questions answered by Merck & Co., Inc.

Asked by Erica on September 19, 2018

Hello, I went to university later in life, at age 26, and graduated in three years. I had some good work experience before university, but not in the role I am looking for now. I was a sales coordinator and I am looking to move into a full sales role. A recruiter recommended that I differentiate my work pre-university experience from my post-university experience. Can you suggest how to do this?

Merck & Co. have responded.

Hi there! One way that I've found helpful for myself has been using the header "Relevant Work Experience" for roles that tie in directly to careers and jobs that I am applying for. Then I use the header "Other…

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Asked by Melanie on August 24, 2018

What goes in a portfolio? Should it be all of my work for real clients, or only a limited amount? And is it acceptable to have projects from school in there as well? Is there a maximum amount of items that should be placed in a portfolio?

Merck & Co. have responded.

That's a great question. I wouldn't fill it up with ALL of your work - i would choose maybe 5-8 pieces of work that you feel best exemplifies your skills and different types of work and focus on those. As a…

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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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