Top five traits of the best employees

Top five traits of the best employees

Whether you’re looking for a raise or on the hunt for a new job, you’ll want to be sure you demonstrate the five traits of the best employees. We’re telling you, they’ll get you places. And, if you’re an employer in pursuit of your next new hire, be sure to ask questions that will help you to determine if your potential talent will be your next best hire. Only the best employees will last!

Passion. Without passion, your job is just another daily grind. Without passion, there is no point (other than the money). Without passion, you’ll be able to see the end at the same time you see the beginning (or get your job offer). Passion is the most vital trait employers should be looking for in new hires. They are looking for someone with skill. Sure. But they’re also looking for someone with drive, someone who will love their job and work with their heart, not just their head. If you love your job, you’ll be more dedicated to the operation, to finding that cure, to doing whatever it is that the job at hand entails. If you’re an employer, be sure to ask your job candidates what they’re passionate about. And if you’re in a job just to pay the bills, take a look around. Look at our job board. See how you can make a change that makes more sense and while you’re making cents.

Motivation. Your boss doesn’t have time to tell you what to do all the time and chances are he or she hired you because they don’t want to and they trust you. So take initiative. Use that pretty little mind of yours. Think outside of the box handed to you from day one (within reason) and see where a little initiative takes you. With a little self-motivation, our bets are on a raise and promotion!

Confidence. You were hired for a reason. That’s because you’re just the man or woman for the job. So go about it with confidence. It’s key in good decision making and building trust among your peers and higher ups. Do what you do boldly. No need for second guessing. Confidence is key.

Prompt. Time is of the essence so use it wisely. No one likes a slow-poke when it comes to getting the job done. That being said, more than a slow-moving employee, employers really don’t have time for someone who moves so fast they make a lot of careless mistakes. So arrive on time and by that we mean five minutes early. And when you get there, find a pace that makes sense for you to be most productive.

Easy-going. This one should be just that––easy. No matter how smart or hard-working an employee is, they must be easy-going for things to work out. Be easy to work with. Your workplace is your second home. Oftentimes, we tend to forget one of the biggest pieces of the HR puzzle––personality. Let yours shine.

Looking for a new employee? Contact us to see how we can help you find your next best employee. Or are you looking for a new job yourself? View our current job pharmaceutical and biotech job listings to see if we have one for you.

Sealing the deal: Two things you should and should not do to land the job after the interview

Phil Ellis Associates Interview Keys

How many times have you been interviewed? And, how many times did that work out in your favor? You nailed the phone interview. Got the call back. Went on to round two which required a comp’d flight across the States and a one-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. You crushed the continental breakfast which gave you the energy to kill it during the round-table in-person interview. All six team members fist-pumped in-sync to the tune of the Rocky theme song and high-fived you on the way out. Yeah, that just doesn’t happen. Well, if it does, we’ve never heard of it.

More often than not, no deal is truly sealed until there are two signatures on the dotted line (yours and theirs), moving trucks have long-since moved your belongs to your new home where you’ve settled and the anxiety-ridden 90-day trial period has passed with flying colors.

Please and thank you. No matter how good or bad you think the interview went, please say “thank you.” It’s a common courtesy we all too commonly forget once we’ve said our goodbyes. The interview doesn’t really end with the nice-talking-with-you shake of the hand in the HR office. It ends when we take the time to get home, recount the way the conversation went and shoot our interviewer(s) something from the heart. Short and sweet is all that’s needed. Simply thank the guy(s) or gal(s) you were with for their time and consideration. It will go a long, long way.

More money. More problems. Don’t let the caption be a buzzkill. We’re not saying not to ask for more money. An increase in your pay is always a good thing. Always. If you’ve earned it and your new employers sees that. You got it. No problem.

Here’s the thing. Know what you want. And, most importantly, know it from the get-go (maybe even before you start your job search). Consider the amount of money you’re currently making. Consider any higher or lower costs of living or the difference in taxes from your current town to the one that you’re thinking of migrating to and then consider the market. (This post may be helpful!) Do your research to find out what others are making in that town, at that company and in the position you’re looking at. It’s all supposed to be a big fat secret but money isn’t the elephant in the room anymore. Come on folks, that’s what Google’s for! And, you also have real people you could talk to like us. Recruiters are oftentimes your best resource for revealing point-blank (after reading your resume first, of course!) what a person like you, at a time like this, in a place like that could possibly make for a job listed in their current openings.

So back to the point. After you’ve done your research, come up with a number. Let’s be reasonable now. Don’t just pick a number, any number from the top of your head that sounds like it could be enough to take that trip to the Bahamas with your wife and upgrade from the Honda CRV. Come up with a base number or your minimum. How low will you go in order to work for a company that takes you closer to your career goals and financial views of success. And, now, how much do you actually want to ask for that is not out-of-the-question? If an employer offers you anything in-between (or above) these two numbers, you know this job is a financial fit. If the number they come up with is less, there could be some negotiation but it might be a time to weigh out your options. If the number they come up with is too close to your minimum goal, there’s a chance to come up a bit to find a happy medium but here’s where your timing comes into place. It’s easiest when working with a recruiter like PEA. We usually have a much better idea as to whether the feast is movable or not. Just like buying a car, there is typically a bit of wiggle room. But, unlike buying a car in which you are the buyer and the other guy (or gal) is the salesman, in this case they can walk away and never look back if a few extra dollars seem to be more important to you than putting in the good work and finding say the cure for a debilitating disease that they’ve been working on for a decade. So play it smooth. Work with your recruiter (if you have one) to come up with the best approach. In some cases, it’s best if we do the talking. Whatever you do, don’t ask for more money once the paperwork is in the process. Be upfront when money is the topic of discussion. Don’t second guess yourself. Remember the bottom line you came up with earlier and say it like you mean it or walk away from the offer if they go too low. Keeping your self-worth (based on your previous pay and experience) at the top of your mind is one of the most important keys in keeping up with your pursuit of happiness. Seal the deal.

Looking for a job now? View our current pharmaceutical and biotech job openings.

Thanks, but no thanks: Finding clarity in the workplace by saying no

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Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir. Yes, boss. We say yes all the time. Now it’s time to work up the courage to say no. No to that last day-to-day task that will send you over the edge. No to the change in work hours. No to the decisions being made in a process that works just fine. No to the new promotion if it’s not quite right. No to hiring a new employee who doesn’t fit the bill. And no to the new job if it doesn’t scream yes.

We’re not suggesting you say no to anything and everything you’re asked to do in the workplace. We are, however, suggesting that you express your opinion when it comes to major decisions that will affect the workplace, the outcome of the product or service you create or provide and your personal life.

Take it personal. Saying yes to everything is good for people pleasing but it’s not always so great for end results. Oftentimes, the big yes or no questions actually affect our personal lives. A yes may keep us at work an extra hour each day or keep us so busy that we’re unable to concentrate on everything else we’ve said yes to over the years. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re not a team player. It means you’re taking the lead to call the shots because if you’re being asked a question the ball is in your court, after all.

Plan b. If you’re a good employee, the reason you’re saying no in the first place isn’t because you’re lazy. It’s because of the impact saying yes will have on your ability to perform in the workplace or on the company as a whole. If you say no because you don’t have time to take on a new project, give an alternative suggestion as to how you can still be of help. If you say no to a promotion because you see the new position as a step in the wrong direction, consider and speak out about the reasoning behind the no while providing answers as to how you could grow into a different area in the department. If you say no to hiring a particular new employee, throw out the names of other people who you feel do fit the bill. Providing reasoning behind the no and suggesting a plan b is key to legitimizing your answer.

Express yourself. You were hired for a reason. Your decision-making skills and authority in the field are part of that reason. So choose to give an honest answer when being asked a question. If there is any fear that your thoughts could be misconstrued, make time for an open, honest and in-person conversation. Emails and texts all too often go misinterpreted due to the lack of tone. Also, be sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to be heard. Thanks can go a long way.

Say it like you mean it. Going against the grain can be a challenge. Accept it. There is a fine balance between being inappropriately demanding or bossy and expressing an opinion in a manner that demands consideration. Choose your words and tone wisely. Speak calmly rather than out of spite, anger or fear. Look your boss, peer or employee in the eye. Demand to be heard. Call for a discussion. See what happens when you ask for clarity and careful consideration rather than just being a yes-man or woman.

Finding yourself in a position where your opinions and decisions aren’t being valued or considered? Take a look at our current job openings to see if there’s a fit for you here.

The pursuit of happiness: How to find your dream job

How to find your dream job

To say that most people are unhappy with their jobs is an understatement. According to an 2013 article by the New York Daily News, 70% of Americans are dissatisfied with their current careers. And many statistics show that number is, unfortunately, on the incline. Whether you’re underpaid, overworked, not loving what you’re doing or all of the aforementioned, there are ways to turn that frown upside down.

If you’re looking for the next door to open, first, you must prepare for what’s behind it. There’s a smart way to go about finding that perfect job. After all, there are bills to pay. So play it safe with these four ways to find your dream job.

1. Who are you? Aside from meeting basic monetary means, sense of purpose is the single most important factor in defining your job as one of your dreams or just another means to exist. Think way back to the good old days when your parents used to read you bedtime stories. In one of the classics by Lewis Carroll, the main character Alice is asked by a very fictional character, “Who are you?” Even today, as adults, this question has it’s value. The first place to start when on the pursuit of happiness, is within. Ask yourself what it is that you love most and what it is you are most qualified to do. If you’re not totally sure, ask your husband, wife or partner, ask your co-workers and peers. Oftentimes, an outside perspective helps us to understand who we really are. Know your aspirations as well as your qualifications. Now, think about what career might enable you to pair the two. Start here. When you follow your heart, finances oftentimes fall into place too.

2. Build yourself up. Your dreams may stay in the clouds if you don’t work for them. As our Motivation Monday quotes say, you can’t just dream. You must do. Your idea of ultimate success may be far-fetched for now, so do your research. Find out what it takes to get there and make a plan. Do you need another degree? Do you need to work a few years here and another few years there to qualify for your dream job? Once you know what will be required for you to reach your ultimate career heights, create an achievable timeline and make strides towards your first goal. Oftentimes, to get to our peak we must take the appropriate stepping stones to get where we need to go.

3. You gotta catch them all. Pokemon Go is all the craze. 2016 is as close as it gets to The Jetsons. We are literally and virtually everywhere. If there isn’t someone physically, in front of us, we tend to look down directly into the depths of the cyber space found in our handheld devices. And we can’t pretend that those who are looking for their next hire, aren’t looking there too, because they are. Go ahead, Google yourself. What pops up? How you appear virtually could factor in greatly as to whether or not you get that next job or not. Revisit your LinkedIn profile and tailor it to fit your skill set with keywords that may help you fall into the hands of someone hiring for your desired position. (Need help? Find out how to build a better LinkedIn profile here.) Filter through each place you find yourself and be sure all content associated with your name is appropriate for your higher ups to see you as a credible individual they’d want to hire as a part of their team.

4. Needle in a haystack. Good jobs can be nearly impossible to find, that is, if you aren’t sure where to look. So stop asking Craig. Do you know Craig (from Craig’s List)? Yeah, chances are, he doesn’t know you either. Personal connection is the easiest way to get your foot in the door. Do you know someone who already works in the facility you want to be a part of? Take them out for lunch. Ask them how they got their job and if they have any advice or ins for you. If you don’t personally know of someone with an in, find one! Recruiters like Phil Ellis Associates are here to help you find your dream jobs. We already have the much-important connection you’re looking for. Check out our current job openings here and let us know how we can help you find and land your dream job.

How to plan for (and actually take) your paid vacation

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Everyone could use a break from the daily grind from time to time. That’s why we have paid vacations, right?

But according to Project: Time Off (a coalition founded to educate Americans about the benefits of time off), 55% or 658 million days of paid vacation actually go unused each year in the U.S. because we can’t seem to free ourselves from the workplace.

Feeling tethered to our careers seems like a good thing on the surface, as far as career stability goes, but a recent study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 77% of managers poled stated that employees who take vacations are more productive than employees who don’t and 78% of them agreed that vacation time aided in job satisfaction. The reality is, the more vacation time we actually take, the more likely we will stay happy with our jobs and the longer we’ll stay with our employer.

So how can we best detach, physically get away, clear our minds?

Incentivize yourself. When your dog does his tricks, he gets a treat. So why not think of your scenario in the same way. Dangle your own carrot so to speak. When you close your eyes, what first comes to mind? An umbrellaed margarita waiting for you on the beach? A luxurious spa decked to the nines? An outdoor trek under canopies of lush, green trees? Pick a place. Any place. And commit to getting things done in the office or lab or wherever it is you call work so that you can treat yourself when the time comes.

Plan in advance. Is there a time of year that seems a tad less busy than another month? Choosing to go on a vacation during a time of year that’s easier on you also makes things easier on your team when you’re gone. When you get back, you’ll have less catching up to do too. Plan your trip at least two months out. This will give you time to get anything accomplished you’ll need to have done prior to leaving.

Set it in stone. We all say we want to go here and adventure there but how often do we really pack our bags and board a flight? Once you’ve picked out your destination, selected a date and secured the time off with your boss, make the move! Lock down your vacation by booking your flight and accommodations. With money already out of your pocket, you’ll really lose out if you don’t take the trip.

Make a list. It’s 2016 and we all have these things we call smart phones. Thanks to these devices small enough to travel with us, we have internet no matter where we go and that means we have access to Netflix (and chill) or work all the time. So how can we really take a break? Whether you’re super techie and set your dates on your Apple Watch or you’re old school and like to hand-write your deadlines and appointments out on paper, get out your calendar. Think of everything that you need to do before you leave that you and only you can do and assign yourself a date and a time to get it all done before you leave. Ask a coworker to step-in for tasks or questions they can handle while you’re gone. Set goals. Prioritize the list by finishing the things that will make you feel the greatest relief first. Fulfill them. Once you’re on your way to the tropical islands be smart and put your smart phone away for a bit. Just like our phones, we need a little time to recharge.

Let the world know. Before you say your sayonaras to your coworkers, check in with your boss with a plan. Before your higher-ups sign off on the plan, be sure to agree on your accessibility. It would do us all good to have a legitimate time off the grid with no ifs, ands or buts, however, the reality is that someone might just need you. Set your boundaries. Limit the time you agree to be on the phone in the case of emergency and try not to check your inbox. Checking your email on day five may make you feel like you’re climbing Mount Everest so be sure to let all of your close contacts know you’ll be hitting the high road soon and set up an out-of-office auto-reply email message so that your inbox doesn’t get inundated while you’re out. In general, most people within your place of work and outside of it will be respectful of your well-deserved time off and won’t flood your inbox while you’re away.

Not getting enough paid vacation? Check out our job openings here.

7 steps to success: How to impress your boss on day 1

Businessmen shaking hands and greeting each other cheerfully

So you got the job and today is the big day. It’s your first day in your new position and maybe the butterflies are floating around in that anxious stomach of yours and you’re thinking, “How do I impress my boss and coworkers?” Let’s break it down.

Follow the seven simple steps below and you’ll be sure to make a great impression on your first day.

Timing is everything. This is the simplest step you can take to make a good impression on the first day (and the last day, for that matter) of your new job. Arrive early. (About 10 minutes early shows you’re willing to go above and beyond. More than that might be too much.) Leave late. It’s that easy.

Q & A. Now is the best time to learn. More than likely, there is already a plan in place for training with particular members of your new team who have reserved time out of their day just for you. So do your part. Ask when things might not seem so clear. While you want to demonstrate efficiency in the workplace, everyone knows that the new guy (or lady) will need a little assistance the first few days in their new role. Showing that you’re eager to learn is imperative as a new hire.

Take notes. Bring a notepad and pen with you on your first day. Jot down the answers to those questions you asked as well as other tidbits of information you think you may not remember on down the road. It can be a challenge to retain all of the information you’re given in the first week of work. Use your notes to refresh your memory each morning before heading in.

Let’s break the ice! Finally! It’s lunch break. This is the time when you really get to know your peers. Although first days are often exhausting, it’s the perfect time to put your Girl Scout or Cub Scout days to the test and make new friends. Ask about your team member’s roles in the company. Taking the time to find out more about your co-worker’s positions as well as about their personal lives shows that you care and helps you understand how you fit in the puzzle. Make sure your peers know you’re a team player.

Show your pearly whites. It’s a universal greeting. So share a smile with your new co-workers and higher-ups. It shows you’re excited to be where you are and your excitement to be a part of the company.

Bring something to the table. When a company decides to hire you it’s because you have something to offer. If you see something that could use a little TLC or a procedure that could be simplified, offer your ideas. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes is just what the hiring manager was looking for.

Please and thank you. Always offer gratitude to those who put in a little extra time to get you trained. A thank you email is a nice way to give thanks so before you leave for the day put in a little extra time to say thanks.

Are you looking for a new job? View our current openings here.

5 interview questions every employer should ask & every applicant should be prepared for

Interview
Remember ABC’s “Who wants to be a millionaire?” Well, there really are million dollar questions that could make or break your future outside of television game shows. If you’re an applicant for a job opening, the good news is this is your cheat sheet. And if you’re in human resources, the same goes for you. Below are five questions both employers and applicants should take the time to consider. The way in which these million dollar questions are answered may just make a big difference in your career no matter which side you’re on.


Q: Why are you here?
A: If you’re an interviewee, don’t panic when you’re asked this question. The interviewer knows you had an appointment with he or she. The goal of asking you why you’re there isn’t intended to throw you off. The intention is to find out a few things about you. Think about it. Why are you there? What has you in the market for a new job? Are you unhappy with your current position? If so, how can you word yourself so that you don’t necessarily talk down about the company which currently employs you. If you were laid off, think about how you can discuss this with the most positive outlook without downplaying your skill level and expertise and without placing blame. If you’re looking for more money, how can you phrase the need for compensation in a way that doesn’t make you look like you’re only in it for the money. Talk about your dreams and aspirations without sounding cheesy but by giving solid qualifying facts that speak loudly of you as a future employee and why the job is right for you.


Q: What would you do in your first 100 days on the job if you were hired for this position?
A: The goal of this question is to see where a job candidate’s mind is in the grand scheme of things–how the interviewee would work on a day-to-day basis, how they plan, how they would apply themselves to the role. If someone stumbles when they answer this question, chances are they haven’t even put much thought into how they could be of benefit to the company. And that should be the goal, right? Although a candidate doesn’t necessarily know the ins and outs of the job until they’re hired, the answer an employer should be looking for has less to do with the answer and more to do with how what is said illustrates one’s work ethic, self-motivation and ability to lead the team.


Q: From everything you know about this company and this role, how do you think you’d make a contribution?
A: It happens more often than you’d think. But if someone walks into an interview without doing much research on the company or position they’re interviewing for, they are hands-down not the right candidate for the job. If they have no interest in learning about the higher ups, the tasks and goals for the position they’re seeking or the company itself prior to the interview, they certainly won’t have any interest a couple years into the job. Those who come prepared with more than a generic knowledge of the company show work-ethic and passion for the job at-hand. Those who don’t do their research, well, they simply look slack from the get-go. If you find out about the job through a biotech or pharmaceutical recruiter like Phil Ellis Associates, use your recruiter to your advantage. Field basic questions to your recruiter so that when it comes time to interview, you are well-versed on the company, role and goals of the HR department.


Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A:  Passion about the future is important. Many can talk a big game, but talk won’t go far in the long run. Those who have goals for the future tend to show it–their faces light up when they talk about career possibilities. Generic answers don’t do much for those doing the hiring. Yes, everyone wants a considerable raise. And, yes, everyone wants a promotion, a bigger house and more vacation. If you’re being interviewed, think about what there is to gain. Why did you get into the biotech or pharmaceutical world in the first place? Is it because you were passionate about finding a cure for a particular disease? Is it because you want your name to go down in the history books like Alexander Fleming’s? Be honest. Tell your unique story. Truth sells.


Q: Do you have any questions for me?
A: If the answer is “no,” an employer’s answer back to the candidate should be the same. Even those on the shy end of the spectrum should come to the interview with a list of questions they have for the HR department. Questions about compensation, moving packages, bonus structure and hours are a place to start. But this is another place where a candidate can really shine by doing a bit of research. When the tables are turned, the questions the interviewee asks when he or she has a chance to do the interviewing could be a make or break.


Looking for a new biotech or pharmaceutical career? Submit your resume to us here.




How to build a better resume: Five tips to get in the door

Build a better resume

A good resume could be your golden ticket to a better job in a new environment making more money than you are earning now.

If you are looking for a job miles away from your current location, face-to-face time isn’t always possible. There are a few tricks to the art of building a better resume that you might want to know before applying for your next job. Learn how to make yourself look good on paper with these five easy tips:

Tip 1. Keep it simple. Seems simple in itself, right? But oftentimes, it’s a challenge for us to compile and then compress all of our merits and skills on one sheet of unlined paper. Remember, though, that most resumes are scanned–not read–in about 10 seconds or less. So think of your resume as a marketing tool in which you are selling yourself. You have a 30-second spot. Go! Are you going to ramble just to get as many words on the table as you can? Or do you think it through and choose your words wisely. The fewer you use, the more memorable they will be. Just do it. And, they’ll be lovin’ it.

Tip 2. Name your assets in numbers. Are you a manager? Great. How many people do you manage? Did something you or your team accomplish result in a large ROI (return on investment)? If so, how many figures are you talking about? Numbers speak louder than descriptive words. Remember to add this value to your resume. Lay the cold, hard facts. Numbers don’t lie. Quantify why you’re qualified.

Tip 3. Cater your credentials. One resume doesn’t fit all job descriptions so while your experience is what it is, a little detail work could go a long way. Sure, this could be tedious but it is well-worth landing that job. For each bullet-point you have lined out on your resume, reword your experience so that it falls in line with what human resources has been asked to look for on paper.

Tip 4. Phone a friend. The money is on the line. Why not use the tools at hand? Asking a friend or family member to read over your resume is imperative. You’ve probably looked at it so much that you’ve overlooked a simple grammatical error or forgotten a major achievement worth mentioning. Your friends are your allies. Use them.

Tip 5. Keep it short and sweet. This falls back in line with our first tip but it’s an important one. Although chances are you’ll develop friends in the work place, no one (at this point) wants to hear your whole life story. By abiding by tip number one, you should have no problem following this final step. Try to keep your resume to just one page. It’s so hard! We know. But if you don’t hit those command-z keys to cut from your resume, you might get cut yourself. Snip! Snip!

Looking for a new career? Check out our list of current job openings. Think you have what it takes? Follow our tips and send us your new and improved resume.