How to write a good Life Science CV in Quality Assurance and/or Technical Operations.

While there is certainly a ‘war on talent’ for the best people in Quality and Technical Operations in the life sciences industry, if you’re one of the people who aren’t ‘feeling the love’ from the recruiters (internal and/or external) this may be why: your CV/resume is badly written. Here's Tim Walker's opinion on what makes a CV stand out more if you are in Quality or Technical Operations...

How to write a good Life Science CV in Quality Assurance and/or Technical Operations.

Few basic tips:


  1. Font type should be ‘Arial’ - always.
  1. Size 10 font in black. No more and no less.
  1. Maximum 4 pages.
  1. NEVER use a Europass CV format. It's ugly and shows you can't be bothered to make your own. I'm not kidding. Europass CV's make experienced recruiters shiver. Don't get me wrong here - the Europass format has its uses if you’re just leaving college or university and in certain parts of Europe. If you have more than a year’s industry experience, then it's time to make your own.
  1. Keep it black and white. Colours have no place on a formal document, if you are applying for a technical job in the pharmaceutical and medical devices world. Colouring and pretty images only stand out as a negative aspect (despite what you may think or have been told).
  1. If your CV is in English, then check your spelling and grammar. A native English speaker is likely to know better than you about this, if English isn’t your first language.
  1. There is NEVER a need to use boxes in your CV. Stop trying to be clever when trying this. It has the opposite effect.


Some specific details:


  1. Concentrate on the last 10 years of your career (pro-rata if you are less experienced). Our industry moves fast. If you worked on biological products ten years ago, but in oral solid dose since that time, then tell us about the OSD as a priority. You won't win in a competitive environment against someone with more relevant experience. What are you best at? Think about your strengths!
  1. Get specific. What dosage forms have you worked with? How many audits have you done? How many inspections have you supported? How many people have you managed and how did you develop them? What is relevant to the job you are applying for?
  1. Please don't be arrogant. You DO have competition. You will ALWAYS have competition (both internally at the hiring firm and external candidates). Use the experience of your recruiter and follow his/her instructions. All they want to do at this stage is get you a first interview. As an experienced recruiter I have placed many people with CV's that weren’t, originally, a good reflection on themselves. It's only because I went the extra mile to understand their skills that they got the job they wanted. Trust me on this - most recruiters won't. They want quick wins and are both trained to get quick wins and are heavily targeted to get quick wins. You can guarantee at GxPeople we will go the extra mile.


If you’re looking for your next position in Quality or Technical Operations (Validation, CSV, Engineering, OpEx etc.) please contact us without delay. Our key consultants are:

Chris Bouffard (Executive Search, Global):

Nadia Di Meo (Executive Search, Global):

Tim Walker (Quality Audit / Compliance, OpEx and CSV, USA and Europe):

Chris Ash (Operational Quality, USA):

Somia Javed (Quality, USA)

Paul Shaw (Clinical Quality, UK and USA)

Antonio Da Mota (Quality, Global):

Quality is not an act. It is a habit