Keeping Track of your job applications
One of the questions that comes up regularly, is how do you as a candidate, keep track of your job applications?
I know some of you will apply for every job you see and then simply wait to see what comes back, but this is a very haphazard technique, and not a good example of how organised you are. Clearly many of us start our job hunting with the best intentions to keep a logs of what jobs we applied for, which version of your CV you sent, who the contact was, status etc., but it can very quickly become a notebook or folder full of scraps of paper and scribbles. So at a basic level we need a simple log, and a simple spreadsheet can offer that.
My suggestion is one that includes:
- Date Applied
- Job Title
- Job Ref
- Link to Job
- CV version sent
- Cover letter Sent
- Employer / Agency (if known)
- Contact Details
- Comments / Notes
You might want to have a status for each job that follows the process, such as:
- Initial Contact Made
- Interview 1 Set
- Post interview 1
- Interview 2 Set
- Post Interview 2
- Awaiting decision
- Offer / negotiation
Of course, you could alternatively create a document template that you print out for each individual job, then save them in a folder with a copy of CV you sent. You could of course do it all online using Google Docs, but however you do it, be organised.
You can’t expect the land that perfect job if you can’t even keep track of your own job applications!
Looking at the statistics behind PharmiWeb, I’m sometimes surprised by the broad range of jobs that some candidates apply for. I don’t just mean the number of jobs, but the range of job titles, seniority level & locations. To me, this is the scatter-gun approach to job hunting. One that is unlikely to lead to a great response, or get you the perfect job.
A much better strategy is to create a check list of job requirements. You’d probably do this is you were buying a new television; so why not do it for your job hunting! Include Job Title(s), location, salary, benefits, culture etc. all the things that would make for the perfect job. Next, check the job boards and Google for similar jobs and see what skills and qualifications they typically require. If you don’t have them, you either need to re-think your target job(s) or go about obtaining the right skills or qualifications to fill the gaps.
Assuming your skills and qualifications are a close match, your CV needs to highlight these and present them in the best light. So read through it carefully and amend accordingly. Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter; they usually have a checklist of skills needed for the role (even if it’s not on the job advert), and your aim is to tick those boxes.
Doing this will take a bit of time and research, and will probably mean that you’ll apply for less jobs; but it’s likely to mean your job applications are focused rather than scatter gun, and will be more fruitful as a result.
Check out the latest Pharma Jobs on PharmiWeb here:
Virtually every day I’m surprised how bad some LinkedIn profile pictures are! If you’re hoping to get a new job, your LinkedIn profile should be a major part of that strategy, so consider what your photo says about you.
Your profile photo is an ideal opportunity to make a good first impression, so why waste it with a poorly focused picture of you and your dog/wife/car/motorbike on holiday in 1990. So here are a few tips:
- Make it a head shot
- Lighting. There’s no point having a photo if nobody can see your face!
- Make sure the background is not too dark or cluttered
- Make sure there’s only one person in the photo – YOU
- Posture is important – dont use a picture of you slouched over a desk
- Try to look professional!
- Its not a passport photo, so try not to use a photo that looks like one
- Consider use the same photo on ALL your (professional) social media profiles, it helps build your “brand”. Use a Gravatar if you prefer.
A good strategy is to take several photos, and then picking the best one. Don’t be afraid to use a photo editing package to fine tune it. You can even try turning the photo greyscale.
When you apply for a role, make sure your CV matches the “keywords” and experience requirements listed on the job description. You can do this by simply reading the job advert carefully and making notes of the kind of words they’re using.
This might be technologies, therapy areas, skills etc. Once you have your list, cross check this with yoru CV and covering letter and make sure that these words are included at least once. Don’t go mad and spam-fill your CV with so many keywords that it’s undreadable, but check that most of the words are there,
If you can’t include the words because you dont have the right skills or experience them maybe you need to apply for a different job!
Looks like we had a problem over the weekend on the registration page. This was as a result of changes we made on Friday (that will teach us! :( ), and meant that as a candidate, you couldn’t complete the registration form.
Its all all fixed now, so if you were trying to register over the weekend, you can try again now.
The tech press (and for a time the mainstream press) has been full of news recently about something called “Heartbleed”.
Heartbleed is the name which has been given to a serious flaw detected in OpenSSL, an open source toolkit used on many thousands of servers across the internet to handle security and encryption. The identified flaw allows information from the memory of the server (which would usually be protected) to be extracted in small chunks by someone acting maliciously. Often this will extract mundane and essentially useless information, however it is possible that this attack could extract sensitive data such as usernames and passwords, and place them in the hands of the attacker.
So what does this mean for PharmiWeb?
Within 24 hours of the vulnerability being made public we checked all of our public facing websites which use SSL encryption; all certificates were found to be secure, and did not require any patching against the new bug. We do not actively use OpenSSL for any of our encryption, so this was to be expected.
However, some big name, global services have been impacted by the vulnerability, so it would be prudent to update your credentials for any affected services who have patched their servers. A full list of those known to have been affected can be found at the following site:
Just to let you know, we’re making some changes to the login process on PharmiWeb to make it more secure. Passwords are now CASE SENSITIVE – historically they weren’t. In future we wont know your password as it will be encrypted in our database.
While this shouldn’t affect most people, you may find that you need to reset your password using the “forgotten password” function.