Welp, What Now?

By Christopher Woods

In my last post, Contract Woes, I described the volatility of working on a contract and mentioned that my contract likely would not be renewed. It wasn’t. Not only was it not renewed, the length of our extension was shorted from six months to a little fewer than three, meaning we have until March to find new gigs.

Luckily we were informed of this in late October, so there is plenty of time and no need to panic, but I knew it was better to be aggressive because it is now the middle of December, and time isn’t slowing down for anyone. I thought it might be beneficial to share my journey of finding another job with you all.

What do you want to do?
First, I had to honestly ask myself what it was I wanted to do to further my career. Do I want to stay in clinical trials research? Do I want to continue to build studies or do I want to go back to programming primarily? Do I want a remote position or do I want to go into an office? I have a senior role now. Do I want to continue having a senior role at my next job?

The answer to these questions would influence the way I update my resume and LinkedIn profile. I determined that while I enjoyed building studies, I did not want a position where it was my primary role. I wanted a more hybrid role which would allow me to build studies but also do the programming I missed doing while working on my current contract. Knowing this I could then modify my resume accordingly and look for positions that specifically afforded me those options.

Update my resume/LinkedIn Profile
The next step was to update my resume and LinkedIn profile accordingly. I highlighted the skills I wanted to standout to recruiters/employers. I made sure the job descriptions for each position on my resume reflected the actual work I did that included valuable experience beyond the skills I wanted to highlight. For example, I am currently a Senior Clinical Data Analyst. I want to continue at the senior level, so I made sure to emphasize my project management skills and show that I could work independently and effectively. I removed my earliest employment history before I obtained the skills that I wanted emphasized to save space.

My resume has an objective section at the top which summarizes my skills using keywords that would be picked up by application programs and recruiters and states specifically what type of opportunities I am interested in. I uploaded my updated resume to LinkedIn, made sure it matched my profile, changed my photo, and accepted connection requests from the recruiters and HR representatives for corporations in my field with the intention that they would look at my profile.

In my next post I will talk about working with recruiters versus finding opportunities on my own and phone interviews.


Photo Credit: Lee Chapman