News & Insights

Tips for a Skype Interview

When you think about a Skype interview, you probably ask yourself, “how hard could it be”? Though one may think a Skype interview is simple, there are many aspects of the Skype interview that can hurt your chances of making it to the next round. Listed below are a few key pointers to help you nail the Skype interview:

  1. Environment: It is important to think about environment when preparing for a skype interview. Pick a quiet place to have your interview so there are no distractions. Keep your backdrop neutral so that you can be the focal point of the interview. In this case, less is more.
  2. Attire: Although this is not an in-person interview, it is the closest thing to it. The hiring manager can see you and you can see them. In this case, dress business professional. For men, it is recommended that you wear a suit with a tie and for women, it is recommended that you wear nice slacks, a dress or skirt. It is always best to be overdressed than under dressed. Dressing professionally for a Skype interview is expected and shouldn’t be overlooked.
  3. Practice makes perfect: We all know that when we use Skype, it isn’t the easiest. Often, we catch ourselves looking everywhere but at the person we are speaking to. To perfect this, we need to practice. Do a trial run with a friend so that when it comes to the professional Skype interview, you are ready to shine.
  4. Preparation and organization: It is imperative that you prepare for your Skype interview as these types of interviews are far different than in-person interviews. Have your resume as well as the job description handy so that in case you freeze up, you will have notes to reference. I would practice having your Skype interview as some candidates start to use their notes as more of a crutch than a reference. You should only be glancing at your resume when needed, you should not be using it as a scrip. Relying too heavily on your notes can hurt your chances of getting to the next round. With anything, practice makes perfect.
  5. Body Language: Body language is extremely important in a Skype interview. Because you are not in person with the hiring manager, it makes it even more important that you focus on positive body language. Make sure your body language expresses that you are engaged with the audience. Remain positive and upbeat. Smile, laugh, show the hiring manger that you are engaged and interested!

The Goal of the Resume

It’s 4:00pm. You’re sitting at your desk preparing to wrap up your day, and you get that infamous call from a recruiter… This time the timing is perfect, as you are passively starting to consider other positions. After the initial conversation, the recruiter asks you to send over your resume. You two connect the next day at an appointed time. This call is different than others that you’ve had previously, as this recruiter takes the time to ask details about your resume and learn what you were doing in each role. You are slightly confused by this because you believe that your resume is self-explanatory. The recruiter informs you that they are asking these questions to help perfect your resume for this position, and you always have to keep in mind the goal of the resume.

As a Senior Recruiter with almost 10 years of Clinical Research experience, this is a viewpoint that I often point out to candidates. Once an applicant has an understanding that the goal of the resume is to get you the interview, the perspective changes. Having screened thousands of candidates  and worked with a variety of clients, my eyes have become trained to search for and pull out the most important things that hiring managers will look for. I share with every candidate that hiring managers are looking at tons of resumes daily, which means that yours needs to stand out from the pile.  Below I’ve given 5 basic tips that will assist you in getting a step closer to landing the position of your dreams.  

6 Tips to a Winning Resume: 

  1. Dates with Months: This is important, as hiring managers want to know how long you were in each role to quantify your experience. Using years only can be too vague for the hiring manager to accurately understand the experience that you have. For example, 1999-2000 could mean 1 year, or it could mean 1-11 months… Instead, formatting dates as January 1999-January 2000 gives clear insight of how long you were in that role or with that particular company. 
  2. Detailed job descriptions: Describe what you have done in detail. I tend to lean toward the bullet format for a resume because it is easier to read; however, you can choose the format that best suites you. Make sure your job description speaks to the hiring manager. When they read your resume, they should know what you are doing day-to-day and should not be left wondering what your job description means.  
  3. Chronological Order: Put your most recent position at the top of your resume, and your oldest position at the bottom. Keep your resume up to date and within the last 10 years of your working experiences. The older positions on your resume should have less bullets than your most recent positions. 
  4. Use Metrics: Be sure to include as many numbers as you can when writing about your work history. Although it may seem like an irrelevant detail to include, this helps to further paint the picture of what your skills and experience are. Additionally, it gives some credibility to your claims and can help to direct the conversation in an interview.
  5. Correct Tense: Check to make sure your current position is in present tense, and the previous positions that you held are all in past tense. 
  6. Consistent Formatting: Your format should be the same for titles, name of companies, and dates with all positions held. If your first position is in a bullet format, keep this format for all your positions. Also, confirm that your font is the same size and style throughout the entire document. There is no need to bold parts of your resume to make things stand out. Your recruiter will typically have highlights that they put together to send over to the client that are most important to them. This process saves you from changing your resume for each position you apply for. 

Now that the resume has done its job, it is up to you to go and close the deal by having an amazing interview!!

Karen Curran Joins CSG as VP of Biometric Services

Clinical Solutions Group (Raleigh, NC) is pleased to announce the addition of Karen Curran, Vice President of Biometric Services to lead our Biometric Services Division. Karen joins Clinical Solutions Group as an executive with over 20-years of leadership experience providing solutions to pharmaceutical and biotech clients that range from small start-ups to some of the largest global companies in the industry, with a track record of developing sustainable and evolving relationships with those clients.

At CSG, Karen leads the biometrics group and works with sponsors to develop customised solutions; from individual placements, staff augmentation strategies or to developing customised FSP relationships. Karen brings her tenure of leadership experience to our clients for a solution that meeting the needs and culture of every engagement.

CSG’s FSP is a customizable solution that allows flexibility in your projects, contractual terms, engagement models, and cost strategies. CSG carefully calibrates a delivery framework for the unique challenges and objectives of every sponsor environment.  Our approach is highly collaborative so that our customers’ perspective is clearly represented in the final solution and they maintain confidence the partnership is designed specific to their needs.

Karen’s expertise includes CDISC compliant submissions planning and execution, developing KPIs and usable metrics in support of strategic partnerships and in managing sponsor relationships, project delivery and resourcing. Prior to CSG, Karen led the global biometrics group of a large CRO with over 400 statisticians and statistical programmers worldwide and lead customised biometrics solutions for their key accounts.

LinkedIn Profile

The Space Between Staffing and Outsourcing

Staff augmentation and the CRO model have long been the only choices when biotech companies need to look beyond their full-time staff to get work done.  Each of these two models still have their inherent value propositions but a 20-year career in the staffing and services industry has revealed many lessons learned. Most notably is the realization that often customer needs are best met with a customized solution in which stakeholder-ship is carefully calibrated for the unique goals and challenges at hand.

Staff augmentation is typically sought after for its ease of engagement and flexibility while the true outsource is best when you need the tools, thought leadership and skin in the game to achieve the outcomes you seek.  A trend with key sponsors is the call for engagement models that allow them to maintain control of project direction while still getting a solution that has defined accountability to business outcomes.

Many sponsors have invested heavily in tools, SOP’s and now organizational standards for development and data management.  This reality reduces their dependency on fully outsourcing a project to a CRO that brings these tools to the table. The preference is shifting towards finding specialized partners to do work inside their established environments to avoid rifts with organizational standards as well as the challenges and costs associated with accessing outsourced trial data.

Sponsors often have the thought leadership in house and primarily need resources to execute established project plans.  The staff augmentation model that was so widely used is now governed by strict tenure rules to mitigate co-employment risks presenting a significant challenge to multi-year efforts.

The most progressive leaders in biopharma are calling for solutions that start with a partner’s ability to deliver highly skilled teams but they require more than the traditional staff augmentation model can offer.   The perfect space between staff augmentation and full service outsourcing must be determined at a project level so that the sponsor receives a service framework in which their chosen partner is accountable to the outcome without sacrificing the control and flexibility the sponsor desires. Full outsourcing drives up costs as the partner brings with it more tools, resources and overhead than necessary to achieve project goals.  Conversely, when relying only on resourcing, the burden of project execution lies solely on internal resources. When the service attributes and measurements are developed for the unique needs of the project, no more and no less, the customer achieves an optimal value proposition.

For examples of how Clinical Solutions Group can customize solutions using our six key service tenants check out this interactive element  on our website

Where it all started


Clinical Solutions Group was founded in 1999 by bothers Omar and Imad Omar. Having been in the industry for several years they recognized the need for a niche firm to fill what they saw as a service gap in the Biopharma industry. Over the last 19 years the brothers have lead Clinical Solutions Group to become a company held in high regard across the Pharmaceutical and Clinical Trial industry nationwide by focusing on delivering a personable experience for both the consultant and the client.

As they entered 2017, the brothers recognized another service gap in the industry. Combined with a new branding efforts, Clinical Solutions Group has launched an FSP offering, addressing customer demands to become a larger stakeholder in their project goals, working collaboratively with them on well defined standards, systems and tools leveraged internally.

We often field questions about our company’s heritage and where we are going. Our team thinks more people would be interested in hearing about this so Imad and Omar put together some answers to our most frequent questions.

  1. What was your motivation for starting Clinical Solutions Group?

    Having been in the industry for over 7 years prior to starting CSG, our motivation was to start a company that specifically focused on a finite number of skill sets and establish CSG as niche firm supporting the Biopharma industry. Our goal was to provide our employees a company that felt more like a home environment rather than just a place of employment. While we knew that was the way we wanted our company to run, we also strongly believed this would also attract clients to our firm, help attract the top talent in the marketplace, and overall lead to longer and more fulfilling careers for our team.

  2. What is a major obstacle that you have overcome since starting the company?

    The main obstacle we’ve faced has been to compete at a high level in both the consultant market as well as the client market against the larger staffing companies. We found that we have been able to overcome those hurdles by a driven focus on superior customer service, creating a more personal experience for the consultant, and by focusing on the more niche skillsets within the clinical arena that our clients would appreciate. We quickly understood that CSG cannot be everything to everybody and that niche focus has made us very competitive in the market.

  3. What is the most important thing that you have learned over the last two decades?

    Treating consultants and customers alike with respect and providing service rooted in quality and integrity is the focus beyond revenues and profit. Business results have a funny way of happening when you do the right thing by others.

  4. Where do you see the future of Clinical Solutions Group, and what about that future most excites you?

    All the business KPI’s are trending up and we remain proud of the value we drive in the marketplace and now we’re leveraging our strong foundation to enter into new service frameworks like Functional Service Provider (FSP) models. Moreover, we feel that we offer our employees a great work environment focused on building personal relationships and are excited about the opportunity  that will be created for our employees to realize the personal and professional goals that matter to them.

On Counter Offers

Many people consider counter offers when they are looking for a new position or after they already accepted one. There are risks inherent in accepting a counter offer that people need to be aware of before they do so. The obvious risk is that you made your unhappiness with your current employer known to all parties. Even if you accept the counter offer, your employer now knows where you stand relative to the company, may look to appease you until they find a replacement for you, and may even question your future loyalty to the company. So, how does one negotiate a counter offer then?

There are several things that you need to ask yourself before you decide to pursue a counter offer.

  1. Why are you looking for a new position?

    If you are unhappy at your current company, there are reasons why you feel a certain way. It pays to really think about the things that are making you unhappy and whether a counter offer will change that at all. Most of the time, when you accept a counter offer, it is just a time stalling tactic.  Please be aware that least 50% of people who accept counter offers go on to leave their company within 12- 24 months after accepting one.

  2. What is your current value to the company?

    You must be able to make a case for yourself as to why you deserve a raise in concrete terms. It is not enough to ask for a raise without mentioning what you’ve brought to the table so far in your current position and what you could further bring to the table in the future. Do your performance evaluations reflect your worth to the company? Are you certain that you are considered an asset to the company?  These are questions that one needs to consider.  It also pays to research what the salary range is for your position within your industry. If you are going to ask for a raise and/or title change, you really need to know what other people are being paid so that what you are asking for doesn’t seem extraordinary when compared to others with similar backgrounds and experience.

  3.  What about an increase in “perks” only?

    A counter offer doesn’t always have to be related to a salary increase. You may want to consider non-salary benefits like tuition reimbursement, work from home days, a sign-on bonus, relocation costs, additional vacation days, etc. Again, know why you want to leave a position. If you are okay with the salary, but want additional non-salary benefits, then you may want to ask for an increase in those only.

Counter offers are risky, but they do allow for some room to negotiate. However, one needs to really question why they would want to leave a company in the first place. People who are happy in their positions don’t just get up and leave without a reason. This is worth remembering.


The core of CSG is centered around biopharma solutions. We are well recognized in the industry with an 18 year track record of delivering high quality consultants to top tier drug development companies and contract research organizations. 

Interested in exploring a new career opportunity with Clinical Solutions Group? Visit our home page to schedule a time to speak with one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists

The Thank You Email

After much soul searching you have decided to seek an opportunity to gain new experience, a change in scenery, or simply support your family with a higher income. You have identified a recruiter you can trust who will assist you in finding the best match. Your resume is in tip top shape, highlighting your unique skill set and career achievements opening doors to the best opportunities, and now you have just completed your interview for what you see as a great next step. Follow these simple rules for leaving a lasting impression with your thank you email:

The Subject Line:

Keep the subject line simple and direct including “Thank you” and the role for which you are interviewing. For example, “Thank you – Remote SAS Programmer Opportunity”


Your thank you email should hit your interviewer’s inbox no later than 24 hours from the interview. Doing so will confirm your interest and keep you top of mind.


All parts of your interview process, including the follow up email, will be scrutinized. Show that you take pride in your work by not allowing for any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Be Brief:

During the interview was your opportunity to sell your skill set in detail. Rather than rehashing the entire conversation, keep your thank you email to a couple of sentences.

Qualification Review:

In the midst of your interview you likely learned the most important skills and traits required for the role. You are likely competing with any number of other qualified applicants for this position. Use your thank you email to briefly reiterate your top qualifications that will set you apart and make your interviewer comfortable that you will be able to thrive in this role.

Leave No Doubt:

Don’t be afraid to show your interest. If you believe this position is right for you it need not be a mystery to the hiring manager. Be specific about why you are interested in this position, show the interviewer that you have considered this opportunity deeply, and leave him or her confident you will accept the position if offered.


The core of CSG is centered around biopharma solutions. We are well recognized in the industry with an 18 year track record of delivering high quality consultants to top tier drug development companies and contract research organizations. 

Interested in exploring a new career opportunity with Clinical Solutions Group? Visit our home page to schedule a time to speak with one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists


phone interview prep

Acing the Phone Interview

Great news! You’ve perfected your resume, submitted perhaps a dozen applications, spoken with a few recruiters along the way, and now you finally have a phone interview scheduled. Whether this is your first interview in a while, or you feel like you could add “interview extraordinaire” to your resume, it’s crucial to prepare properly. Let’s take a look at some tips we provide candidates to ensure they feel confident going into the conversation.

Know who you are speaking with and do your research.

Ask the recruiter or the HR representative for the name(s) of who will be on the call. But don’t stop there, do your research. Find them on LinkedIn and do a simple google search for any related news stories. This can help you find talking points to keep in your back pocket – “I noticed on your LinkedIn profile….”

Review the company website and do an online search.

This may seem like an obvious one, but it goes beyond simply knowing what the company does. You need to know about any recent news articles, successes or failures the company has experienced, and key people in the organization. Again, you can find good talking points, or questions to ask.

Make sure you know the most important job responsibilities.

Every job has a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” Try to review those prior to your interview and be prepared to talk about your related skills. Being able to provide specific examples will always impress a hiring manager.

It’s okay to create a cheat sheet.

Take advantage of the fact that this interview is not in-person and have some helpful reminders in front of you. This can include questions you would like to ask, company overview information, or certain skill-sets you want to mention to the hiring manager. Try to sprinkle in your questions throughout the call to create a nice dialogue. It’s important to treat your cheat sheet as reminders and not a script you are reading – you do not want to come off disingenuous. In addition, record notes on your cheat sheet. You’ll be happy you did when you need to refresh your memory on job specifics.

Get comfortable, but avoid distractions.

Whether you are interviewing from your home or office, your sole focus needs to be on the conversation. Close your email, turn off the TV, and be in a quiet area with good reception. If you are home, you may want to also think about your attire and where you take the call from. Dressing professionally and avoiding the couch can help put you in the right mindset for an interview.

Prepare for the basics.

You will never know every question coming your way prior to an interview, but at least you can be ready for the basics. What has you considering a new opportunity? What attracts you to our company? What would previous managers say about you? Be prepared to tell your story and relate your interests in any interview, while selling your strengths.

Be conscious of your phone presence.

You obviously can’t read body language over the phone, but your personality can still come through. Focus on having clear and concise answers, as well as being enthusiastic. Whether the role you are interviewing for is remote or on-site, the interviewer is evaluating your professionalism and personality over the phone.  Smiling while you speak can usually be heard and will help show your enthusiasm for the position!

Ask for feedback at the end.

You’ve probably completed a phone interview and had a friend or family member ask you how it went. Do you often respond with “I think it was good, the person I spoke with was hard to read?” You can avoid that by simply asking them their thoughts at the end of the call. When it comes time to ask your final question, try this one: “How do you feel my skill-set relates to the needs of the team?” “Do you have any concerns?” If they do share reservations, it gives you an opportunity to address those concerns and fight for the job. The hiring manager will love that you care about feedback and it shows strong interest in the position.


The core of CSG is centered around biopharma solutions. We are well recognized in the industry with an 18 year track record of delivering high quality consultants to top tier drug development companies and contract research organizations. 

Interested in exploring a new career opportunity with Clinical Solutions Group? Visit our home page to schedule a time to speak with one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists

recruiter shaking hands

Looking for a Recruiter? Follow these 4 Rules and the rest is gravy…

  1. Your recruiter is your Agent.

    Whether you’re working with a Real Estate Agent, Travel Agent or even a Sports Agent, the common theme is that these folks need to know your heart’s deepest desire. Fenced-in back yard is a must? Dreaming about an all-inclusive tropical resort vacation? You want a “max contract” in your professional sport? Your Agent needs to know these details in no uncertain terms and your recruiter is no different.
    A good recruiter’s goal is to get you into your Dream Job.  We can’t do that unless you take the time to describe exactly what that Dream Job looks like – from total compensation and remote vs. on-site work, all the way to company culture and room for advancement; and everything in between.

  2. Be 100% transparent.

    This piggy-backs off the last point, but it is an important aspect of our relationship with you. We need to understand exactly where you want your career to go and the details of your past work history. We want to hear about your strengths and accolades and it is equally important that you are honest about any failed engagements, technical shortcomings, and work that you’d prefer not to do. Our goal is to make a perfect match between you and our client. Concealing any important fact restricts our ability to properly serve you and our client, and it makes building a strong relationship more difficult.

  3. Build a Relationship.

    When you’re working with the right recruiter, building a solid, trust-based relationship should be very easy and feel completely natural. All of the really successful recruiters that I know have this in common: they sincerely care about the candidates with whom they’re working. We’re all in it for the money, but if your recruiter doesn’t display a genuine interest in you and your career, find another recruiter.

  4. Find a Specialist.

    You wouldn’t take your ailing dog to a motorcycle mechanic, right? Same logic here. Most of us recruit very specific skill sets to support targeted industries. Find a recruiter who specializes in your chosen field who can talk the language and who has a client base that closely aligns with your career goals.

    The core of CSG is centered around biopharma solutions. We are well recognized in the industry with an 18 year track record of delivering high quality consultants to top tier drug development companies and contract research organizations. 

    Interested in exploring a new career opportunity with Clinical Solutions Group? Visit our home page to schedule a time to speak with one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists. 


resume tips

5 Obvious, and 5 Not-so-Obvious Resume Tips

5 -Obvious Resume Tips

  1. Proof Read, Proof Read, Proof Read

    Yes, we are still talking about this! While it is one of the most obvious “no-brainers” that comes to mind when thinking about refining your resume, it is amazing how many resumes with major spelling and grammatical errors come through our office. Ensuring that you have a resume free of grammatical and spelling errors goes a long way to show your attention to detail.

  2. Avoid copy and pasting

    It is easy to identify that someone has copied and pasted a job description as their own duties on a resume. While it might seem like it makes sense to use the exact description, it can give a recruiter the impression that you are lazy. Everyone knows that a person’s impact on a company goes beyond a generic job description; so set yourself apart by giving precise and detailed descriptions of what you did during your time at a prior engagement.

  3. Easy on the Eyes!

    Recruiters and hiring managers look at hundreds of resumes daily and tens of thousands on an annual basis; so, adhere to a writing style that is compatible with skimming! Place your most impressive achievements towards the top of every engagement coupled with the use of short, precise language. This will go a long way to ensuring that important things don’t slip through the cracks. Remember, you are highlighting your relevant skills to capture the reader’s interest, not writing a novel. A clean list of organized bullet points is a great way to accomplish this.

  4. Be Consistent

    Grammar is another fundamental practice. Ensures that all the fonts are the same, paragraphs and margins are properly aligned, and all engagements follow the same format. Your attention to these details will go a long way to increasing the amount of time the Recruiter will spend on the resume.

  5. Be Honest

    Too many people embellish their prior experience attempting to be more marketable.  Even stretching the truth a little can be a major turn-off.   Recruiters and hiring managers are trained to weed out these CV’s, and it could keep a company from considering you for future opportunities. You will stand out more by being straight forward and honest, and land the job because your CV matched your interview responses.


5 No-so-Obvious Resume Tips

  1. Made, Saved, and Achieved

    Figuring out exactly how to describe your experience at prior jobs can be difficult. Ultimately recruiters and hiring managers want to see the impact you made at a previous engagement and that can be done by using the MSA method. First, describe new things that you made that positively impacted the company. This could be new processes, new tools, or new procedures that you implemented. Second, describe the effect that those processes had. This could be in terms of an actual dollar amount or in terms of time required to complete a process. Lastly, brag about your achievements! Great things to boast about include employee recognitions, coming in under budget or ahead of schedule for several years in a row, etc.

  2. Tailor fit your resume

    Every job and every company is different, so it would make sense that every job you apply to uses a slightly different version of your resume. Spending the time to make sure you highlight specific experiences relevant to the job description and the company can be the difference between making it to the interview round or the pay-no-mind list.

  3. Don’t use Tables!

    While they are a major help in presenting your resume in a clean and easy to read format, they can hurt your resumes searchability. The majority of the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) used in the industry struggle to search for keywords and phrases within tables. This means your perfectly tailored resume might not appear in searches, regardless of your perfect qualifications for the job.

  4. Make your LinkedIn Profile reflect your resume

    Often your LinkedIn profile is as critical for applying to a job as your resume so it’s critical that you make sure the dates, titles, and experience are aligned. Use your LinkedIn profile to go a bit more in-depth on your responsibilities and use paragraph form rather than the bulleted form from the resume. Chances are if someone is looking at your LinkedIn profile after you’ve applied to a job, they’re interested.  Now use your LinkedIn profile to seal the deal!

  5. Use Keywords

    When posting your resume to a site like Monster or Indeed, make sure to use relevant key words in your resume as often as possible. Treat your resume like a marketer would with a website and increase its searchability. You can find the best keywords to use by reading job descriptions at companies you are interested in, and finding the common trends!



The core of CSG is centered around biopharma solutions. We are well recognized in the industry with an 18 year track record of delivering high quality consultants to top tier drug development companies and contract research organizations. 

Interested in exploring a new career opportunity with Clinical Solutions Group? Visit our home page to schedule a time to speak with one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists.