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How to find a graduate job in pharma

What does it take to land your first graduate job in the pharmaceutical industry? Megan Bryant has some useful advice.

The pharmaceutical industry is continuously adapting to match the fierce market, reaching innovative heights year-on-year. Therefore, when seeking graduates, employers expect high calibre candidates.

How can you successfully find a graduate position in the pharmaceutical industry, with all its rewards?

1. In-demand skills

When applying for graduate roles, a scan through the job description will show desired skills such as the ability to collaborate, methodological problem solving and commercial awareness. However, 2018 has seen bioinformatics, statistics, and artificial intelligence (AI) take on significant growth. Graduates with an understanding of AI, coding or computing will have an advantage when it comes to securing a role in the pharmaceutical sector of the future.

2. Experience
Ultimately, the graduate market is tough and to impress the recruiters, having relevant experience will enhance your chances of getting the job you want. While many universities offer four-year courses, including a year in industry, some may not offer this yet. However, there are options available to students in order to obtain such experience. Approach your local doctor’s surgery, speak to people already working in industry, and build a network of people on the inside to help you find out about work experience or shadowing opportunities.

3. Master your online profile
LinkedIn has disrupted the recruitment process, with over 500 million active users. 2018 has seen a 40% rise in recruiters using InMail to connect with potential candidates. Keep your profile looking great by using a professional photo, an effective current job description, and demonstrate your ability by including your experiences and achievements.

4. Be resilient
Perfecting your application and obtaining relevant work experience is all part of the successful formula for landing that position. What we sometimes forget though is that it is OK to fail – really it is! Learning to be resilient can turn a negative into a positive. Didn’t pass the first stage? Ask for feedback. Failed the assessment centre? Practise. Eventually, your hard work and determination will pay off, which is something that can be demonstrated in your experience and interviews, impressing recruiters and colleagues.

5. Know what you want
Scanning through hundreds of vacancies and submitting generic applications is tempting and can seem like it saves you time. But sending poor applications results in poor responses. When applying for each job, consider the company’s culture, immerse yourself in their values, identify what location you would like to work in. All these actions will help you to get the position you want. Once you secure an interview, you can demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s values, which is another way to impress recruiters.

Applying for graduate roles is never an easy task. However, with hard work and determination, it will pay off. Stay motivated, continuously look for ways to improve your professional profile, remain proactive and you’ll secure the job you want.

Search graduate roles at studentjob.co.uk


Megan Bryant is currently on an internship working as Online Marketer for StudentJob UK, which focuses on connecting employers with candidates. When not working she is studying towards her BA (Hons) in Business Management at Coventry University.

Looking for more career advice? Read hereCareers & graduates

Related articles:

Finding a graduate job in pharma

How to get into pharma?

What pharma jobs are there?

What do pharma sales recruiters look for?

Top 5 job search tips

Find your dream role at PharmaJobs.co.uk

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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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