So, you’ve decided it’s time to move on and you are looking for a new role in the pharmaceutical industry. You’ve assessed your strengths and weaknesses, set your career and life goals and prepared your CV to ensure you market yourself in the best possible way. You may feel exhausted after all that but in fact your job search has only just begun - now you need to find out what vacancies are out there!
The traditional way of searching for a suitable opening is to scour the general press and trade literature for job advertisements.
Commercial roles in pharmaceutical sales and marketing are most often advertised in such trade publications as Pharmaceutical Times etc and the broadsheet dailies such as The Daily Telegraph.
In clinical and medical fields, the most common advertising media are the publications from the relevant professional associations such as The Institute of Clinical Research (Clinical Research Focus), The Association of Clinical Data Management, British Medical Association (BMA) etc.
2. The Internet
In the last few years, however, by far the most useful source of information on current vacancies is the World Wide Web. A great many organisations in the pharmaceutical and allied support industries will post their active vacancies on sites such as PharmiWeb, on a regular basis.
You can search these sites for specific roles, job locations, salary ranges etc to ensure you only review the positions that may interest you. You can apply directly for specific vacancies by submitting your CV or post your CV for general review by subscribing organisations. Most postings will have contact names and e-mail addresses so that you can find out more about the role before deciding whether to apply.
You can be sure that the vacancies listed on such sites are up to date but you may need to be quick so ensure you plan to look on a regular basis!
3. Recruitment Agencies
Many organisations manage their recruitment process with the help of specialist Recruitment Agencies or Resourcing Organisations, such as Futures Resourcing Limited. In this way, busy recruiting managers can be assured of receiving a shortlist of candidates who have be thoroughly assessed in terms of their suitability for the vacant role.
Choose the recruitment organisations you want to work with carefully. You should insist on meeting or, at the very least, having a full telephone interview with a Consultant before agreeing to your details being included on the company’s candidate database. Always insist that you be informed of potentially suitable vacancies and have given your permission before the agency submits your details to their client.
Tell the agency exactly what you are looking for and the terms and conditions you require. If you are flexible in terms of role, location, salary etc make sure this is noted in your records. At the same time be honest – do not be tempted to add a few hundred pounds to your current salary or exaggerate your experience. Recruitment specialists will easily pick up such indiscretions!
Develop a relationship with Consultants at your chosen agency – the more they know about you the more likely they are to find you a job that suits you and your working style. Make an impact and a Consultant will remember you for life – so if they don’t help you this time they may be able to in the future! At Futures we believe that our candidates are our biggest assets and will work closely with you to advise on career development and finding your niche.
But still it is true that many vacant positions are filled without ever being advertised and developing a professional network is an important way of getting exposure to potential employers.
Start with a list of people you know within or in some way associated with the pharmaceutical industry. Don’t worry if this list is small – it will soon grow! If this first list of people can’t help you they can often put you in touch with a friend, colleague or ex-colleague who can.
When your networking contacts are made in person, treat the conversation as if it were an interview but be careful to put your contact under pressure to find you a job! When on the telephone be concise – you may only have a short time to create a positive impression. However the contact is made, know what you want to achieve from it – advice, information or a lead to another contact who may be able to help more.
Always thank people for their help even if they haven’t really moved your search on at all and, when they have, it’s a good idea to get back to them with feedback as to how your search is progressing.
However you identify opportunities, be proactive and confident and above all, don’t give up – the perfect job is out there waiting to be found!
So, you’ve identified the opportunities, you know what you want and how to market yourself. The final stage is approaching…….
Don’t miss Part Three: The Interview – here next month!