By Matthew O'Donnell for BioSpace.com
Mistake #1: Failure to network
When it comes to job searching, it often comes down to who you know. Professional networking is a great way to get your foot in the door with a potential employer. Making these connections is the key to getting your resume directly into the hands of the person making hiring decisions. Don't be shy! Visit career fairs and sign up with professional organizations to get to know other people in the biopharmaceutical industry.
Mistake #2: Skipping the cover letter for online applications
The more information you provide during the application process, the better chance you have of landing an interview. Today, many applications and resumes are sent via online web forms that ask for specific information from job candidates. Even if it's not strictly required, send a cover letter with every online application you submit. Doing so will not only make an impression, but it will give the hiring manager more insight into your background and put you one step ahead of other applicants. Two instances where sending a cover letter is not advised is when the job description specifically states not to send one, or there is no section in the online application to submit a cover letter. You might think this is a test of the hiring manager and brownie points will go to the applicant that goes above and beyond the requirements, but it isn’t. In fact, sending a cover letter when the job description explicitly says not to could be used to help weed out the candidates that don’t take the time to read the entire job description or lack attention to detail.
Mistake #3: Sending a generic cover letter
First impressions count. Viewed from the perspective of a hiring manager, sending a generic cover letter is lazy. With this shotgun approach, you may as well send your cover letter out to every company in the biopharmaceutical industry. Instead of sending a canned and generic letter, tailor the letter to your reader by focusing on the needs of the specific company and the details of the specific position for which you are applying. Do your homework and use your cover letter to demonstrate how your skills and experience could benefit the company. In today's competitive biopharma job industry, your cover letter must be so compelling that the hiring manager immediately sees you as their future employee.
Tips 4-6 and the complete article
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