Resume Review

As I hope is clear from previous posts, networking is essential to improving your ability to make an employment change.  Getting referred into a company or an endorsement via an employee submitting your resume, gets your resume a second look. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter reviewing resumes.

The information below was submitted to me by Dick Winokur, who I have known for 11 years.  We met when he was working for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis (now Sanofi). When I first started FOCM Networking and launched the web site  he shared some information with me that he relied up on in his career.


  1. They keep the job criteria firmly in mind–look for “buzz-words.”
  2. They look for a stated job objective.
  3. They look for the “can-do” candidate.
  4. They read between the lines for the “will do” candidate.
  5. They search for consistent career advancement.
  6. They look for job results versus activities.
  7. They notice how the resume appears.


Additional resources:

Virtual Networking Meeting Summary

On December 15, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was our year-end event and we didn’t have a speaker, topic or theme.

We kept everyone in one room and went around the room asking people to answer a variety of questions. We asked for each person to share what positive or memorable thing happened in 2021 and what they were looking forward to happening in 2022.

  • A representative answer was that while some had caught COVID and it was a bad illness, no one had anyone in their families get severely ill or pass away from it. The outlook for 2022 was felt to be somewhat tentative with the global rise of infections due to the Omicron variant. It was noted that the annual January JP Morgan conference will be virtual again due to the rise in cases. (Occurring today, December 22, Pfizer’s oral dose anti-viral pill to treat COVID was approved.)
  • Michael Young shared that 2021 found him becoming a grandfather with the birth of grandson Oliver Kiesing Miller (pictures below attendee listing). Michael’s hopes for 2022 include completing the first draft of a book he’s writing on “Branding”. He also echoed the feelings of many of us – having the opportunity to see clients, customers and friends in person and a return to in-person conferences. (I think this is the equivalent of a blood transfusion for extroverts).
  • Ires Alliston shared that she is hosting a Female Expert Coaches Summit May 9 – 11 in Daytona Beach, FL. More information is available here: (

Movies/TV shows people are watching/recommending:

  • You
  • The Unforgiveable
  • Get Back
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Giri/Haji
  • Yellowstone

Fountain pens
It turns out that Nadia Bracken has found the hobby of collecting fountain pens. Someone else on the call mentioned a former boss who also did so.  There was a discussion about the psychological draw toward collecting such pens.  I subsequently found this discussion group ( .The hobby appears to be more associated with introversion based on the non-controlled survey in the discussion group. Another article on the topic is:

Toward the end of the event, two things occurred after some had dropped off:

  • Dan Weddle sang and played his guitar
  • Michael Young arrived and showed pictures of his adorable 1st grandson

Please join us next month on January 19

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):
Kevin Boos, Rho
Brian Horan, SupplyRx
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Dan Weddle, AltaSciences
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Maria Frane, Simbec-Orion
Sara Tylosky, Farmacon
Brennan Munley, Rho
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Photo Collection

Esteemed Industry Professionals
Revered Industry Professionals
Heralded clinical research industry professionals
Dan Weddle performing an original song
Denise, Zulma and Michael concluding the meeting
Oliver Kiesing Miller, grandson of Michael Young
Oliver Kiesing Miller, grandson of Michael Young


November 17 Networking Event Summary

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting, fascinating people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On November 17, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event.

Whereas last month we had a featured speaker – Heather Hollick on LinkedIn best practices; this time we just had general discussion and greeting of one another. While there were still a manageable number, I introduced each person and how I know them. There was also discussion and general agreement that when Merck and Pfizer get their oral dose antiviral medicines approved (whether emergency authorization or full approval); the COVID-19 pandemic will become very manageable and the world can return to our new normal; forever impacted but less restricted. (added since the 11/17 meeting – the identification of the Omicron variant may put a slow down on the return; however, early information indicates that while it’s easily transmissible, the symptoms are different and mild, such that as of Nov 30 in South Africa hospital where the doctor found the Omicron variant, no hospitalizations are attributed to it. And now just today, an FDA Advisory panel recommended approval for Merck’s anti-viral pill to treat COVID-19 and reduce hospitalizations.)

We then moved to the evening’s agenda. We had three rooms for people to go to depending on their interests.  The three discussion topics were:

  • Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Networking

Heather Hollick chaired the Networking room. One discussion centered around how sales/business development people use it and consultant/subject matter experts use it to best fill their connection needs. Interestingly, several participants shared that they control their LinkedIn outreach and purposefully limit their contacts to a more easily managed subset (~1000) to maximize the depth of relationships. Several other participants use a more liberal approach and have grown their networks to over 10,000 contacts who then serve as “private wikis” allowing rapid access to large groups of professionals with multi-various experiences.

Please join us next month on December 15 and if you have a Christmas sweater – wear it!

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Kevin Boos, Rho
Valerie Roussin-Paradis, SkillPad
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Nicole Yoon, Mediaiplus
Ires Alliston, Business Coach, Consulting & Marketing
Lindsey Summers, Green Key Resources
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Allianc
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

November 17 2021 Networking Event
November Event Flyer

Observations: CNS Summit Conference 2021

The CNS Summit, a year-round community with an annual in-person Summit was held at the Encore Resort Boston Harbor. It was very well-attended with over nine hundred registered. There was a feeling of pent-up need for networking and reconnecting. It is quite apparent that participants at this meeting are enthusiastic to be attending in person. The joy and happiness of seeing friends, colleagues (past and current) and being able to freely move about and make new connections was palpable. There is such a willingness to hear about what each other is up to, has learned and is doing different since the last time we gathered in person.

Rapid antigen testing was conducted rapidly for Covid-19, and  a negative test result (within about 15 minutes) indicated by a wristband provided, allowing access to the Summit.  The testing was provided by CNS Summit in partnership with Care Access. The process went off flawlessly, a great testament to the Care Access and CNS Summit staff involved.

There were many exhibitors, patrons and sponsors. To see which companies participated, I recommend you go to the website:

Digital Biomarkers, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, Patient Diversity, Real World Data were among many Spotlight topics. As an example, Sharecare and UCB presented real-world data on patients with Myasthenia Gravis. The insights learned, the new endpoints discovered and the capabilities of the smartphone in such trials was impressive.

Below is the expanding list of companies that define themselves as DCT clinical trial service providers.  Go to  Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance to fully appreciate the expansion of companies and organizations in and/or getting into the decentralized research segment of our industry.

Curebase Circuit Clinical
Medable Science 37
TrialBee Thread
CaptureProof Care Access
Clinical Ink DataCubed Health
Medocity Medidata
ShareCare (SmartOmix) Science 37

If you are interested in the CNS Summit community and the opportunity for interacting within it year round, you can apply at the organization website, which is listed above in  paragraph 3.

And on a sad note, Medidata co-founder, Glenn DeVries who attended and presented at the conference passed away November 11 in a private plane crash in New Jersey.


FOCM & GLSA Virtual Networking Meeting

One of the things I thoroughly enjoy about networking is meeting such interesting people with different perspectives. This helps us understand and appreciate those differences and helps us re-consider our approach to certain things.

On October 20, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly pharmaceutical/biotech/clinical research/medical device/drug development industry online networking event (that’s a sentence-full). I know I wrote that in last month’s minutes too, so I promise to acronymize/shorten/bitly it next month, maybe to Pharma/Bio/CRO/Med & DrugDev or PBCMD? Is there a broader term one of you readers can suggest?

While people were arriving into the Zoom room, the first arrivers greeted each other and got their headsets, earphones, etc ready and connected. We started with the acknowledgement that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The advances in cancer therapies over the past dozen years or so is truly remarkable. With genotyping advances, new drugs are designed/created that work very well.  This allows testing to be done prior to drug administration and know ahead of time that certain patients will respond well.  So instead of having to enroll 300 cancer patients in a study to get enough with the defect in order to show statistical significance, the study can be done with fewer patients and to show significance and speed up the time to FDA approval.

We then moved to our featured speaker, Heather Hollick, a friend of mine for several years and the author of “Helpful, A Guide to Life, Careers and the Art of Networking”. Heather focused the discussion on best practices for using LinkedIn. It is an invaluable tool for networking. There are 8 ways that LinkedIn is beneficial.

  1. LinkedIn is how you present yourself to the industry. At a minimum it is your online resume.
  2. Enhances introductions – you know so much more about who you’re being introduced to.
  3. Refreshes your memory on who a person is, where you know them from and how long you’ve been connected.
  4. It helps you prepare for meetings – review who will be in the meeting and find items of commonality.
  5. Find companies that are hiring
  6. Provides links to other websites aiding in your research
  7. Keep track of who is in your network.
  8. Engage in groups and discussions with others that you share interest with.

I like to include how I met people, as a demonstration of the power and benefits of networking. I was connected to Heather via Tanyss Mason. I admit I’m having a difficult time remembering how Tanyss and I first became connections. Heather was in the midst of writing the book when we first met over the phone. When the book was released and Heather was in the RTP, NC area at a book premier and signing event we got to meet in person. Heather co-presented at the 2021 DIA Annual meeting (virtual) with me on a Networking workshop. We’ll collaborate again on this session for the DIA 2022 meeting being held in Chicago.

We typically go into several breakout sessions of 3-4 attendees for about 12 minutes each but this time, there was so much good discussion about LinkedIn and maintaining, nurturing and freshening one’s network that we showed our flexibility and kept rolling with the topic of interest.

Please join us next month on November 17.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees, I think):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates, LLC
Lacey Clements, IMA Clinical Research
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Christine Narro, Medical Device Co.
Lewis Kelly, Gunvatta
Chris Bergey, Humphries Insurance Agency
Michael O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Patrick McCarthy, ValidCare
Joe Dustin, Transcelerate Biopharma
Janie St. Pierre, Accellacare
Ellen Bedenko, IQVia
Patrick Champoux, SkillPad
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Daryl Oberg, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Brandon Huffman, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screen shot of virtual networking event

Support FOCM Entrepreneur

I am excited to announce that, Alicia Kelley Schifano, the first graduate of the FOCM College of Entrepreneurism is hitting the big time!!  Alicia will be a contestant on a new TV show airing Thursday, October 14th on the USA Network.  The show is America’s Big Deal.  It was created by Joy Mangano (from the movie Joy) and it will be hosted by Scott Evans from Access Hollywood!  It will be a bit like Shark Tank but live and “shoppable” so people can buy the products in real time while watching the show.  Alicia will be on the first episode, competing for a retail deal for the Mr. Big Curling Irons!  Here is a link to the video promo:

Here’s a link to the contestant page:

Please tune in at 9pm, October 14th and watch Alicia shine! And check out the product being offered at a $20 discount at the above link. For any of the FOCM members with long hair, this curling iron is a must in your beauty supplies inventory.

I have known Alicia for more than 10 years, having been introduced to her via TommiLynn Baker.  At our first meeting we talked for hours.  Alicia is energizing to be around; so much energy, passion and enthusiasm.

Networking Stories

When I do presentations and/or workshops on networking it’s been pointed out to me that some of the best “aha” moments or learnings that people take away come from the stories that I share.  So, the plan is for me to write up these stories in the hopes that they’re helpful or illustrative.

I use fictitious names when I have not asked for or not been given permission to use real names, yet the stories are real.

During the financial crisis of 2008, an acquaintance of mine (I’ll refer to him as John) worked in IT and became laid off.  I do not know for certain (no personality test was given) that John’s personality leans toward introversion, but I’d bet $100 that he is. He’d been unemployed for close to 10 months and was complaining about having applied to hundreds of openings, getting rejection letters, hearing nothing or getting some interviews but no job offers.  After many interviews and never getting the job, he explained that he was being interviewed by people 10-20 years younger than him that had no where near his experience and talents. Over time he was becoming embittered.

I asked for his resume and said I had connections in several of the local companies in my industry and would be happy to send his resume in to them.  His response was something like this: oh the networking approach, well I think that’s cheating.  In an idealized world, I see the point, and it would be nice if everyone were unbiasedly judged/evaluated on their resume.  But we’ve all seen good and bad resumes, which is one way in which recruiters judge/evaluate candidates. Recruiters and hiring managers use a variety of criteria to evaluate candidates: resume content and layout, experience, personality, references, etc.

Networking is most definitely not cheating; it’s a requirement.  I explained to John that networking isn’t cheating – I do not get him the job because I sent his resume to someone I know.  Me, sending his resume to someone I know just gets his resume lifted out of the pile and gets it a second or maybe third look.  Now the resume carries a reference, an additional factor giving it more credence.  Chris Matheus or whoever sent the resume to their friend serves as a background check. Getting the resume lifted out of the pile does not get John the job – it gives him a better shot at getting an interview.  He still has to “get” the job, still has to interview (without the embittered chip on his shoulder) and interview well.

Building a network of contacts is a key element in managing your career. It needs to be nurtured, maintained and expanded.  Remember networking is a reciprocal endeavor, you must be helpful to those in your network if you are going to ask for their help.

What is in a name

So this story is from an industry friend in Wilmington.

At one point in his career, he worked for a company whose name had an interesting origin.

As I recall him telling it, it is a tech company and when the founders were thinking of names; one of them said – I don’t care what we name the company, just as long as it has an X in it.  And Anexinet born.

Now, some digital marketers say that “X” originally sounded cutting-edge and sleek, but is now considered datedbusiness.


Meeting Summary of FOCM & GLSA Event

So, it finally happened, on that glorious day which shall long be remembered, these minutes will be heretofore submitted to the USA Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institute and for reasons unknown, to the Sydney Opera House on the northside bulletin board for public postings.

On May the 20, in the year 2021 of the Gregorian calendar, it was noted that the GLSA (Global Life Sciences Alliance) and FOCM (Friends of Chris Matheus) Networking organization did hold an online (virtual) networking event. The meticulously planned event went terribly awry when but half of the positive RSVPs failed to show up.  That said, it was a resounding success for the initial such event.  A total of 22 attended.

The meeting started off with an acknowledgement that it was Global Clinical Trials Day and a toast was given to the clinical research industry for saving the world from Covid-19 and to James Lind, the Scottish doctor who initiated the first controlled randomized clinical trial on May 20, 1747 aboard a sailing ship. Dr. Lind divided twelve sailors sick with scurvy into six groups of two. They all received the same diet but, in addition, each group was given a different treatment. Only the two sailors who received citrus fruits improved and returned to work.

Chris then introduced the GLSA members to the FOCM community.  After a bit of general discussion, several polls were taken. About half of the group is reluctant to resume conference travel immediately, preferring to wait a few more months. Slightly more than half have been vaccinated or acquired immunity through catching the virus. An interesting opinion was voiced that perhaps as members of the clinical research industry, we should set the example by all being vaccinated.  I, for one and I believe I speak for many of the others have the utmost confidence that not a step was missed, not a shortcut taken in the development of the available vaccines.  Given the prioritization and urgency of vaccine development, we were able to speed up the data review process. The one thing that the sped up development lacked is longer term safety and side effect data.  However, vaccine side effects rarely (I can’t think of any) change the longer from the time of injection.

Then it was time for speed networking!  The assertion has been made by Chris that each of us in the clinical research industry are within 2 degrees of separation from each other. We had 4 different sessions.  Attendees were randomly put into different “rooms” with the assignment to each introduce themselves to the group, sharing where they’d worked the previous 10-20 years and what they’re doing now to see if they could identify who they knew in common.  Good information was exchanged and several new connections were made which can improve the management of clinical trials.

Join us next month – June 16.

David Holland, Cmed Research
Jon Matheus, Pancrazi Real Estate
Sheila Mahoney-Jewels, Life Science Hub
Eric Nier, Block Clinical
Lynne Becker, Power of Patients
Nadia Bracken, Medidata
Christine Ver Straate, GLSA
Mitchell Efros, Verified Clinical Trials
Cassandra Hui, HealMary
Denise McNerney, GLSA
Joe Buser, GLSA
Tom Ryan, GLSA
Kalyan Ghosh, Inference Inc
Marty Frazier, GLSA
Tanusree Bhattacharyya, Inference Inc
Zulma Varela, GLSA
Mike O’gorman, Life Science Marketplace
David Gibboni, DJGibboni Consulting
Eric Mayer, EDP Biotech
Craig Fernandes, EDP Biotech
Maria Frane, C3 Research

Wedding Toast from Father of the Bride

So 9 years ago when my first-born daughter became engaged, my signifcant other/spousal equivalent said, “you’ll have to give a toast at the reception, practice it now, just speak from your heart”.  I panicked, I pictured myself in front of everyone at the reception and couldn’t come up with anything.  Public speaking is listed as one of the top things people fear. I’ve done a lot of public presentations but I’ve prepared for them, scripted them, practiced them.  So when put on the spot, I froze.

So I had several months to prepare and wrote a toast and re-wrote and re-wrote it with a focus on not too long, focused, concise and from the heart.  In the years since then when friends, strangers and new acquaintances tell me their daughter is getting married, I remind them they’ll have to give a toast.  I tell  them I have one which I can share with them as a template they can adjust. It will at least get them started.  The below has been shared with almost 10 people.  What prompted me to write this blog is I found an email I sent to a man I met in an airport bar and he said his daughter was getting married.  The man’s future son-in-law was a graduate of Texas A&M. The template is below:

First, we’ll have a quick toast and then I have a few things to say. Everyone please raise your glasses: To (state your daughter’s name) and Person (your daughter’s fiancee’s name), on behalf of everyone here, may you have a lifetime of happiness.  Cheers.

And now I’d like to say a few things:  Parents and brothers and sisters of person marrying my sweet precious angel, we’re glad to add you to our extended family and look forward to getting to know you better in the years ahead.  Person, without a doubt you are my favorite in-law, (say this if he/she is your only child-in-law: pause for laughter), you’re also my first sin-law and I couldn’t be happier, you’re an Aggie engineer, who could ask for anything more. (Maybe drop in an Aggie joke here: I do like the fact that you’re (choose one or more than one: a college graduate, have a job, have wealthy parents).  _______ (Daughter’s name or nickname), you are a beautiful bride, I remember when I first saw you __ years ago, it was a feeling of instant and complete adoration and love.  Oh and maybe a little fear that I might be buying you a car at age 16 and that maybe I’d spend money to send you on a European vacation every year you were in college and that somehow we’d end up with any pets that you “bought”.  I was certain that I’d be paying for a wedding someday.  I’ve been so proud of you every step of your life.

To you both, I have a few words of advice:
Don’t keep score
Don’t expect marriage to be 50:50 every day, because there will be days when one of you can only give 25% to the relationship, that’s when the other has to give 75%.

Use your words
If you don’t tell each other how you feel and what you’re thinking, they will not know.

Lastly “a little teasing goes a long way” – be sensitive to each other’s feelings when joking around because – “a little teasing goes a long way”.

Please join me in one more toast:  To Precious and her Person – here’s to the beginning of the happiest days of your lives together. Cheers!

Yikes, as I finish this I realize I have to do another toast to do – in August my last-born daughter is getting married and I have less than 3 months to come up with a completely new toast!