Meet me in 5: career search tips from a recruiter’s perspective

Our ongoing “Meet Me in 5” series covers 5 people, topics or questions to illustrate how Covance nurtures exceptional people, provides an energizing purpose and enables extraordinary potential in its employees’ careers.

In this article, we spoke with five recruiters at Covance and asked them to each share one tip on how to stand out as a strong candidate in today’s job market. They gave their perspectives on how to optimize a career search along with suggestions on finding the best fit for your next career.

1. Think beyond traditional approaches

Image of Sureka from Covance in India

Sureka, Covance, India

Social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook profile pages have added transparency for both the applicant and the recruiter. I suggest that job seekers follow their targeted companies. If a company is posting status updates more than once a month, job applicants must show that someone is paying attention. They should treat the status updates the way they would treat their personal connections. Click “Like” or comment – they will be noticed.

I also suggest engaging with recruiters’ content on social media platforms. If a recruiter posts a job, you can feel free to share it with your network. Help them spread the word and by paying it forward it may help one of your connections land their dream job.

Job applicants can also browse social media to discover how a company or position helps project their individual career growth, along with the basics of the company, its values and culture.

2. Build your personal brand

Image of Peter from Covance in UK

Peter, Covance, UK

You should view your LinkedIn profile as your online personal branding tool. Here, you are marketing yourself to a range of stakeholders, such as employees, managers, clients, suppliers and even competitors. Your profile may be the first time a potential new employer will “meet” you – and we all know that good first impressions are vital.

Ensure your profile is up-to-date with details of your current and past roles to help recruiters determine if you are a suitable candidate for a position. Along with your achievements and accomplishments, don’t forgot to add practical things, such as what departments you have worked in, if you supported any development phases, therapeutic areas and your technology or database skills.

Taking the time to update your profile in a thoughtful manner will help you build credibility as a professional among all of your stakeholders.

3. Learn about a company’s career development opportunities

Image of Kelly from Covance in US

Kelly, US, Covance

If you are looking for a role that will allow you to grow in your career, it is important to evaluate the long-term potential the company can offer and how they align with your goals. You should look for the full picture and talk to the recruiter about your career path, team dynamics, how others have progressed in the role and how you can make an impact in the role.

I also suggest looking into the types of continued training offered and take into consideration that a job is not just about salary. Working for a company that can help you grow through a variety of development opportunities will allow you to continuously learn, expand your skills and improve your value in the job market. I suggest finding a company where you can realize your full potential, make significant contributions and position yourself for a very successful career.

4. Ask for referrals online and offline

Image of Nicky from Covance in UK

Nicky, Covance, UK

When looking for a specific position with a company, it’s important to ask for referrals within your personal and professional networks. Organizations, like Covance, are always interested in referrals from our current employees, even if the recommended person isn’t necessarily seeking a job.

If you are looking at a particular company in your job search and know someone working there, consider asking the current employee for a referral. At Covance, these referrals also give us an opportunity to broaden our own networks and allow candidates to engage with our company.

You can also consider reaching out to people in your network that you have worked well with in the past to ask for their referral. I suggest connecting with people both online and offline to let them know about your career goals and ask for their support. And, when applying to the position, don’t forget to mention the employee that referred you as they may be eligible for a referral bonus.

5. Update and style your resume and cover letter for the ideal position 

Image of Paul from Covance US

Paul, US, Covance

Even though we are in a strong job market with low unemployment rates, candidates may be surprised that finding a job or internship might feel like an uphill battle. Unless you  know the CEO or the hiring manager of a company, the best way to stand out is to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you are considering.

You may be thinking, “But that will take forever!” Consider that to stand out to prospective employers, you need to include skills on your resume that emulate the skills they’re pursuing in the job description.

When you’re not responding to a specific published position, but submitting your resume in an online database, I strongly encourage you to research the most frequently demanded qualifications for your occupation. Within our recruiting team at Covance, we pick up on this information as we read through a resume or cover letter. Also, if you notice any repeated words or concepts on the company’s site, be sure to include that information in your resume or cover letter, showcasing that you’ve done your homework.

Stay tuned for the second edition blog in which our recruiters will share suggestions on how to make a great impression once you’ve applied to a position. In the meantime, learn more about our culture and career opportunities at

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