Be realistic in what you can do and don’t waste time chasing jobs which are peripheral to your expertise or clearly beyond/below your capabilities. Clients seldom want or need to consider candidates who don’t meet or exceed the qualification level.
Set up a specific job email address which says something professional about you and update any public information which employers might access to check your credentials!
Be as flexible as you can in your consideration of salary, location, temporary roles, and full versus part-time roles. Consider moving for the right role even overseas to maximise your potential.
Ask colleagues/your boss 'what mads me a good employee', review last appraisals and define some core competencies you have. Whilst it’s fresh in your mind think about examples of these to use at interviews.
Ask your colleagues/manager to supply a personal reference, company references say so little now. Ask your friend or partner ‘what irritates you about me or might improve my prospect at interview’, maybe you need to sharpen up your image after a long period of dressing down!
Contact ex-colleagues to see if there are any opportunities in their companies. Use social networking sites to get back in touch with former colleagues or contacts. If you are not on LinkedIn or Plaxo – join, give yourself a target number of people to get in touch with each week whilst you are not working. Consider signing up with Facebook, Friends Reunited, Bebo to reconnect with ex-colleagues, ask people to write testimonials about you to support employer references on these sites.
Study the pharmaceutical press so you are aware of start-up companies and those with good pipelines. Take the opportunity to access training on line or in house in your notice if you can to refresh your IT skills or GCP knowledge and show commitment.
Take up offer of career guidance, CV assessment and outplacement/profiling to provide personal insight. Rejoin a professional association so you get access to current information on line after you’ve left work. Listen to the advice of the agencies - they submit candidates every day while you may only have done so 3-4 times. If they ask you to change your CV it is to help you, not them!
Don’t be dismayed if things take time. The market is slow to respond and presently cautious about recruitment. Schedule a 2 weekly update with your preferred agency partners and colleagues, often they hear of jobs which you don’t, keeping 'in touch' is critical to your confidence as time elapses - they may even offer you employment.