- Global Pharma News & Resources

Pharmaceutical Curriculum Vitae, Works of Art or Dissertations?

Pharmaceutical Curriculum Vitae, Works of Art or Dissertations?


Unless it paints the right picture you’re letting the side down!In a depressed job market, an employer is likely to receive 50+ CVs per job advertised from 5 or more Preferred Agencies and many more from agencies who ‘piggy back’ in. So now, more than ever, your CV needs to stand out and be tailored to the role and client and submitted by an agency with valid access.
Last Updated: 27-Aug-2010

The more senior you are, the more the “one CV fits all” becomes dangerous when the market is tight because if that CV is submitted and rejected you may be excluded from valid jobs there with other agencies for some months to come as a result.

After 15 years examining what works and what doesn’t in terms of securing interviews for thousands of candidates, we know a thing or two about how to present a candidate in the best light and indeed what keywords result in CV acceptance. Scientists and physicians seldom have the time or inclination to self promote and we routinely see a lack of skill in distinguishing between job description and actual job content. The tendency to list tasks without thought or quantitative data can be quite staggering.

When conducting competence interviews we usually find candidates have not only a higher level of competence in some areas than others but also valid gaps in knowledge and experience or significant achievements which can be highlighted. Clients now increasingly request “best 3 candidates only please” and “within 3-5 days” as so many candidates are unemployed; a lack of focus on company, portfolio and therapy area “fit”, role remit or self promotion is no longer apt and if you want to succeed.

So how can you paint that perfect picture...?

• Spend time analyzing your career citing achievements, skill level and writing a good profile in accord with the many guidance documents around including CSL’s below

• When you see the job advertised look around, several agencies are likely to have that role. Choose 1-2 carefully, find out what they know about the role, do they already have the expertise working with that client, what are their likes and dislikes - ask “Who can I speak to there that you have placed in the last 6 months”, sound out how often they have really succeeded.

• Check if the agency is actually on the Preferred Supplier List; if necessary call the company to ask. A valid agent should be able to provide you with the Company Job Description immediately so you can review it against your current CV and describe to you the process for submission. Many companies now have agency internet portals and CVs can only be sent in if the agency has the password access. “Spec” CVs end up in the bin and you can be fooled into thinking it’s there when it may not be.

• Share your career concerns, development needs, personal requirements and future intent - take that hour or longer with the recruiter to enhance your CV, allow the recruiter to fairly represent you for the right jobs, that’s their job and what the client is paying them to do and they can help you.

 If you’d like some pointers you can access CSL’s 2 page Top Tips via this article at

If you see a role you’re interested in with us or want to register please apply through the site setting up your relevant job alert categories in full or call me our registration hotline on 01932 219320.

CSL focuses entirely on temporary and permanent European positions in Clinical R&D, Registration, Data Management, Clinical Pharmacology, Medical Affairs, Medico-Marketing, Pharmaceutical Physicians, GxP QA. GCP Compliance, Project Management and Safety/Medical Information. Our team are unable to invest heavily in discussions prospectively but gladly do so for specific job applications or career counsel. We can rarely assist candidates who do not have EU based work experience in industry in the current market

Avril Horn PhD
Senior Consultant
Tel: 01932 219321