Thursday, December 17, 2009

Job Prospects for Clinical Research Professionals in Cent NJ and Greater Philly

For an experienced Senior Clinical Research Operations Professional in the Central New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia ( area, recruiters tell me that prospects are slim and none for at least the next quarter. Because of major mergers and extensive layoffs within the Biotech/Pharma industry in this corridor, companies are not planning to hire, for the most part. And for those few positions that are available, hiring managers receive something like five hundred applications on the very first day of posting.

It takes time to review a resume, so many hiring managers or inside recruiters are using keyword scans to filter resumes, or are quickly eyeballing the opening paragraph for that "certain something" they are seeking. Without a "connection" within the company, it is rare that the person behind the resume is considered as a whole.

Articles and Advice abound on networking sites. There's no way to read them all, and I find myself reeling with information overload. And for every piece of advice that I read, there's an equal and opposite point of view out there. Career Coaches and professional resume writers are working Linked-In and competing for your business. How do we pick and choose from all the "free advice" and "solutions" to be had?

I heard yesterday that for positions paying $100,000 or more, it would take 60 to 80 introductions to Company decision makers in order to land a job. Oh...and if your previous salary was higher than that, expect to be paid MUCH LESS in today's market. And if your opening paragraph contains words like "over twenty years of experience," it's almost a "death sentence" for job prospects.

When I was gainfully employed, recruiters would call daily, trying to entice me to make a career change. And if I sent my resume to a one of them, he was "there for me" like a best friend, trying to match my skills and experience to one of the positions in his collection. It was in his best interest to negotiate on my behalf for the best possible salary and perks.

And now, with jobs so scarce (and their commissions few and far between), it is more likely that a recruiter will try to convince me to accept a position that pays MUCH LESS than my previous position--maybe HALF as much. Or worse!

So we keep plugging away, working the networks, hoping to spot a shining beam of light to lead us through the "dark forest" of the unemployed.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Confessions of a Senior Clinical Operations Novice Job Searcher

Having worked uninterrupted for a long time as a successful Senior Clinical Operations professional, most recently at the Senior Director level, searching actively for a position is a completely new experience for me. I'm a novice, and sort of proud of it, to be perfectly frank!

But it's a hard slog out there for everyone in the job market these days, and for someone like me, a hugely daunting time. Yes there's a ton of stuff out there to teach us the best networking techniques, what to do, what not to do. One just simply cannot read it all, or retain it all, or know which articles are good and which are not. So what do we do?

So I come to you, up to my eyeballs in Networking Alligators (does that phrase date me?) hoping you'll find this blog and see the (shining light) about the mutually beneficial things we can do to help each other. Simply put: I need to find a new job, and you probably need my experience, skills, judgment, problem-avoidance and problem-solving abilities, communication and collaboration skills, to help propel your Clinical Research candidate (or any other project) to a successful, timely, on budget conclusion.

So here's my resume: Tomorrow, more about the trials and tribulations of an out-of-work (no stigma there, in these times, right?)

Michelle Alton:
Senior Clinical Operations and Data Managment Professional

That is really my LinkedIn profile, since I couldn't paste the text here. I live in Southeastern Pennsylvania so my location preferences would be Central New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia, but would consider more southern east coast locales, if the job was right.

More later!