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How Will Your Job Search Change in 2011?

1/4/2011 6:27:48 PM

How Will Your Job Search Change in 2011?

How Will Your Job Search Change in 2011? The job search game has changed forever, and in 2011, the changes will impact job seekers like never before. About 50% of job seekers will miss out on jobs they want because they don’t know how the job search game has changed. Will it be you? Use these tips to tune up your 2011 job search and experience an immediate difference today!

Adapt to Industry Changes

In the biotech and pharma world, there’s been a tremendous amount of industry consolidation and refocus on new pipeline, generics, charitable contributions, pioneering markets and market places. Job seekers in this space need to think about how they fit into this current cycle. Corporate strategies are focused on delivering new, existing and re-marketed off-patent products to new countries and markets. Job seekers need to focus their skills presentation and interview approach on training new employees, cutting costs, improving efficiencies, increasing diversity, and lending their regulatory and approval expertise during all phases of research, development and marketing.

As the technical aspects of the industry change in huge ways, you can do a lot to locate these opportunities simply by broadening and actually considering opportunities that are highly visible on job boards and company websites. Be ready to go where those opportunities lie. Change your outlook and your future by considering opportunities outside your geography as well as your comfort zone!

Questions from 2011 Job Seekers

Every job seekers says they need to do more company research, but when we asked, more than 80% of responders didn’t know what research to do or precisely where to look for it. Meanwhile, employers complain they waste 80% of their interview time with candidates who haven’t done appropriate company research. After insufficient skills, it’s the #1 reason employers disqualify candidates. What’s the answer?

Most job seekers think the time to research a company is after they pass the ATS resume screen. Truly competitive 2011 candidates will need to do pre-application research. In 2011, it’s an employers’ market. Expect candidate requirements that are specific and strict! Expect preferences for candidates who can step right into the challenges of the job. Meet the challenge with the right company research.

Start your research with corporate annual reports. They contain just about everything you’ll need to know. You don’t need to read the entire document; start with the annual letter from the CEO. Pay attention to things like resources being deployed, products being launched or losing patent. Then look at the “Business” section for facts, status and data on the market, products, competition, R&D, Pipeline and trials.

Next, check the company website, and the finance or stock exchange website of your choice. Look at the 5-year stock chart trends. Upward and downward trends point to market performance and are good indicators of the company’s growth or contraction plans. Some interactive stock charts show high and low dates. Make note of any sudden rises or falls, then look for similarly dated news stories to find out what happened. How could or would your contributions improve things? Can you describe your role? Current situation skills and a good cultural fit will give the employer decision-confidence that you can solve their immediate needs.

Finally, while you’re on the company website, find out about the division, project and team you’ll be working with. Use social networking sites to find out about the people you’ll be working with too. Linked-In, Facebook and other sites reveal background and accomplishments information about the people who should know you. Introducing yourself through mutual network connections may help you find ways into their organization. Professional associations and organization memberships might also provide introduction opportunities.

Avoiding the Black Hole

It’s worthy of a news flash: Today, most employers no longer share your resume with hiring managers. Hiring managers receive a summary report generated by Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software that removes bias-causing problems, tracks EEOC compliance and performance, and supposedly levels the playing field across the applicant pool. Regardless of how you are getting into the company – friend, job board, recruiter, or online application – everyone goes through these ATS systems.

Job seekers, unaware, get acquainted with the ATS software in quite another way. It’s called the “resume black hole.” You never hear anything back from the black hole; no status update, no rejection letter, nothing. Sound familiar? If you’re serious about getting through these systems and getting a job, you need to customize each and every submitted resume. You must focus on the important keywords in each job description. Employers don’t advertise these keywords, but incorporating the job-description keywords they require into your resume is the only way you will rank higher in front of the employer. One-size-fits-all resumes have about a 1% chance of making the grade.

Identifying keywords and knowing how you rank used to be guess work. Today, technology tools are finally assisting job seekers. Biospace is one of the first career sites to introduce new job-seeker tools, like resume raters, to its members. These tools evaluate your resume, identify keywords, and in the near future, will even show your cross-candidate ranking. Early tech results show that resumes customized to each specific job score interviews more than 80% of the time. Once you change your approach, you will increase your chances of success significantly.


Giving your interviewer the right references can make you stand out and place you above other candidates. Line it up now. Create a comprehensive list ahead of time, and let them know they’re on the list. Avoid gimmicks, but differentiate yourself from other candidates by providing information the others can’t or don’t provide. It may be the deciding factor when it comes to hiring time. Some new and affordable technology solutions reach out to your references, and generate comprehensive reports about soft skills, like teamwork and stress management. No matter the method, in 2011 your references will definitely count! Don’t get through the entire job search process and have your references let you down.

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - January 6, 2010.

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