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.

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 build a better LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn Profile

There are more than 400 million LinkedIn users worldwide so how can you stand out amongst the crowd? Build a better LinkedIn profile using these simple steps.

Put a face to your name. Seems egotistical but putting a face to your name is one of the most important steps you can take to get your head in the door to a new job by way of the internet. This is your first and most visible impression for potential employers. By simply adding a headshot to your profile, you’ll be seven times more likely to be found during a search.

When you’re adding a photo, just be sure that you use a professional image–you should be wearing professional attire and the background should either speak to your industry or remain static. The image should be high resolution for web (72 DPI or simply put, not pixelated after uploading). Whatever you do, don’t let the gray default profile image speak for you. All it will say is that you’re lazy, boring or not real.

Me, myself & I. Write in the first person or use “I” when writing about your work experience. It’s the easiest way to do it and it sounds most authentic to the reader.

Headliner. Your professional headline is the place where many professionals insert their current job title and that’s great if your current title speaks highly of you and if you’re looking for a job with a similar name. But you can save the fancy (or not so fancy) title for your current experience section within your LinkedIn profile. Use relevant keywords within your target industry to get you on the radar. LinkedIn has a great tool to help you in the creativity department. When you go to edit your headline, you should see a link that says, “See what others in your industry are using.” Click the link to see what other people are calling themselves.

Break it up. Forget the lengthy paragraphs when it comes to your skills and expertise! If someone wants to read a book, they’ll head to Barnes and Noble. Bulleted lists of your experiences, accomplishments and duties will serve you just fine and they’ll be less likely to be looked over.

When summarizing your experience, be sure to continue to use those keywords relevant to your target audience so that your face is more likely to come up in a search.

Make it easy. Did you know that people looking at your profile from outside of your network won’t be able to see your contact info? Be sure to include a current phone number and email address in your summary so that those looking in from the outside can reach you.

Link up.  You have the ability to add links in almost every section of your profile. Use this to your advantage so that your links will serve as your virtual portfolio. Have you been interviewed in a magazine or newspaper or even written something yourself? Do you have your own website or is there information on a former employer’s site that describes a project you worked on? Use links to serve as proof of your accomplishments.

Outside approval. Make friends. Reintroduce yourself to old classmates, clients and coworkers. Endorse them and chances are they’ll reciprocate the favor.

Get together. Join groups within your industry and within your community (or your desired communities) to increase your visibility.

Introduce yourself. You know the names of the companies you want to work for, so go ahead and follow them. This subtle introduction is a perfect place to keep yourself educated on these businesses who may just call you up for an interview one day.

Perfect 10. Do yourself a favor and ask ten of your closest former or current coworkers, bosses or friends with similar industry experience for a LinkedIn recommendation. While you can create an impeccable LinkedIn profile for yourself, it’s what other people say about you that might just leverage you in the door. Don’t be shy when you’re asking for this favor. Be specific about what you’re looking for and the skills you want your cohorts to talk up.

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.