use keywords like ‘ELISA’ and ‘chromatography’ to identify applicants with the specific skill sets they require. When describing your work history and technical experience, be sure to use specific terms to boost your chances of surviving the screening process.

2. Tailor your CV to each job you apply for.

Once you’ve written your CV, it’s easy to just send exactly the same version to every prospective employer. But tweaking your CV each time you send it – tailoring it to the specific role you’re applying for – can be a very worthwhile endeavour.

You don’t have to start from scratch every time you begin a new job application, but you should assess each job description and make sure that your CV is emphasising the right skills and focusing on the most relevant parts of your career history in each case. Make sure you don’t complicate your CV with details that aren’t relevant – listing publications, conferences and meetings can clutter the document, and this information isn’t always needed. (You can always provide this list as an appendix if necessary.)

3. Eliminate all filler from your cover letter.

When applying for certain jobs, you will be required to accompany your CV with a cover letter that explains your interest in the job (and why you’d be a good fit for it). The cover letter is a great opportunity to display your motivation and make a glowing first impression, but no matter what you decide to put in this document, it needs to be concise and to-the-point.

Once you’ve written your cover letter, read back over it and make sure that every single sentence has a reason to be there – if it doesn’t add anything to the picture you’re trying to paint, delete it! Employers won’t enjoy reading a lot of pointless waffle that wastes their precious time, and a shorter, punchier cover letter will make more of an impact anyway.

4. Ask somebody else to be your proofreader.

Before you submit your CV and cover letter to a potential employer, send it to a trusted friend or family member and ask them to give it a quick read-through.

Your proofreader will hopefully catch any spelling / grammar mistakes that you failed to spot yourself, but more importantly, they’ll be able to tell you whether or not the document is a fair representation of your abilities and experiences. They may think you’re selling yourself short!

HRS can provide expert knowledge to help ensure that your CV will catch the attention of potential employers. This service is free to any candidate registered with us!

5. Know how you’re getting to the interview.

Showing up late for an interview is a pretty reliable way to not get the job. Once you’ve been told where you’re being interviewed, take the time to plan your journey carefully:

  • Will you be walking, driving, or taking public transport?
  • What time will you need to set out in order to arrive on time?
  • Do you have an umbrella in case it rains on the day?

Planning is key if you want to be sure of arriving on time (and not looking too dishevelled when you get there). Bear in mind that many pharmaceutical / life science companies are based on secure sites, so you may need to allow yourself some extra time to get through the security gate.

6. Choose the right footwear.

Shoes are an important consideration when dressing for a job interview – you obviously want to look as smart as possible, but do bear in mind that some facilities will require you to wear specific footwear while onsite. If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask.

For more clothing tips, see our guide to dressing for a job interview.

7. Find out who’s interviewing you.

If possible, ask with whom you’ll be interviewing and take a look at their bio on the company website (as well as their LinkedIn profile if they have one). This can be a great way to build confidence for the interview, and it may help you to come up with some interesting and insightful questions to ask on the day.

8. Didn’t get the job? Ask for feedback.

Even an unsuccessful job application can be valuable if you’re able to learn from it and do better next time. If a prospective employer tells you that you didn’t get the job, thank them for their time and ask them if they would be willing to provide any feedback. For example:

  • Did your answers leave something to be desired?
  • Could you have dressed more appropriately for the interview?
  • Was it simply a question of experience?

You can’t control every aspect of your job application, but constructive feedback can give you a better idea of what employers are looking for and how to present yourself in the best possible way.

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