questions answered by Merck & Co., Inc.

Asked by Melanie on August 14, 2018

I recently went on vacation in Colorado, where smoking marijuana is legal. Now, I've returned to my home state where it is not legal. I just found out that my company is drug testing all employees this week. If THC shows up in my sample, am I in the clear since I was smoking it legally?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - I am not a legal expert by any means, but I believe that all states with recreational marijuana laws have exemptions for for workplace drug policies. I'm not sure which state you live in, but most…

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Asked by J.M. on June 4, 2018

When is the best time to start doing internships? Is the summer before my sophmore year too early?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - great question! I don't really think there is a "best" time to start doing internships. Most companies are looking for students who have completed a certain set of courses or a specific number of…

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Asked by Jorge on May 10, 2018

Should I only apply to jobs that I feel I’m qualified for? Or are some employers more interested in the person rather than a perfect match on paper for the open position?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - great question! My advice is to apply for positions where you meet the basic qualifications - these are typically listed in the job description. This is by far the most important thing that you can…

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Asked by Tanya on April 27, 2018

How can I figure out what my starting salary might be, or how much I should ask for?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - there are lots of tools out there to help you research salary ahead of a potential interview. My two favorites are PayScale.com and Glassdoor. One thing to keep in mind is that salary is dependent…

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Asked by Tanya on March 31, 2018

What would be your top five characteristics of a great resume?

Merck & Co. have responded.

If I were to pick five top attributes, they would be 1) readability; 2) education / major; 3) extracurricular activities; 4) research or relevant experience; 5) spelling and grammar. 

1) Readability…

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Asked by Santiago on February 19, 2018

I would like to become a teacher or a graduate school professor. What's the best track to achieve this? Do I need to go back to school for a masters degree, or should I grow and gain experience at an educational company?

Merck & Co. have responded.

This could be a great question for your college / university Career Services office. Most universities would require you to obtain a PhD or a doctorate degree in the field that you would like to teach, especially…

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Asked by Emily on March 2, 2018

Is it OK to email companies asking for a job, even if they don't have any positions posted? If yes,what's the best way to go about that?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - I would agree and rather than "ask for a job", treat this as more of a networking opportunity. Reach out to some folks at the company you're looking at, especially those within the field you're trying…

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Asked by Melissa on September 7, 2017

Over 2 years ago when I was 6 months pregnant,I lost my job due to my entire department being eliminated. I decided to stay home for a while with my new family but ready to work now. How do I explain the absence in employment during the application process so my resume isn't immediately put in the rejection pile? I cannot even get an interview before receiving a rejection letter.

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there - I've seen this come through in several resumes at different points in my career. As a recruiter, I would add a short bullet to your resume explaining that you took time away from work to care for…

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Asked by KelliMae on September 10, 2017

Are extra-curricular activities in college important to a potential employer?

Merck & Co. have responded.

I think that they can be in order to show that you're a well-rounded candidate. It's important, though, not to think about getting involved in a plethora of activities just for the sake of doing "something"…

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Asked by Katherine on September 10, 2017

What are some practical things that impress an employer in an interview? i.e. firm handshake, key phrases, etc..

Merck & Co. have responded.

For me, one of the best things that a candidate can do in an interview is to answer the interviewer's questions clearly, concisely, and by providing solid examples. I am always impressed when a candidate can…

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