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Interview with Jan Paul Favier and René Kemps from CLS Services

CLS Services is proud main sponsor in all BCF Career Event editions over the past twenty years: a career event they obviously do not want to miss. Why is that?

Jan Paul Favier: “Since the very first edition we participated in the BCF Career Event. For almost 20 years now, we aim to be market leader in Life Sciences and Chemistry recruitment in The Netherlands. At this event we present ourselves and we can meet and connect with talents directly. We prefer long term partnerships that align with our promise: Dedicated to Excellence. Our presence at BCF Career Event for such a long time meets how we roll: do something extremely well or don’t even start. We always make sure people recognise us, and remember us afterwards.”

How has the event and the sector evolved over the past two decades?
René Kemps: “Over the years BCF has grown in size, with more participating companies and visitors. This is in line with sector developments as we saw a growing number of companies and people employed in the Life Sciences sector. Twenty years ago, large companies had a (corporate) R&D department in the Netherlands, like DSM and Astellas. Nowadays it is a challenging time. Yes, we see many start-ups in Life sciences but this growth has unfortunately not translated into more grown up companies, exceptions are e.g. Crucell/J&J, Galapagos, Genmab and Pharming. If Dutch government stimulates the investment climate and businesses in Life Sciences, we are confident that the Netherlands can stand out again on innovation and development in this sector. It will provide necessary stability for companies to grow and acquire even more talented specialists.”

Based on the decades of experience you both have in Life Sciences, which advice would you give to professionals working in Life Sciences?
Jan Paul: “At CLS Services we all have a professional background in Chemistry or Life Sciences. That is why we know exactly what talents and clients are going through. We always advise people to find a job they are enthusiastic about and enjoy, and be realistic at the same time. Let’s be honest, every job will have aspects you enjoy less. If you are happy in your job for about 90%, we think you are doing really well. About career planning make sure to have a short term and a long term goal. Think always one or two job steps ahead to also allow for serendipity. If a job, even temporary, can bring you closer to your goal, just take that opportunity and make sure to make the most of it. Learn as much as possible and broaden your horizons.”
René continues: “How to find a great job? We strongly advise to focus on building and using your network and avoid using boilerplate application letters. A short, interesting and tailored letter is much more appealing than a long generic one. Show us the real you. We see more and more candidates using ChatGPT for writing letters. Stay away from generic. I mean, ChatGPT is a great inspiration, but make sure we can recognize your personality in that letter. Your application is about you.”

BCF Career Event