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Back on the pharma job market – what’s out there?

Finding yourself back on the job market after years can be daunting. How can recruiters work with seasoned pharma professionals to offer them a future?

“After 30 years of successful employment, I am back on the job market. It’s a bit bewildering, but I am eager to get back, and with my experience I’ve still got a lot to offer. Redundancy was a shock to my system, but I’m gradually adapting to the digital recruitment process.

I remember in the Eighties, trying to get into the pharmaceutical industry was relatively straightforward. On Thursdays, I’d refer to the appointments section of the Daily Telegraph, which included a wealth of vacancies and recruitment agencies. I would pick up the phone, talk to someone on the other end and arrange to meet them. The agent would then go over my CV with a fine toothcomb and soon I would find myself with a number of opportunities.

How things have changed, and competition for places is far greater. Over the last four months, I have signed up online with loads of agencies and applied for several roles. There is no doubt that the instant nature of digital has its advantages – you can apply at the touch of a button and view a host of positions in one place. I need to adapt, however, as there isn’t always the level of human contact in the process that I would expect.

Also, at the other end of the process, when I receive feedback, I seem to come up against the same ‘self-inflicted’ barrier – being over-qualified for the role. My message is clear – I’m here, I’m ready and don’t assume that certain roles are ‘below me’. I don’t want to watch any more episodes of Cash in the Attic – I want to work.

We hear in the media almost every day that there is a skills shortage in the UK. In the pharma space, there is an abundance of skills and, if used wisely, we still can reinforce that this is the most exciting industry in the world.

I hope that I, and all talented people out there, get the chance they need. I for one, will embrace the new system of applications, become more tuned in to the digital landscape and, who knows, next time I write to you, I might have renewed purpose and a new job title.”


Reinvigorate your search

Top tips for successful re-entry into the pharma jobs market, from Andy Boyd, Recruitment Account Manager at Evolve Selection

1. Ensure you are fully up to date with current NHS news and insights, especially those that are relevant to the types of vacancies you are applying for.

2. Make sure you are up to speed with any changes in the pharma industry which may have happened since you left; especially those relevant to roles you are looking to move back into.

3. Update your CV to reflect your time out of the industry, in order to explain your reasons for any gaps.

4. Work closely with a respected recruiter to keep up to date on the latest available vacancies and ensure that you practise your interviewing techniques with other industry professionals or your chosen recruiter.

5. Utilise previous colleagues, friends and customers in order to share best practice to assist you in your job search.

6. Be realistic! Don’t think you will necessarily walk back into a role similar to the one you had before. You may need to lower your expectations to regain a position and have a realistic perspective regarding the package on offer.





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Amy Schofield
Amy Schofield
Amy is Special Editions Editor at Pharmafield. She is an experienced journalist and editor of both digital and print content across healthcare, technology and careers. 


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