Monthly Archives: October 2009

Graduate Do’s and Don’ts

As a recruitment company we receive a huge amount of traffic and applications from graduates. We give each one a non-automated response, and return all emails requesting advice / tips, but it would be nicer to equip each one with a bit more information about how to approach the job seeking process. So here goes:


Build a great CV. I remember my own CV as a grad – it was pretty horrendous. Here are some tips on writing a good CV:

-Leave out primary and secondary schooling info (save your Leaving Cert results possible – these are really optional).

-University info: as this is your main scientific selling point, you need to elaborate of the key courses and your research project. Convey interest and passion for what you studied, this need to come across in the well-presented CV.

-Put effort into your CV in terms of formatting. The monotone, poorly constructed CV will be overlooked in favour of a similar CV which has been created, structured and is easy to read. Some sample scientific CV templates can be found on our site here.

Network. Yes it’s an over-used cliched term but the value in a market like this is paramount. Find contacts, speak to people in industry. Most people will be more than happy to tell you about their role, and many will know someone who knows someone who might be recruiting. ~70% of all jobs are filled without being advertised! Included in this is Although not many are advetising roles for companies in this market, recruiters can be an invaluable resource for inside industry information.

Search cleverly. Use Web 2.0 technologies. Add Facebook / LinkedIn / Twitter (to a lesser extent) to your job searching tool. RSS feeds are key – set up a number of these so that the most relevant roles to you are flagged in real-time.


Have your CV more than 2 pages long

References are optional

Ramble on about previous summer jobs. If they are relevant give them the requisite space, but for non relevant role, a line will suffice.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GET YOUR MOTHER TO CALL ON YOUR BEHALF (yes it does happen)!!!!!!!!! No explanation needed I hope!

Get in touch with any comment, or feel free to add additional points underneath.

Brian (brian dot c at lifescience dot ie)

Lessons learned from Jack White

jack_whiteLast night I had the pleasure of attending an interview with Jack White, guitarist form the White Stripes in Trinity College. A rock star in every sense of the word, he arrived exactly as one might expect him to, all black clothes, white rockstar boots and top hat. Some (I think!) white make up and Dylan-esque pencil moustache topped off the look.

He gave a superb insight into his apprenticeship as an upholsterer in Detroit, lessons learned and how he always believed his calling was in art / music (stitching poetry and putting vinyl discs inside couches, writing receipts in crayon!). Current muses and thoughts on his marriage / family were also interesting. Jack fielding some questions from the audience about finding the “lost” America and comparing Britney Spears to Dylan, Bowie and himself – apparantly in some ways he feels she is being truer to herself than they are!

When asked what advice he would give to up and coming musicians, he tied the interview together nicely with the theme of night – authenticity. New musicians need to love what they’re doing, if they don’t love their work then how can anyone else? I think this is a concept that can be applied different areas in life. He advised to stay away from sites like myspace to promote themselves, instead to focus on creativity and getting out to the fans.

As a company focussed on Web 2.0, of course we will not take his advice literally! However, I think the substance is relevant – love what you do, be authentic, differentiate and people will naturally be attracted to you. Stretching this out somewhat and applying it to canddiates on the job hunt, I would suggest it means getting “out there” more, don’t just send out 10s of CVs out to various recruiters and potential employers, focus on quality. Pick up the phone, get to the right people and project your value and personality upon them.

Note: this postwould like to doff its cap to a couple of other business / ideas blogs: Robin @ Bytesurgery, the guys @ Contrast and to a lesser extent, the 37signals signal v. noise blog, all of which are superb.

-Brian (brian dot c at lifescience dot ie)