Month: August 2016
- What does Alicia consider is the purpose of the résumé? Present yourself without the other person knowing. It has 3 parts to it:
- Summary (objective) – the highlight, the advertisement of the Super Bowl. Has to be impacting. Catchy. Relevant to the job or what you’re looking for. It has to be clean, clear and have an impact to it.
- Practice it. Give it to other people to critique.
- Experience – in chronological order.
- What is it that you’ve done? Write using active verbs. What was the problem, how did you approached it and what was the solution. How did you get there by doing that part?
- What does Sean consider is the purpose of the résumé?
- Lose the Objective section! He doesn’t want it to say what is your career goal down the road.
- The Summary is key!
- A résumé with more than 2 pages is a no no.
- If you can’t get the attention from HR within the first 1-2 minutes they won’t go through it.
- Sean: Accuracy on our résumé is important. Abcam uses Indeed, Glassdoor, Biospace, MassBio and even Craigslist!
- They don’t have a keyword filter! He goes through every résumé, so make sure it is relevant and catchy because he doesn’t have time to go through all of them.
- Alicia: Recruiters try to work as fast as they can. So the shorter that period is the more they make in terms of bonuses. The recruiter looks for quality.
- Submit your résumé the moment the job posting date is up, because that’s when the job is “hot”. If the job has been posted for too long it may be because they haven’t found a good person for it.
- What is the window of time between posting and when someone should apply?
- Alicia: If you see the job today apply tonight, right away. Do not wait. You have to be the first one in line.
- Sean: Do it quick, but you have to make sure your résumé is updated and your cover letter is perfect. If it’s ready to go, then apply as quick as you can.
- How to format a résumé? How to take that job posting and how to market yourself well to what they’re looking for.
- Sean: Filter out the first one or two tasks on the job posting that the company is looking for. Make that point in your summary or cover letter, and experience if possible. He’s not a big believer in buzzwords, but make sure to mention at least some keywords (i.e. skills/techniques) they’re asking for.
- Make sure to convey the fact that you can work well with others.
- If you don’t have a particular skill make sure that at least have some other skill that would show that you’re “trainable”.
- Alicia: Spell out words that match the job description. Keywords/buzzwords have to be noticeable and repeat that one or two times so that the machine notices them (but no more than that because otherwise you would be wasting real estate in your résumé).
- Résumé “real estate” is VERY valuable. Squeeze/shorten words to save space for other important things.
- How many resumes are not qualified for the job?
- Sean: 99% are not qualified.
- For example: If there’s 8 bullet points for a job description, and you don’t feel confident covering the first 3 points then there’s a good chance you will not get the job. It would be a tough sell.
- Alicia: Really read the requirements of the job posting. Otherwise you would be frustrated that you’re sending résumés out and you’re not being contacted.
- What is the “affirmative action” plan?
- Sean: Because they have government contracts they have to make sure they comply with covering diversity and equal opportunity for applicants.
- General format of the résumé?
- Alicia: Presentation is crucial. Make sure it doesn’t have different fonts. Has to have a consistent, organized format. No typos!
- Make sure your skills are highlighted.
- For her the general format of the résumé is:
- Summary: Should be no more than 4-5 lines and very well-written.
- Experience (no need to write “Research Experience”)
- Sean: Do not go crazy with attention-grabbing details. Keep the format traditional and make it consistent and formatted.
- For him the general format of the résumé is:
- Summary: Should be no more than 4-5 lines. Very well-written.
- Experience (no need to write “Research Experience”)
- Skills (if needed)
- How long does it take to screen a résumé?
- Alicia: For a machine: 1 second. For a person: 15 seconds. Your résumé is your business card!
- Have the important things highlighted at the very beginning of each section.
- Sean: 15-20 seconds. For a low-level job: maybe 15 seconds. For a higher-level job: maybe 20 seconds or so.
- Are volunteering opportunities important? Do they look at them?
- Alicia: It has to be relevant for the job. Maybe include it under “Others” at the end of your résumé.
- Sean: If it’s a “meaty” volunteer activity, like team-building, leadership, etc. then yes. This is not necessarily what’s going to get you the job.
- Does it have to be written in short, snappy sentences since it’s given so little time to read it?
- Alicia: Has to show that you know the words.
- Keep it relevant. Stay away from including citizenship, residency/visa status. Not that it’s not important, but no one’s asking (at least not yet).
- Sean: For example, for the Summary section he wouldn’t make it choppy. He wants to see nice, fluid, coherent sentences.
- For PhD level job applicants: can you sell the experience you got out of your PhD? More important than just listing your publications. 2 pages is the norm when including your publications.
- What about jobs that are not relevant to the job posting but that can spark the interviewers’ interest?
- If it gets you “through the door”: yes!
- First tense vs third tense?
- Alicia: Third tense (i.e. “Recognized as …”). If you feel like you’re good at doing this then yes.
- Sean: Use the one that sounds more like you or the one you think would best describe you. No right or wrong answer for this.
- What should you NOT include in your résumé?
- Sean: Personal information.
- Alicia: Facebook (careful what you post! They can cross-reference your online presence. Your email address has to be professional.
- What should be included?
- Stemming from question above regarding citizenship status:
- Sean: Citizenship status does not get asked about at first. Visas are an economic burden for companies, so maybe make clear in your application that you’re good with your application status if you don’t need it.
- Alicia: Better don’t give that info on your application.
- What about long-distance applicants?
- There are some hiring managers that are reticent to hire someone from out of state. The hiring managers don’t care where you live, but they want to make sure you know that the job is not in some other place you would rather be. Make that point clear: establish on the cover letter why would you like to have this job.
- What about a Scientist I position that requires 1-2 years experience?
- Sean: Depends on the job description and the company.
- Alicia: Having an internship counts as experience.
- Inclusion of references on your résumé?
- Sean: “Available upon request”
- Alicia: “Available upon request”
- Résumé critiquing
- No need to put graduation dates because it tells them about your age. Companies are not required to ask this information.
- Skills should not be too high up on the résumé. Abbreviate the ones that are relevant to the job posting.
- If you include the name of a Professor make sure it’s someone that’s highly recognizable. Otherwise it doesn’t hurt, but it’s not necessary (saves you space if you take it out).
- Avoid text-heavy résumés.
- If having a significant postdoc experience then should be included above the Education section (as Experience).
- Keep it on a legible font.
- Recruiters don’t look at every single thing you’ve done, rather whether you can convey the important points.
- If you’re sticking to a 2-page résumé and you have an extensive publication record, pick the 5 publications that are more recent. Can also highlight the fact that there are more.
- Résumé doesn’t have to go that far back (i.e. if you’ve had many experiences). Keep it relevant and recent.
- You’re describing your job, but you should say what was your role (your contribution).
- Start your résumé with your summary.
- Computer skills are not necessary to include nowadays. Get rid of the numbering format on the Research Experience.
- Professional summary should be a story, not bullet points.
- Recognizable schools should be highlighted on the Education section.
- The smallest font size should be a 9. She prefers a 10 or 11.
- No need to distinguish between Experiences: Technical, Research or Work.
- Do not include publications that are in preparation.
- Pick the 5 most recent publications.
- Don’t exaggerate something you don’t have. Don’t try to oversell it.
- “Collaborated” is frequently used. She prefers “teamed up”.
- Include name, address and phone number on every page of the résumé.
- Every bullet point should be 1-2 lines only, 3+ bullet points.
- “Interested” sounds like a hobby.
Interested in a career in regulatory affairs? Click through to find out more!
Written by /u/LifeAfterLifeScience and copied with permission
At the most basic level, you act as a trader in information. You’ll stand at the midpoint between a vast variety of departments, experts and regulators – and you’ll be keeping information flowing between each and every one of them. Emails, reports, meetings, phone calls, the job involves keeping people up to date and in the loop. Communication lies at the heart of regulatory affairs, so expect to do a lot of it.
Are you organised? You’d better be – you’ll be juggling multiple projects at any one time, plus various meetings and whatever emergency has come up this time. Being able to keep track of these requirements is a must. You’ll need to be able to plan both in the short term (today’s chaos) and the long term (what is our 4 year development plan?). This is where the typical scientific background, with its multitasking of experiments, writing, and meetings, really comes in handy.
The job title is Regulatory Affairs Manager, and so it’s fairly clear that there’s management involved. But it’s not ‘management’ in the sense of having people reporting to you and doing the tasks you assign them (well, not until later at least). Instead it’s managing people without actually having any formal authority over them – you can’t give orders, you’ll have to persuade, wheedle, nag, bargain, compromise and trade your way to your goals. This is not to say that people won’t want to help you, but each expert you approach will have a ridiculous number of demands on their time. Why should they help you? You need to be persuasive, and this is why interpersonal skills are one of the main talents HR looks for when hiring.
Writing dossier modules
Want approval to market your miracle drug? First you need to show that you know what you’re doing – that your product is safe, effective, and made in a (consistently) high-quality way. This is done via the dossier, a vast document split into numerous sections covering every stage of the development process and the future plans. As you’d expect, working on a product’s dossier takes up a lot of time. Whether it’s putting together the initial application or making updates to a previously-approved one, a regulatory career will revolve around the dossier.
Working with source documents
This is a pretty big change for people coming in from academia or research: you’re done with laboratory work. Others within the company will be doing protein analysis, clinical studies, purity checks – that’s not your job any more. Instead, you’ll take the work produced by these people (studies and reports), and use that as a basis for their own writing. You still need experience dealing with scientific data and methods (to understand what you are reading!), but the data is produced by others. Your job is to understand these source documents so that you can decide how much of it ends up in the dossier.
Providing regulatory advice
You aren’t just reading reports and writing dossiers. Because companies are always changing their methods (trying to optimise for cost and yield), you’ll be part of the change evaluation process – saying how much regulatory stress is involved in any given change. That clever idea to increase yields by a few percent is less worthwhile when the FDA demands several years of stability data first. Likewise, your advice will be needed to plan these changes. What will be needed to get approval for your drug? What kind of studies will be needed in the final submission? This is where regulatory affairs comes in.
Thoughts on transitioning into reg. affairs straight from the bench?
It depends on the company. Small biotechs will likely be looking for candidates with more experience however large pharma companies often hire people straight out of a PhD or postdoc and train them up.
Kind of interesting?
Hypothesis Validation = conflict resolution
Senior Clinical Scientist
Position Title: Data Analyst II
Position Title: Project Specialist, Client Services
- Facilitate weekly data review meetings with clinical trial study team leaders