One task that is essential for those gunning for all manner of science jobs, ranging from clinical, biotechnology and engineering roles to posts in quality assurance, regulatory affairs and procurement, is selling oneself quickly.

As the saying goes, hiring managers form opinions about candidates very quickly these days - within just seconds - so it is vital to quickly make a brilliant impression at interview. Whether you refer to it as your 'personal pitch', '60 second commercial' or something else entirely, the basic gist is obvious: it needs to succinctly summarise what you do and why someone else should work with you.

The basic rules of the 'lift pitch'

The 'lift pitch' is so-called because it is based on what you would say to your dream employer if you found yourself in a lift with them, and only had the time from the beginning of the lift's journey until the end in which to convince them to take you on.

It therefore needs to be a genuinely concise introduction of no more than 30-60 seconds, in language that is easy to understand so that the listener is hooked immediately. You will need to use strong, powerful words to create a memorable image in the hiring manager's mind of a person who they simply cannot afford not to hire.  

A great lift pitch isn't just a sharp bullet-point list of the great things about your candidacy - it also tells a story, setting out a problem and how you can solve it. It is also necessarily tailored to the vacancy in question, in much the same way that a great CV is.

Putting together a great lift pitch

A great lift pitch tends to open with a compelling 'hook' that piques the interest of the employer or science recruitment agency, followed by a passionate demonstration of what you stand for as a professional and the value that you can bring to the role. You might conclude it with a question that asks something of the interviewer.

Given the 60-word limit, we would recommend a 150-225 word count for your lift pitch. When you come to write it, you should first consider what you actually do, and come up with 10-20 different ways of expressing it in spoken form - the idea being to edit these ideas and eliminate those that come across as too dull, inappropriate or even amusing.

Your aim is to generate as many potential lift pitches as possible, crafting, refining and/or merging as necessary to create a powerful message that advertises you at your best. Don't forget to record yourself in audio and/video form, making your lift pitch, so that you can consider further changes.

Creating lift pitches is a continuous process

Remember that the process of creating the perfect, clear and impactful lift pitch is never-ending, with your pitch necessarily differing between different science jobs. You should also constantly contemplate ways to improve your lift pitch so that you are always making the best possible first impression at each and every interview that you attend for a science role.   

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we hear so many instances of those competing for jobs in such competitive fields as finance, technology, engineering, and telecommunications simply sending their same, standard CV in relation to all manner of widely differing vacancies.

The truth is that finding a new job is very much a job in itself. If you want to maximise your chances of success in finding a new job, the following tips are likely to be extremely useful.


1. Thoroughly research the employer and role


This is a very important step when finding a new job.It's true what they say - knowledge is power, both in the application itself and at the interview. This will demonstrate that you have taken a real interest in both employer and role and should help them look upon your application favourably.


2. Familiarise yourself with the job requirements


Carefully peruse the job description and person specification when finding a new job. Make sure you have provided real examples in your application of how you match the requirements.


3. Tailor your CV to every application


Related to the above point, you should make sure that your CV completely and convincingly addresses the recruitment agency or employer's requirements, even if that means sending a slightly different CV for every application that you make.


4. Proofread, proofread and proofread again


Making a spelling or grammatical error in your job application is a sure way to get your CV binned by employers and recruitment agencies that may otherwise struggle to whittle down the pile of CVs that they receive. Don't give them an easy excuse to reject you!


5. Evidence your achievements


Did you merely 'lead a team'? Or did you achieve certain objectives or make certain breakthroughs while leading that team? For every claim of your suitability that you make, back it up with tangible evidence. This will help you both finding a new job and during the interview process. 


6. Make extensive use of the Internet


From registering with online job boards and recruitment agencies (see more below) to keeping an eye out for the latest vacancies posted on LinkedIn, where you should also have a complete and professional profile. There's plenty that you can do online to help your job chances.


7. Don't stick to the obvious advertised roles


Some vacancies are better publicised than others. To keep abreast of those less visible opportunities, maintain an open line of communication with potential employers and consider making speculative applications.


8. Ready yourself for your interview  


Prepare answers to the most likely interview questions in advance, and make sure you turn up in a timely manner and while dressed presentably.


9. Follow up applications by phone


Call no more than three days after your application and courteously ask if your application has been received while also emphasising your interest in the role and requesting details on what happens next.  


10. Take maximum advantage of recruitment agencies


A recruitment agency like Hyper Recruitment Solutions can be an invaluable partner in finding a new job and, helping you to find the most suitable vacancy quicker. 

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you are currently on the lookout for your next big role!

tips for job seekers


If conventional wisdom is to believed, catching the attention of science recruitment agencies and employers with your job application is easy: you get your CV into shape, find the most relevant science jobs being advertised and then send through your application with a presentable cover letter.

However, a downside of such conventional wisdom is that it is conventional, meaning that everyone is doing similar things. If you really want to turbo-charge your search for a suitable new science role, you may therefore want to try the following tips for job seekers.

1. Show your vulnerability

Don't necessarily presume that you have to turn yourself into an arrogant superstar to land your dream pharmaceutical, clinical or medical role.

Instead, consider showing your vulnerability, getting in touch with those who you would like to work with, expressing your admiration for what they do and asking questions. It can be a great way to start building up relationships that could help you when a vacancy next opens up.

2. Don't necessarily follow your passion

Career seekers have long been told to "follow their passion", but it isn't always entirely robust. Many people in science jobs that they now love may have only come to love it after developing their competency and experience in the role over time.

3. Don't obsess over finding your dream job right now

This advice is especially useful to those in the early stages of a science career. Whether in R&D, bioinformatics, regulatory affairs or any other field, given the unglamorous nature of most entry-level positions, your focus shouldn't necessarily be on finding a job that you love right now.

Instead, envisage what the role has the potential to become if you work hard over the next five years. That's the post that you are effectively applying for.

4. Contact the decision-maker directly

Those who watched the Will Smith film The Pursuit of Happiness may especially appreciate this pointer. Sometimes, it is all too easy for applications for science jobs to disappear into a black hole. Instead, tactfully and respectfully approach the person who will actually be making the decision whether to hire you.

5. Be your desired employer's biggest fan

If there's a specific science employer that you would like to work for, mark yourself out as a brand loyalist - someone who is always defending the company in the blogosphere or feting its expertise or services to friends or on social media.

Ambitious firms love employees who love them - so you may just find yourself first in the queue when the next perfectly-tailored position arises.   

Across the full glut of science jobs for which one may conceivably apply - ranging from biotechnology and pharmaceutical to engineering and R&D roles - there is the need to make your cv stand out

As much as we may wish to think that we are recruited on the basis of our skills and experiences, without a sufficiently eye-catching CV, such is the intense level of competition for the most desirable roles that it is doubtful we would get hired at all.

If you are wondering how to make your CV stand out, here are five of the best ways to keep eyes lingering on your resume.

1. Mirror the language used in the job posting

With studies indicating that the average recruiter spends just a few seconds considering a CV before accepting or rejecting it, chances are that your CV will only be scanned quite quickly.

You should make the recruiter's job easier, therefore, by including the very terms that are present throughout their initial job posting, to make it even clearer how your skills and experience relate to the role.

2. Avoid clich├ęd terms

So common are terms like 'team player', 'innovative', 'results focused' and 'highly qualified' on the average CV, that they have been reduced to meaningless fluff from the perspective of many hiring managers.

If you can't use more distinctive, unfamiliar terms, at least provide immediate, live examples of how you possess such characteristics, to prevent a bored reader simply drifting to the next CV in the pile.

3. Adapt your resume to each position

This is a source of consternation for so many science recruitment agencies, to the extent that many would regard it as disrespectful not to modify a CV for their specific position.

You might do this by re-arranging what appears on your CV, perhaps grouping your traits by skill area or job function. Alternatively, you might have a reverse chronological CV, which can show how you have gathered competencies relevant to your new position over time.

4. Explain any employment gaps

Many recruiters for science jobs will reject a CV as soon as they see an unaccounted-for gap, preferring to save their limited interviewing time for candidates who don't seem to have something to hide.

It is therefore a better bet to properly explain why you may have been unemployed for a certain period of time, and how you nonetheless used that time productively.

5. Don't be afraid to brag

Your CV is not supposed to be modest. It is there to quickly make a positive impression on a complete stranger, so you should tell them everything great about you that means they need to hire you right now - from relevant previous jobs to coveted awards and big promotions.

If you can convince science recruitment agencies that you are something special, they will be much more likely to urgently call you to interview - whatever the science role for which you are applying.

"Why should we hire you?" is as common a question on the lips of science recruitment professionals as it is among hiring teams in any other sector, and it takes forms that can easily catch out the ill-prepared interviewee. You may be asked what makes you the right fit for the position, why you are the best candidate for the vacancy or what you would bring to the job - whatever, the gist is much the same. Before you go for the interview you need to ask yourself, "why should you hire me?", and come up with an answer. 

Be employer-focused

One of the first things that any applicant must realise about this question is that they really must answer it from the employer's perspective. It can be easy to effectively only answer why you would like the job - for example, because you have always had an interest in biochemistry or R&D, need the money or would like to move to wherever the role is based. These are not answers to the question of why the employer should hire you.

The frank truth is that a hiring manager does not really care about the benefits to you of getting the job. They're much more concerned about the risk to their position if they make a poor choice of hire, such as someone who leaves the organisation prematurely or does not fit in well with their colleagues or the company philosophy.


 

They are certainly interested, then, in your ability to do the job to an exceptional standard, get on well with your colleagues and bring to bear skills and experiences that make you stand out from the other candidates.

The information that you must give

Therefore, by setting out an answer that clearly details such factors as your industry experience, relevant past accomplishments, soft skills, technical skills, education/training and/or awards/certifications, you are making the hiring manager's professional life much easier.

When you communicate memorably and confidently that you possess these traits that answer the employer's pain points, whether their field is chemistry, molecular biology, immunology or something completely different, they will be more confident to trust you with the role.

But remember...

With this being only one of potentially many interview questions, not all of the above parameters necessarily need to be included in your answer. This question is a golden opportunity to sell yourself for your dream clinical, biochemistry or pharmacology role. However, such 'selling' is generally best done with just three or four powerful points - backed up with easy-to-remember descriptions and/or examples - than with a quickly rifled-off list of 12 strengths that you are unable to explain further.

The employer should be left in no doubt as to your unique combination of relevant experience and skills. "Why should we hire you?" is a question will not be your only opportunity during the interview to make that clear - which is all the more reason to provide well-selected highlights rather than the full catalogue of your credentials.

However, it is so often a memorably convincing answer to this, or any number of the aforementioned similar questions that separates those who secure sought-after science jobs from those who don't. Good luck!


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