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3 Ways to Turn Around a Stalled Job Search
6/20/2012 4:31:50 PM
By Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
When you’re in the midst of a Biotech/Pharma job search, there are few things worse than a phone that just won’t ring. After all, you can have all the enthusiasm in the world, but if it’s not validated in some way, it’s very difficult to find the strength to keep going. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) who’s had the opportunity to work with BioSpace.com users across the U.S., UK, and Canada, I can’t stress this enough: a stalled job search IS NOT a reflection of your capacity to succeed! In fact, making a few simple changes in strategy is usually all it takes to get the interviews rolling in again.
Here are 3 strategies that have been shown to consistently jumpstart stalled job searches:
1. Revise Your Job Target
If you’ve been submitting for jobs for a lengthy period of time without interest, the culprit may very well be an inappropriate job target. While you may personally be 100% confident of your ability to succeed in a particular role, it’s important to take a hard look at your resume to see if it supports your ambitions. In particular, the current Biotech/Pharma job search market makes it difficult to execute a major upward career shift without a significant body of relevant work, publications/presentations and other elements that demonstrate you’re not just waiting for the right opportunity, but actively taking steps to get there.
If you’re committed to seizing a leadership or senior role, then you should commit to a job search that might take 2-3 times longer than anticipated. On the flip side, making a more modest transition that’s in-line with your existing work history almost always results in shorter job searches. The key is to make the decision before continuing on. After all, the clearer of an idea you have about where you’re headed, the easier it will be to get there.
2. Practice the 80/20 Rule
Former Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical clients I’ve worked with know that I’m a stickler for the 80/20 rule of job searching, namely: your existing network should be the focus of 80% of your efforts, with the remaining 20% used for submitting to jobs online, etc. If you’ve been spending hours searching through job postings and sending out resume/cover letter packages that aren’t addressed to a specific person, then I am definitely speaking to you.
For the next week, commit to not applying for a single job unless you actually know the person in charge of hiring or have some other connection. Sound daunting? If you take the time to create a detailed list of everyone you know, professionally or otherwise, and actually begin connecting with them, the results can be pretty amazing. The actual content of the message doesn’t need to be fancy: let them know what type(s) of positions you’re looking for, in what part of the country, and follow-up at regular intervals. Chances are, someone in your existing network is sitting on your next job opportunity. Isn’t it worth the time to find out?
3. Get a Little Distance
Non-stop job searching actually does more harm than good. Believe me, I know the feeling of desperately needing to find a job, any job, before the bottom falls out. Unfortunately, if you don’t take the time to recharge the internal batteries, you will lose all sense of perspective...and that’s exactly when professionals take jobs that aren’t in-line with their career goals.
If you’re having trouble keeping job submissions and multiple resume drafts straight, I strongly recommend that you take at least 1-2 days off from the search. Spend time with the family. Indulge in a favorite sport or hobby. Reconnect with the thousand other facets of yourself that can’t be summarized within the 2-3 pages of a typical resume. Doing so is one of the best ways to resume the job search with vigor.
Read more biotech career tips. Find more biotech and pharma jobs by visiting the career center.
About the Author
Anish Majumdar, CPRW is a Career Expert and Owner at www.ResumeOrbit.com. 98% of clients report and increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 110% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee. Submit your resume for a free critique today!
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