1. What is a CV?

Creating a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is not necessarily an usual thing to do. Your CV is the first method of presenting yourself to your possible future employer and its primary purpose is to secure an interview. SIRE Life Sciences® will help you to create the best possible CV. Your CV can be seen as your summary of life and business card. All relevant aspects should be mentioned in order to give your future employer a complete professional overview. Therefore it is vital, that your CV is well presented and clearly structured .

2. What does the layout of a CV look like?

1. Personal details

• Name

• Address

• Phone and cellphone number

• Email address

 

2. Work experience

• Most recent listed first

• Include dates of employment

• Company name and if it’s part of a bigger group

• Location

• Summarize your experience, skills, achievement and responsibilities

 

3. Education & training

• Most recent listed first

• Degree level qualification, include the degree type

• The university attended

• Study subjects

• Grade achieved

• Year of completion (if it’s not completed, be sure to mention this)

 

4. Skills

• Languages

• Software knowledge

• Industry specific skills and qualifications

 

5. Interests

• Summarize your interests and hobbies

• Write down your achievements

 

Keep in mind that when writing a CV everything you include is relevant to the job you’re applying for and make sure the overall presentation of your CV looks professional:

• Your CV must look clean and professional, avoiding too many different colours

• Sections and headings should be clearly marked

• Stick to a standard letter type

• Double check your CV for spelling mistakes and ask several people to read it! Two see more than one.

3. What should be the key criteria for writing my CV?

Present your qualifications and skills and demonstrate that you are suitable for the job. Write your CV matching the job’s criteria and the company’s values and statements.

If, for example, you want to work for a pharmaceutical company, put the emphasis on the points that are relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. Make sure your CV is always truthful and up-to-date. Identify your key competencies and skills relevant to the job and keep in mind that your CV is a snapshot of your professional career. Refrain from including irrelevant information or making it too long and unnecessarily detailed.

If you need more tips or you want to receive examples of CV’s, please do not hesitate to contact us.

4. What is a cover/motivation letter?

After you have completed/updated your CV, it is time to write a cover or motivation letter. This will be the first, more personal item a potential employer will receive from you. Keep in mind that this letter is your chance to stand out from the crowd and get through to the next round, so be sure to put extra thought in to writing this letter.

5. How should I write a cover/motivation letter?

Make sure the cover letter is compact, employers favor a shorter letter that’s to the point, you can sum up your work experience in just a couple of sentences. Start out by spelling out the job and the name of the company you are applying for and if possible, put the name of a mutual contact in the first sentence. Write your qualifications and give a practical example on how these qualifications were used in your professional life. If you have an anecdote describing your experience or  Be sure to trigger the employer to get in touch with you at the bottom of the letter. It should be noted that the letter’s overall appearance has to be business-like.

                                                                 
Send the letter as an attachment and format it like a business letter with your address at the top, then the date followed by the address of the recipient. Use the same font as you used in your CV.

 

Write a letter that will be different and outstanding, make it personal, but remember to stay formal. Make sure you provide relevant and interesting information that will impress the reader. Keep in mind however, that you have to be sincere and not too exaggerating, this might bring you in a difficult situation during the interview.

1. What is an interview?

Interviewing is a core part in the process of getting a job. It’s the first real personal contact between you and the employer s. You will both have set your objective, so it’s of the utmost importance that you prepare yourself well and know what to expect from the interview. At SIRE Life Sciences® we want to help you to become a confident discussion partner during the entire interview process. Hiring- and Human Resource managers will check your suitability for the job by asking questions that give you the opportunity to prove your abilities and personality.

2. What are the different types of interviews?

We have compiled an overview of the different interview types and - formats:

Face-to-face interview – This type of interview will be the most common and consists of multiple stages. You will likely start with a qualification interview with the HR department, then they could send you over to the line manager or the director of the company.

Panel interview – There will be 3 to 4 company members present during your interview. They will all have their own objectives and will discuss your interview afterwards you after the interview. This way they can make decisions more efficiently.

Group interviews – This would most likely be during the first round. You will be interviewed together with other applicants for the same position. There are often group exercises and the interviewers will observe how you work in a team.

Telephone interview – This type of interview will be used for an initial screening. They will assess your motivation, skills and what you were exactly involved in at your current employer. This type of interview will be used when there is a long distance between you and the employer, when there is not enough time or when there are any doubts about you being the right candidate.

3. What are the different type of interview formats?

Technical interview
Mostly performed for jobs requiring a (high) technical knowledge. You will most likely be asked questions that are focused on real or hypothetical technical problems. The interviewers will be interested in your thought process.

Competency base interview
The competencies and qualities required for the job will be assessed. This interview is all about showing your skills and abilities to work according to the standards held by the company. You will be asked to answer questions using examples based on your own experience.

Portfolio based interview
You might be asked to bring a portfolio of your work to the interview. The interviewers will have an in-depth discussion about your previous work and experiences, how you analyse problems and how you solve them.

Case study interview

You will be presented with a real or hypothetical business problem. You will be assessed on your analysis of the problem, how you classify the key issues, how you follow a particular line of thinking and how you organize your beliefs. This kind of interviewing is generally done during a final interview or assessment.

4. What can I expect from the interview?

Within our long-lasting experience of preparing both managers and candidates for interviews, we have found the following 4 steps take place during an interview:
 


1. Introduction
If you arrive at the company and have to wait for your interviewer, take the time to check the lobby for relevant company information. We would advise you to stand, instead of sitting down. Be polite to everyone, as they might become your new colleagues.
Be prepared and start communicating at the moment of introduction. To break the ice, prepare an opening quote to start off with.
Remember that the first impression is one of the most important aspects of the interviewing process.
Be sure to thank the interviewer for the time they have given you.
Go into dialogue with your interviewer. Keep your answers short and relevant and don’t forget to take time to ask questions yourself.
At the first interview it is of the utmost importance that you show your motivation, ambition and the will to succeed. Make clear why you want the job and why you are the best candidate for that specific position.

 

2. The job
This part consists of the cross selling of your knowledge: your CV, the job specification and your common knowledge.
Show your ‘added value’ to the job profile.
Imagine yourself in the hiring managers shoes, what would he or she be looking for?
Remember what your USP’s (Unique Selling Points) are. Which ones are relevant to the job that you’re applying for?
For every USP you mention, make a relevant example about your experience and achievements at your current or previous job.
Your recruitment consultant will inform you of the reasons behind the vacancy and what kind of specifics the hiring manager is looking for. Keep these in mind and sell yourself, in honesty, to your interviewer(s).

 

3. Questions
Always ask the interviewer questions. If you don’t ask questions, it implies that you already have a full understanding of the job, the company and the people you will work with. This can be interpreted as a lack of interest!

Through questioning you can take control of the interview. Ask questions about a subject you know a lot about; this is the time to show off your knowledge and enthusiasm.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to ask questions you could simply find the answer to on the company website. Also be careful with questions that could be interpreted as humiliating or criticizing.


4. Closing
This is the most important part of the interview. This is the time to check if you understand each other, if you’re on the ‘same page’.
Are there any doubts, is there anything you didn’t make clear during the interview, do they have any unanswered questions?
Ask about the rest of the process. What is the next step?
If you are really enthusiastic about the job and you want to proceed, make a short summary about the interview. Where does the company stand, what do they expect from their new employee and who will you work with? This summary shows that you have listened and understood what they are looking for.
Be thankful for the manager’s time and effort to have this interview with you.

Questions you can ask yourself before the interview:

  • Why should the company hire me?
  • Why do I want to work for this company?
  • Why do I want this particular position?
  • Does my experience match the company’s needs?
  • How can I be of added value to this company?
  • How will I get myself across to the interviewer?
  • What kind of questions do I have about the company, job profile and the people that work there?
  • Do I have a clear motivation for the position and the company?
  • How did I prepare myself?
  • What else can I do?


Some additional tips:

  • Do research on the company website and have a look at social media websites like LinkedIn, Xing, etc.
  • Always print out your CV for the people who will be involved in the process.
  • Wear business attire. Your local recruitment consultants will advise you on this.

1. Why should I use social media as a professional platform?

Social media is a powerful forum present yourself to the world. Being aware of the fact that everybody is checking out everybody can be used as a benefit. SIRE Life Sciences® would like to give you some tips and tricks to get yourself well presented on the commonly used (international) social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Xing.

When you are looking for a job, it is important that possible new employers are also able to find you. Due to the fact that you can connect with people who will be relevant to your profession, your network will benefit you. SIRE Life Sciences® recommends everyone to create a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is the best way to present yourself in a professional way on the internet; it is your online CV.

2. Wat voor informatie moet ik delen op LinkedIn?

Consequent in de informatie die je deelt
Het profiel van je LinkedIn-pagina zou er ongeveer hetzelfde moeten uitzien als je papieren CV. Ook informatie die je deelt via andere social mediakanalen moet gelijkenissen vertonen met je LinkedIn-profiel. Het allerbelangrijkste is echter dat je eerlijk en consistent bent.

Google jezelf

Het internet staat vol met informatie, controleer wat er over jou te vinden is. Zoek ook naar foto’s van jezelf. Je kunt er van uitgaan dat je huidige en vroegere werkgevers je ook opgezocht hebben op het web. Het is zeer waarschijnlijk dat toekomstige werkgevers dit ook zullen doen. Het is fijn te weten wat ze tegen zullen komen.

3. Should I use Facebook professionally?

Facebook is mostly used to share your private life. We presume you don’t have any inappropriate photos, texts or videos on your profile, but please be aware that your future employer will probably have a look at your profile. We advise you to check your privacy settings, so you know who has access to your profile.

4. How should I build my network?

It is always helpful to have your own network; you might need it one day. Start building one as soon as possible. The key to building a successful network is to keep it relevant! Start connecting with people you know from your business, within your field of expertise and be sure to add recruiters & headhunters. Quality and relevance are two keywords for building your network.

Networking is a two way street. If you help people, people will help you! Maybe not directly, but you’ll never know when networking with someone will come in handy. A good professional network is key in building a successful career.

Start expanding your network today, by joining us on LinkedIn and/or following us on Facebook. Our LinkedIn group alone consists of 40.000+ professionals. Don’t miss out!

1. When can I expect an assessment?

SIRE Life Sciences® would like to help you prepare for assessments. For many companies, assessments are a common practice in the final stages of the interviewing process. Preparing and understanding these assessments can be of crucial importance to help you land your dream job. SIRE Life Sciences® highly recommends you to practice assessment prior to your interview.

2. What kind of assessments can I expect?

There are different assessments, most common are IQ (intelligence) or EQ (emotional intelligence) tests, or a combination of both. Assessments are executed in order to test your intelligence or emotional intelligence. Researchers divided the human intelligence into different groups, IQ and EQ tests help to identify the following (main) groups:
 

Kinaesthetic | physical intelligence

Logical | Insight and logical intelligence

Interpersonal | Inner-knowledge

Visual / Spatial | Visual and spatial awareness

Naturalistic | Relation to surroundings and the World

Linguistics | Knowledge of languages, vocabulary and grammar

Interpersonal | Knowledge of people an emotions

Musical | Musically intelligence

3. What is an IQ test?

I.Q. (intelligence quotient) in general, is an assessment of your ability to think and reason. IQ score is a standardized way of comparing these abilities with the majority of people the same age as you are. A score of 100 means that compared to people in your general age group, you have an average intelligence. Keep in mind, there are many factors that can have a negative impact on your score. For instance: if you are not feeling well while you are taking the test, your score might be lower.

Additionally, IQ is not a measurement of a person’s abilities in life. IQ score fails to measure things such as manual dexterity, knowledge and musical talent, as well as a great deal of other abilities that may lead one to many different successes in life. However, your score on an IQ test will give you a pretty accurate indication of the ability you possess to think, reason and solve problems.

4. What is an EQ test?

Emotional Intelligence is the abilities to identify and manage emotions in day-to-day activities. Through those tests you and your future employer can determine a particular aspect of your intelligence such as logical reasoning, match skills, spatial skills, verbal skills and understanding analogies.

It is not so much about how ‘smart’ you are, but more about how you cope with things. Like an IQ test, the score on your EQ test may vary. For example, if you’re distracted by something, your score may be lower compared to when you are completely focused. The difference will however never be more than approximately 20 points. It’s more common for an employer to ask for an IQ test than an EQ test.