Thursday, 6 August 2015

3 tips that will help you to get a role via an agency?

At some stage in your career you are likely to apply for a role via an agency.
It might be your first job, it could be changing to a new area of the country or perhaps looking for that next step up the ladder.

Here are three things that will make your application flow more easily:

Apply for the relevant roles only

Read the job spec thoroughly; by applying for every job without reading the spec you could alienate Resourcers and Consultants.  

It's not simply a question of applying for as many jobs as you can without being remotely suitable.  Consultants will not have enough faith to submit you for the right role if you have not been reading the job specifications.

Apply only for the relevant roles and your stock will increase in value.

Make your CV relevant

I'm always impressed when I see that an applicant has worked on the CV to maximise the relevance of his or her skills and or experience.   Sending a generic CV for all jobs is not putting one's best foot forward.
For instance, you might be an Analytical Chemist with a few years of experience.  If you apply for a Raw Materials testing role the job specification might call for experience with Pharmacopoeia (BP, EP USP) but your generic CV might not mention this.   Similarly you might next apply for a Method Development role but your generic CV has not included all of your experience in this respect.

Relevant people are what we are paid to look for, so it's worth the extra effort to do your bit to help us to help you.

Clearly State your eligibility

First of all a willingness to work in the UK is not eligibility.   Agencies are tasked with checking that an applicant has the right to work in the UK ie is an EU or UK national or else has a valid visa to work in the UK (not tier 2 requiring sponsorship).
There will often be screening questions on job boards to screen out people who do not have a UK or EU nationality or Apply for roles that you are eligible for and not for the ones.

Assuming that you are eligible to work in the UK, always declare your nationality and if you have a visa always put that down too and clearly state the Visa type and the expiry date.
Consultants are pressed for time and don't appreciate getting to read CV's in depth, shortlist a person, call, leave messages, txt and or email only to find out later that the person concerned is not eligible to work in the UK.
A good agency should clearly state the eligibility requirements in the Vacancy description if it does not state that sponsorship is available then it won't be.

It is a legal requirement for agencies to check eligibility of applicants.   Hiding the fact you have a tier 2 visa , for instance,  will not change the requirement.   It will seriously annoy the Consultant if they have spent time working on your application when you have ignored the requirements.


So now you apply only for relevant roles you will save yourself enough time to place greater emphasis upon your relevance to each role.   The Consultants will love you for it and you should be applying for more relevant roles with greater focus and sense of purpose.  

Good luck with your job hunting.

If you would like advice on more topics please email

By putting in the extra effort you should turn the Conultant and REsourcer for the role onto your side.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Advice for Job Seeking Science Graduates 

If you have recently graduated or are about to then here are a few tips that  should help you in your job search.

Apply for relevant roles
Don't apply for roles that require more experience than you have.
Applying for the wrong role does not inspire faith in your ability to read SOP's or other specifications.
Our clients are looking for people who have compliance at the heart of everything they do.  Applying for the wrong role does not give the right impression.  

So ....... ONLY apply for roles that match your qualifications and experience.

Apply for each job separately
So now you are applying only for relevant roles, don't spoil things by applying for a basket of jobs from a job board with "O.C.A" or "One Click Apply" to send the same CV for them all at once.

This is bad because though you may lack experience you could edit your CV and sending one CV for a basket of jobs is not putting you in the best light.  Our blog has an article about how to edit your CV to better suit a specification for a job vacancy.

How to work with agencies

As with all things in life, there are good agencies and not so good agencies.  Please don't tar us all with the same brush.  Nonetheless you should assume that all agencies are good then you will be putting your best foot forward.   Should you not like the agency then move on to another.
If you have a good one helping you then here's a few do's and don'ts to help you get the most form your agent:

  • send CV's in MS Word Format and not as PDF's
  • respect the time of the recruiters they have limited time to spare
  • keep contact to the minimum, they will guide you as to how they prefer to make contact
  • make your CV relevant
  • register your CV by doing so on their website
  • give details as to your preferences, relocation, salary, field of work, job type ie Permanent, Temporary or either.
  • ask who the client is (make it clear your CV is for that role only!).

  • use a Generic CV for every job you apply for
  • constantly ring up for feedback, a good agency will contact you
  • interrupt the recruiter when asking screening questions
  • lose focus, give the info he or she is asking for
  • be afraid of asking questions at the end of the screening
  • use links to docs such as on skydrive (it confuses data parsing engines and could send your application to a spam or junk folder).

Remember that an agent makes his or her living out of placing the right person in the right job.  They do this day in and day out and are the experts,if you are not a good match then a professional recruiter will not waste a clients time by putting your CV forward.
For you to get an interview you need to get past the resourcer and or recruiter. 

Most reputable agencies will provide advice pages and although they may look similar, each will have something special to offer, you should read as many as possible and take the best advice from each. 

Now go get that job!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Is the photo on your LinkedIn Profile possibly harming your job opportunities?  
If so, get it sorted or remove it.

This week I have seen some applicants on Linkedin whose photos were letting them down.
It's a minuscule part of the process but your complete profile is a box that needs ticking.

First example was an inappropriate photo 'on LinkedIn' of a young lady reclining on a bed in scanty attire.  I was surprised to see this as I was looking for candidates for a quite Senior Role in the Pharmaceutical sector.   It was not professional and more suited to Facebook,  if at all.

The second was of a Mother cuddling a baby.  Why could this be seen as a problem?  People could discriminate after looking at the picture.  Nothing wrong with the photo but it creates a risk that someone could discriminate against a perceived young Mother.  Yet it may even have been an auntie with a niece or nephew.
As an agent I would advise that she should have used a different photo on her profile to protect against the possibility of discrimination.

Finally, someone who looked liked they had just clambered out of a kid's dressing-up box. Also her face had a look of thunder that made her look hostile.  Again this was a person in a fairly highly qualified role. Why would someone put a photo like that on LinkedIn?

My point here is that no photo is better than a bad photo.
The advice is to get a photograph taken by a professional or someone who is competent.

Click here to access advice from Andrew Bradley (a social media guru, author and blogger) 

LinkedIn Profile Photo Tips: Examples of Best LinkedIn Profile Pictures

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Generic CV's are bad for your career!

Don't be fooled by similar job titles because no two jobs are the same.
So why do people send in the same CV for different roles?

All too frequently we receive applications from people using the same generic CV for several job vacancies.   Often they have not read the job specification thoroughly and then they fail to adapt the CV to emphasise the relevance they might have.

For example, a QC Analyst applies for three QC Analyst roles.

  • QC Stability Analyst
  • QC Method Development Analyst
  • QC Raw Materials Analyst.
Despite the obvious experience required one role might be working to SOP's and another working to Pharmacopoeia, the other may require both.  It is obvious that some amendment needs to be made to give the applicant a better chance of getting an interview.  
A person may have worked to both and wish to include them but really should place a greater emphasis on the relevant one.   This helps the hiring manager who is screening the CV's to see the relevant worth or a person.

To make the point imagine two scenarios:

  1. An applicant sends in a generic CV for any and all jobs, it's the same CV, it never changes, it stays the same despite the sometimes subtle differences of job requirements.
  2. An applicant amends the CV by looking in details at the job description.  He or she highlights the points, keywords, skills and qualifications in fact anything in the Job Description that he or she matches.  Then the CV is scrutinised by the applicant to ensure that the CV has all the relevant details in it.
So we have one person sending a CV to all jobs without paying any attention and another who selects the jobs he or she applies for and then amends the CV to better reflect their skills etc.

Who stand the better chance of getting through to the interview stage?

So.... now your generic CV is a thing of the past you have just enhanced your career prospects.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Telephone Interviews

HOT TIP for iphone users (possibly for other smart phone users too).

We all know to charge our phone before having a telephone interview.
However, if your battery is low and you suddenly remember you have a telephone interview coming in 30 mins then try this:

  1. Turn your phone onto flight mode and it will recharge at up to twice the rate.
  2. Don't forget to turn flight mode off again!
  3. Get a glass of water and relax.

Good Luck!

Dont' forget to follow us on MAC Scientific on LinkedIn

Friday, 9 January 2015

Customise your CV

In over 30 years in recruitment, the second most common problem is that an applicant often sends a generic CV.  Your chances of obtaining an interview increase between 10% and 50% (assuming you have applied for a suitable position) if your customise your CV.

A concise CV without missing the important parts
A two page CV is the ideal (unless you have a PhD and several pages listing your recently presented papers, posters, seminars and conferences).
Managers usually have to sift though a heap of CV's , concise CV's that match the spec will go in the "keepers" pile and the others go in the "weepers" pile.
However, the CV must contain relevant skills and experience or it will not make the cut.
The emphasis is initially placed upon rejecting most of the CV's.

The problem is that as your experience grows so does the task of restricting your resume to two sides of A4.  You might be organised and keep several versions of our CV or else edit it each time before sending it off to a prospective employer or recruitment agency.

If you do not Customise your CV then you are already at a disadvantage.
Before you apply for a role need to look very carefully at the job description/specification within an advertised job vacancy.  If you are not suitable then don't apply.  If you are you need to maximise your chances and to do that you need to check that our CV best represents you in the light of that job.

Do not apply for a basket full of jobs with one click and send a generic CV off for different roles.   Unless you are lucky you will be passed over in favour of persons whose CV has been meticulously worked on to increase relevance.

Making the most of your CV 
You might be thinking "That's fine in theory but how do I make the most of my CV?"
Or "How long will this take?"

It's all about Focus and once you have that it only takes a few minutes.
This 5 step process will assist you:

  1. Turn your CV over or better still put it in a drawer.
  2. Print out the job spec from the advert.
  3. with a magic marker highlight all the text that matches your experience quals and skills
  4. Now take your CV out of the drawer and with a critical eye check to see if it contains all of the info that you have highlighted in the job spec.
  5. Finally, if there are key things highlighted in the job spec that are missing from your CV then you must add it.  
Hot Tip:
Don't be tempted to add just a keyword to a list of skills, you must make it relate to you in a prior role and allow the person vetting CV's to see you in your best light.

Finally, be accurate in your claims, don't exaggerate and never ever claim to have done something when you have not.
Good luck!