10 Ways to Build & Protect Personal Brand in the Life Sciences Industry

By Allena Ball

The biotech and pharmaceutical industry is a TRILLION-dollar industry filled with like-minded individuals who are passionate about finding a cure for the betterment of our society’s health. For those professionals working in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, the rewards can far exceed expectations, both personally and professionally.  

Although the industry seems immeasurably large, the networks are tight and connections are abundant, making the industry smaller than it appears. Having a strong personal brand and a positive reputation will go a long way in making you a viable candidate for upward mobility within the industry. I have created a guideline to assist you in building and creating a strong personal brand that will guide you throughout your biotech and pharmaceutical career. 

1.     Always do your best work and be consistent with your projects. 

This is a way to brand yourself with excellence and build a great reputation. Great work speaks volumes to your colleagues and managers leading to trust and increased responsibilities.

2.      Do not over promise and under deliver.

 Be honest with yourself and your team about your workload. If you need more time or assistance on a project, let your manager know! You are the keeper of your task list so unless you speak up people will assume you are taking care of business. Don’t wait until the deadline has passed to ask for help or an extension. 

3.      Keep the lines of communication open with your hiring manager.

When in doubt, ask questions. No question is a dumb question and assumptions can lead to miscommunication.  Be open, be specific and be clear.

4.      Never burn bridges when leaving a role. 

In fact, this is the time to do your best work!  Our industry can be less than forgiving if you burn bridges and people always remember. Never leave any reason for anyone to speak negatively about you or your work.

5.      Be Kind. 

It’s that simple.  A little kindness goes a long way. People may not always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

6.      Be helpful and be a team player. 

Both go hand in hand. By helping your team with new projects or tasks, you are not only branding yourself as an invaluable team member, but you are also gaining new skills that may help further your career. 

7.      Be self-aware and recognize when you make mistakes. 

Acknowledge those mistakes and learn from them. Owning up to mistakes is an important part of career and personal growth. Nobody will care if you aren’t perfect, but they will care if you make a mistake and try to hide it instead of admitting to it and showing that you have learned what to do differently next time. 

8.      Be cognizant of showing upward career progression with your career/projects. 

Making too many lateral moves can hurt your brand. Hiring managers like to see upward mobility with each project and move.

9.      Represent longevity. 

Hiring managers like to see longevity because it reflects commitment to the cause, team and project. Do your best to ensure that projects last longer than one year.

10.   Work with a limited number of trusted recruiters, not allowing your resume to get spammed.  

Having your resume spammed out within the industry can do more harm than good for your career and be a poor reflection of your brand, thus decreasing your chances to identify great projects. 

The industry is not as big as we may think it is and people talk. Hiring managers will often call on their network to learn more about a candidate’s background and work history, in addition to checking the references provided by the candidate.  Building and protecting your brand can lead to more high-quality opportunities. One seemingly slight interaction can have dramatic and long-lasting consequences on the quality of future projects and roles you are offered. By using these tips and strengthening your personal brand you stand a better chance at having a long-lasting career and building a strong network! 

About the Author: 

Allena Ball

Allena Ball is the VP of Recruiting at Orbis Clinical with over 20 years of leadership, recruiting, and training experience. She is committed to continuous process improvement/efficiencies and providing excellence both professionally and personally.  She recognizes the importance of personal brand in fostering relationships and the impact that can have on one’s career.  Allena enjoys spending time with family and values an active lifestyle.