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5 Outdated Job Search Rules to Ignore

7/2/2013 3:06:12 PM

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5 Outdated Job Search Rules to Ignore Ignore These 5 Outdated Job Search Suggestions
By Angela Rose for

The biopharmaceutical industry is constantly evolving, and so should your approach to the job search. Parents, professors and colleagues are quick to offer a wealth of suggestions. However, what was necessary a decade ago may actually reduce your chances of landing an interview today. When sifting through the resultant mountain of advice, take care to ignore these five outdated job search suggestions.

1. You should just keep the job you have.

In a country with rampant unemployment, it’s natural to see a job—any job—as a safe haven from economic uncertainty. However, staying in a no longer satisfying research assistant job because you’re afraid to take your chances on something better is only going to stall your career. Besides, online networking and career websites like make it easy to connect with professionals who can help you take the next step and convenient to search for new opportunities. If you prefer to be a passive job seeker and wait for the right biopharma employer to approach you, you can even upload a resume.

2. You shouldn’t approach employers who aren’t hiring.

If your dream job involves managing the lab at a big-name pharmaceutical company or conducting research for a nationally recognized healthcare organization, don’t let a lack of job postings keep you down. Approach human resources anyway. As cash flow in the biopharma industry continues to improve, companies will step up their hiring efforts—and your CV and cover letter will already be in their hands.

3. You shouldn’t change what worked in the past.

So you’ve been working the same medical device manufacturing job for the last decade and are now considering moving on. Don’t update your old, once effective resume or CV with your most recent accomplishments and call it a day. Instead, give that document a thorough overhaul. This means updating the organization, layout and design to fit modern standards as well as working in a few keywords for employers who utilize applicant tracking systems.

4. Your resume shouldn’t be more than one page.

If you’re fresh out of college, one page may be sufficient. However, if you’re a 20-year biopharma veteran with several jobs and numerous publications in your past, you’ll naturally need more space to outline the valuable experience you bring to the table. When determining the appropriate length for your resume, remember that you’re trying to present your background and skills in the best light. For some that means one page, for others it will mean more.

5. You should never take a phone interview on a cell phone.

If you’re like most Americans, your mobile number may be your only option. According to a 2012 survey, half of the households in the U.S. don’t even have landlines anymore. If you’re concerned about dropped calls, schedule any phone interviews for times when you know you’ll be within range. If you continuously suffer from spotty service, use a software application like Skype instead. The web-based service enables you to make and receive calls from your desktop over the Internet.

Whether you’re a new graduate or a seasoned biopharma professional, opportunities to begin or advance your career are available across the nation—especially if you ignore these five outdated job search suggestions. You’ll find many of employers and open positions at, where you can also read up on the latest industry news and events, post your resume, search for jobs and network with other professionals.

About the Author

Angela Rose researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues for

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