How to Compete for Remote Life Science Jobs
SummaryIn the US, 75% of Life Science organisations indicated in a 2021 national hiring survey that they are reconsidering, implementing, or expanding their remote working options. Life Science organisations across the globe including Syneos Health, IQVIA and ICON have already created hundreds of new opportunities for remote working in the industry, but competition for these roles is still tough.
- Author Company: PharmiWeb.Jobs
- Author Name: Lucy Walters
- Author Email: Lucy.Walters@pharmiweb.com
- Author Website: https://www.pharmiweb.jobs/
In the US, 75% of Life Science organisations indicated in a 2021 national hiring survey that they are reconsidering, implementing, or expanding their remote working options. Life Science organisations across the globe including Syneos Health, IQVIA and ICON have already created hundreds of new opportunities for remote working in the industry, but competition for these roles is still tough.
When applying for a remote role, there are some things you can do to set yourself apart from your peers. In this article, we outline 9 things you should do to make your applications for remote Life Science jobs stand out…
Make Sure Remote Working is Right for You
Not everyone will thrive in a remote working environment, so first make sure it’s right for you. Start by making a list of things you want in your next role, what you enjoyed about previous roles, what motivates you and why you want to work remotely. This will give you clarity on whether your current job dissatisfaction is down to your physical working environment, or if it’s really the role itself.
Focus Your Job Search
Regardless of how desperately you want to work remotely, if you apply for jobs you aren’t actually interested in just to be able to work from home, you’ll find it much harder to be self-motivated at work. Focus your job search just as you would for an in-person role, and make sure you apply for the jobs that are going to get you out of bed in the morning.
Understand What Employers are Looking for
Although an employer might be hiring a remote role that has the same list of responsibilities as an in-person role, they’ll be looking for slightly different things when it comes to candidate requirements. In general, they will be especially looking for candidates who are:
- Self-motivated and proactive
- Strong problem solvers and communicators
Do your research on job boards to see the most listed requirements for remote roles, and even reach out to people in your network who are either already working or hiring remotely to gain further insight.
Tailor Your CV
Don’t use the same CV for applying for remote and in-person roles, and instead tailor each section to the working environment
- Career summary: if some of the key achievements and experiences you mention were accomplished remotely, make this obvious!
- Experience: if you’ve got remote/hybrid experience, include this after your job title, e.g., “Pharmaceutical Brand Manager (Remote)”. When describing your experience, choose bullet points that demonstrate the key skills needed to successfully work remotely. Whilst you should still highlight these skills if you haven’t worked remotely before, you can also talk about times when you’ve collaborated with colleagues or clients who are remote-based themselves to reinforce your communication skills.
- Education and qualifications: if you’ve completed a qualification virtually, make sure to highlight this. Regardless of whether it was your Life Science degree or a short online course, this will show that you’re a self-starter and can be engaged in work from home.
- Additional skills: soft skills are becoming more important in the Life Science industry, and for remote working, so make sure you highlight these along with your hard skills. You should also detail some of the key tools and software you’ve used to show your computer literacy, as this will be something you need to work independently.
Pay Attention to Location
Some remote jobs will have a location-specific base that you’ll need to be able to commute to, so consider this when applying for roles, and highlight your proximity to the base if relevant. On the other end of the scale, if you’re applying for an entirely remote role that’s in another country, there are some additional things you can do to stand out.
For example, if you’re applying for a job in the UK that involves working with UK clients/customers, but you’ll be working remotely from Switzerland, you’ll need to demonstrate an understanding of the UK market, including recent developments, opportunities, and challenges. Stay up to date with industry news and show that you’re just as invested in the opportunity as you would be if it was an in-office job requiring relocation.
Update LinkedIn and Grow Your Network
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is tailored towards remote working, e.g., by writing that you’re interested in remote opportunities in your ‘About’ section. As competition for remote jobs can be extremely high, you should also proactively grow your network with employers and professionals already working remotely to gain additional insight into how to land your ideal remote job, and to create valuable relationships across the industry.
Gather Relevant References and Testimonials
Whilst you can’t tell your referees what to write about you, if you’re gathering testimonials on LinkedIn or a personal website, you could ask the person to talk specifically about a project etc., that you delivered remotely. This will prove your suitability to work remotely, and clearly show the results you can achieve away from an office.
Practice and Prepare for Virtual Interviews
During a virtual interview, interviewers won’t just be looking at how you answer questions but also how you communicate virtually as a whole. Read our article on how to survive a zoom job interview for more tips on how to prepare for and be successful in virtual Life Science job interviews.
Ask for Flexibility
Many Life Science employers are still finding it difficult to fill their roles, so they may be open to flexibility if they find the right candidate. If you’ve found a job that’s ideal for you but isn’t being advertised as remote, then there’s no harm asking if this is open to some flexibility – if the role allows it. Not every organisation will be able to accommodate remote/hybrid working, but it’s worth an ask.
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