Contracting: An Increasingly Attractive Career and Lifestyle Choice

The line between work and home life is becoming increasingly blurry, with many of us using mobile devices to stay connected with colleagues throughout the day and into the evening.  Our work lives and our personal lives are in constant competition for our time and attention. This competition for time is one of the reasons why the world of work is changing fast.

At CK, we see career development opportunities in both contract and permanent roles, but increasingly highly skilled people are looking at contracting as one of the ways to help them manage the growing demands on time.

There are perks and benefits of a permanent role like stability, security and pension contributions but there are also perks to being a contractor. More and more people are looking at contract work as an attractive career and lifestyle choice for the following reasons:

  • Higher Earning Potential
    Skilled contractors that are in high demand and short supply are often paid more per hour than their permanent counterparts. Obviously, there are perks and benefits that permanent workers receive such as enhanced pensions, paid leave and sick pay etc. but if you aren’t looking for these, contracting can be highly lucrative.
  • Take Back Control
    Contracting gives you the opportunity to decide what work you take on and when. If you are in a profession that means you can complete work outside of the office, you can also decide when and where you do the work.
  • Avoid Office Politics 
    As a contractor, you are not part of the business on a long term basis so do not have to get involved in jockeying for position or worrying about your next promotion or appraisal.  You can leave work at the end of the day and concentrate on your home life.
  • Flexibility
    If you are not tied to the office 9-5 for 48 weeks of the year, you can decide when you take breaks from contracts and plan holidays without having to worry about your annual allowance.
  • Increased Knowledge and Experience
    Contracting provides you with the opportunity to work with a range of companies on different projects which can accelerate the exposure you get to new experiences, technology and situations.
  • Network
    Building up your professional network through working in different companies and environments means that you can become well connected quickly. Building and maintaining good relationships with people you meet through contract work can lead to more work opportunities in the future.
  • See the World
    As a contractor you are likely to be highly skilled and in demand.  If you wanted to broaden your experience and see more of the world, why not consider short to medium contracts in other countries to get a taste of real life and culture in other countries whilst continue to further your professional development.

If you are considering your options as a contractor, the CK team are here to help. Contact us today to discuss your next career move.

If you’re looking to reduce stress, take a look a these four easy steps to leading a healthy work-life balance.


Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News

6 Steps to Landing Your Dream Job in 2019

There is a big difference between a job that simply pays the bills, and a fulfilling career that you are passionate about and enjoy.

According to a LinkedIn survey, sadly less than 30 percent of workers love their job, leaving many feeling like landing a dream job is simply an unattainable fantasy.

However, we believe that with the right strategy, perseverance and planning everyone can find a fulfilling career.

Here are the 6 steps to help you on your way to success, and ultimately achieve your dream job in 2019:


  1. Optimise your CV for algorithm screening

These days, when you apply for a job, algorithms are the first to check over your application. Many companies use software that scan resumes for keywords and qualifications, potentially rejecting candidates long before hiring managers can look over the application.

To make sure your CV gets noticed, optimise it by including the appropriate keywords related to the position. A good tip is to use the specific keywords that the recruiter or employer used in the job description.


  1. Build a strong network

Networking is an essential component of job hunting, and therefore an essential tool in landing your dream job. Hubspot reported that eighty-five percent of jobs are filled through networking.

To build a strong network it is important you stay proactive such as attending networking events and workshops. Alternatively, thanks to the likes of LinkedIn, you can now network from the comfort of your home by simply searching the site for contacts. If you have your eye on a specific job or industry, see if you have any related connections and reach out to them.


  1. Stay organised

Keeping track of all your job applications, networking events, job searches, and interviews can be extremely overwhelming. A survey showed that 26% of job-seekers find the process “extremely stressful”.  We have come up with a few tactical strategies to help you stay organised through your job search.

  • Get ahead of the game with search alerts, ensuring you get notifications every time job sites post a job that matches your skills and abilities.
  • Keep a spreadsheet of jobs, organisations, and deadline/completed application dates.
  • Create individual folders for each company you apply to with a customised and personalised resume, cover letter, full job descriptions, responsibilities, desired skills etc.

The best time of the year to look for jobs is during January/February, due to many feeling the need for change in the New Year. Companies predict this and therefore often start a hiring process at the start of the year.


  1. Take a few risks

Taking risks is often a necessary step in actively pursuing success in your career. Taking a risk is an opportunity to make yourself stand out and show yourself as a confident leader.  Furthermore, it can open you up to a world of possibilities you have yet to consider.

Here are a few examples of risks worth taking, whenever the opportunity arises.

  • Do it alone – Ever wanted the freedom of being your own boss? Consider becoming a contract worker? Find out more here.
  • Make a career change – Making a change for something you are more passionate about will help you feel more dedicated and motivated.
  • Take a job abroad – This will give you the chance to develop different skills such as learning a foreign language, honing social and communication skills, not to mention improve your confidence. Why not start a new job in Switzerland? Get in contact with us to find out more.


  1. Keep learning

The more qualified you are, the higher your chances of finding your ideal job.

Capitalize on your free time and every opportunity that comes your way; sign up for classes, attend seminars, and work on adding professional certifications, or even a degree to your resume. It is always a great idea to gain more knowledge, and with it will come confidence and expertise to help you excel in your career.


  1. Practice your interview techniques

Once you have landed an interview for your dream job, it is essential you make a positive first impression. A survey showed that out of 2,000 hiring managers, 33% knew whether they would hire someone in the first 90 seconds, and 50% of interviewers eliminated candidates based on the way they dressed, acted or walked through the door.

Preparation is key when planning for an interview, ensuring you sell yourself in the best possible light.

  • Analyse your CV and application form in advance
  • Ensure you have a detailed brief of the job description
  • Practice answers to most common interview questions, relating them to the company and position
  • Research the company and job description
  • Print out directions to the interview, and make sure you are on time

Securing your dream job in 2019 won’t happen by itself. This advice will hopefully give you some inspiration on where to start, and how to refine your skills and improve your employability.

Here at the CK Group we are committed to helping you find the right career path for you.Contact us today to see how we can help you land your dream job.

Posted in Articles, Careers Advice, News

5 simple ways to ace a job interview

How do you introduce yourself in a job interview?

First impressions play a major role in securing a job. In fact, research shows that 33% of employers know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. It is therefore vital that you present yourself in the right way.

Interviews can be extremely exciting, or extremely dreadful. Before your interview, there are several key things you need to consider, and prepare, to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.


  1. Dress appropriately

Appearance plays an important role when meeting someone new and is ultimately the first thing an employer will notice when you walk through the door.

65% of employers indicate that clothes could be a deciding factor between two almost-identical candidates.

It is a good idea to research the companies dress code before you choose your interview attire. A clinical consultant interview will likely require more formal dress than that of an engineer. Ensure you choose to dress more on the professional side, in an outfit which you feel both comfortable and confident in.


  1. Brush up on manners and body language

Regardless of what job you are applying for, it is essential that you show good manners throughout the interview. When introduced to your interviewer, give them a firm handshake and remember to smile.

Once you sit down, position yourself so that you are facing your interviewer, with your body, legs, and feet pointing in their direction. This shows you are engaged and prepared to start the interview.

Furthermore, ensure you pay your full attention throughout, with plenty of eye contact.

67% of employers say that failure to make eye contact is a common nonverbal mistake, with it making you look uninterested, disconnected and bored.


  1. Come prepared and do your research

Many people are often spot on when talking about themselves in an interview, however often struggle when the questions turn to talking about the company itself.

Researching the company prior to an interview will give you the much-needed confidence to answer questions appropriately. It will help you tailor your answers to suit the company’s needs, proving that you are a perfect match for the organisation.

The company’s website is the best place to start, which will hold information such as their mission statement, values, history, and products or services.

Social media sites are also a great way to find out more in-depth information about the company culture; LinkedIn is particularly useful and enables you to see if you have any connections to the company.


  1. Take the time to practice

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Practicing for an interview is essential to ensure you are as prepared as you can be.

CK have written several articles to help you overcome the fear of interview questions including an advice article on how to prepare for dreaded behavioural interview questions.

It’s a good idea to rehearse some questions at home with a family member or friend, asking them for honest, constructive feedback, jotting down notes and practicing as many times as you need. This is a great way to reduce interview stress, sharpen your skills, and increase your confidence.


  1. Ask plenty of questions

Asking questions shows you are truly interested in the job, and strong appropriate questions show that you have done your research properly. For example, if you are applying for a lab role ask about the techniques they use, and what they are currently investigating.

If you don’t ask questions, you could appear disinterested, or less enthusiastic than other candidates in the running.

Last of all do not forget to send a “Thank You” email once you have had the interview, thanking them for their time and the opportunity of an interview. If you haven’t heard back from them after one to two weeks, send a follow up email asking for feedback. Keep it simple and straight forward, making sure you are friendly and polite rather than pushy. Follow-up emails are a successful indication of your keen interest in the job and assertiveness, traits which any potential employer would want to see.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News

5 things to avoid including in your CV

It is no secret that the job market is highly competitive, and that it is a tough challenge nowadays just trying to get your CV noticed. On average, a recruiter will scan a CV for less than 20 seconds – leaving you very little time to impress them. It is therefore crucial to get your CV right and make those precious seconds count.

Here is a short list of things NOT to include if you want to make that lasting impression.


  1. Avoid overused buzzwords

We often hear about the top keywords to include in your CV to get noticed. But ironically, with everyone using them, recruiters read these “buzzwords” over and over again and they end up having no meaning.

According to LinkedIn, the most used buzzword on people’s profiles is “motivated”. “Specialised” is another word that appears on most CVs, closely followed by “leadership” and “experienced”.

Other words that appear far too often are “successful”, “passionate” and “enthusiastic”.

In a previous article we suggested different ways of saying these most common buzzwords – see here. For example, instead of using “motivated” why not use words such as inspired, enthused or determined to achieve success?


  1. Avoid generic terminology

Other phrases to avoid at all costs are vague terminologies such as “responsible for”, “thought leadership” or “results-driven”.

Being “responsible for a team” doesn’t give much proof of your capabilities or what role you played. Instead, use decisive verbs such as “managed” or “directed” with facts and figures.


  1. Show, don’t tell

It is meaningless to claim something without the facts and figures to back it up.

Instead of using keywords, describe your best examples. Explain what drives you, what inspires you the most in your job or your best achievements. This will help recruiters get a better insight on who you are and what you can bring to the table.

A good tactic is to use numbers alongside buzzwords to show your value. This will get your CV noticed and give you credibility.

For example – “I managed a team of 10 people and successfully launched X bringing in a revenue of Y over 3 years”.


  1. Remove any irrelevant experience

As mentioned previously, a recruiter will spend less than 20 seconds looking at your CV, so make sure all the information you provide is relevant to the role you are applying for. Keep your CV to the point.


  1. Remove the unnecessary

And finally, remove any other information from your CV that is unnecessary at this stage of the application process. Here is a list of a few items that often appear on CVs and have no place being there.

  • The words “References available upon request “
  • The words “Salary is negotiable “
  • More than one address
  • A headshot

Stand out from the crowd, think about what experiences you have which are relevant to the role and set you aside from the crowd. Recruiters don’t want to see yet another generic CV, they want to see a concise CV full of examples and proof of your capabilities.

For more advice on how to improve your CV, contact us.


Posted in Candidates, Careers Advice, General, News

The dreaded behavioural interview questions and how to prepare for them

“Tell us about a time you had to deal with conflict in your team”

During a job interview, it is more than likely that you will be asked a question along these lines. Unlike questions based on your technical skills and experience, these questions are all about how you have reacted to unusual or uncomfortable situations in the past. The idea is that the interviewer can predict how you will handle future situations, based on your past behaviours. These questions tend to be the most challenging part of an interview and are hard to prepare for.

Typically, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to behavioural questions, however there are certain elements an interviewer will be looking for. We have come up with a few tips to try and tackle those daunting questions.

Stay relevant to the role

Behavioural interviewing is to identify whether you are well suited for the role you have applied for. The types of answers the interviewer will be looking for will be directly related to the position.

Before the interview make sure you review the job requirements carefully and write down a list of top competencies it calls for. For each one think of one or two stories that demonstrate your ability in that area. When it comes to the interview, you will already have some answers prepared with examples of skills that closely match the requirements.

Think of positive examples

When preparing your answers, try and think of positive examples of behaviour rather than negative ones. An interviewer will be looking to understand your attitude towards tricky situations. If your answer is negative, it won’t put you in a good light.

However, sometimes an interviewer may ask you to expand on an example of when you failed, or when there was a negative outcome. In this case, focus on what you learnt from the negative experience and what you would change next time something similar happens.

Use the STAR technique

Keep your examples concrete and engaging. Make sure you capture your interviewer’s attention by keeping your answers concise and focused. An interview answer should be between one to two minutes long.

The key is to use the STAR technique and break down your story into clear parts; Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Situation: Describe briefly the context of your story.

Task: Describe your responsibility in that situation.

Action: Describe what you did to overcome the challenge, or how you completed the task.

Result: Explain the outcome thanks to your actions. You might want to focus on what you learnt and how you could apply this in your next role.

Be confident

And finally, be confident. An interview is your time to shine and stand out from the crowd. Tell your behavioural story enthusiastically, and do not hesitate when giving your answer. An interviewer will be imagining you talking to your team, or explaining something to a customer, and will want to see that you can be affirmative.

Posted in Careers Advice, Job of the Week, Mobile news, News

CK Clinical debates recruitment practices with ICR

CK Clinical Director, Ben Traies was recently offered the opportunity to contribute to the Institute of Clinical Research’s publication, CR Focus, to counter a debate sparked by Danielle Jacobs, the Director of the ICR.

Danielle had highlighted some of the more dubious recruitment practises so offered CK the chance to respond. We took this as an opportunity to tackle misconceptions but also to advise candidates and clients on how to recruit the best recruiter for you and then how to get the most from them.

The article was published in this months edition of CR Focus.

Click here to read in full

Pharmceutical jobs  Pharmceutical jobs

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Careers Advice Bulletin – May 2012

Are you looking for a new job in the pharmaceutical industry? CK Clinical can help you. Here’s some advice to help you kick start that job hunt and help you land that perfect job in pharma:


Search our pharmaceutical jobs:

Click here to search and apply for our latest jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Register your CV

Click here to register your CV with us today.

Once registered, one of our specialist Pharmaceutical Recruitment Consultants will be in contact to discuss your requirements and any relevant pharmaceutical job opportunities which may be of interest.

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10 Common Job Interview Lies

No matter how desperate you might be to a get a new job, telling lies during your interview won’t get you anywhere.

Here is a list of typical porkies that candidates commonly tell during their job interviews. Take a look through them and make sure you don’t make the same mistake:

1. Salary isn’t important to them

2. Reasons for leaving their previous company

3. Exaggerating their level of seniority in their previous position

4. They are willing to relocate

5. The salary of their previous role

6. Fake referees

7. Job titles in previous roles

8. Length of employment at previous organisations

9. Commitment and passion for career

10. Exaggerated qualifications

So, what ever you do, and no matter how desperate you are, don’t lie during your job interview – it will almost certainly come back to haunt you.


Want more careers advice? Click on the links below!

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