How to Prepare for Your Biopharma Job Search

Job Candidates


If you're in the midst of a job search and are finding it overwhelming, you're not alone.

From applications to cover letters to interviews, the entire process can last anywhere from weeks to months, and that's for those who are actively seeking a new role. But the good news for those in the pharma industry is that there are myriad roles available, and pharma employees are in high demand. 

To help alleviate some of the stress related to finding a new job, we've created a comprehensive guide detailing what to expect in your pharma job search.

How to Prepare for Your Biopharma Job Search

Look in the Right Places

From job boards to in-person applications, there are many different options for those in search of a job. But the best choice for those in the pharma, biotechnology and life sciences industries is an industry-specific job board. Industry-specific job boards can help you fasten the pharmaceutical job search process.

These job boards differ from others in that they only list roles that are specific to a certain field. Unlike online boards like LinkedIn and Indeed, using an industry-specific job board can save you time and energy, as you don't have to scroll through thousands of job postings that are not relevant to your search. Try using boards like BioSpace and MedReps to make the search for jobs a little easier. 

Gather Materials in Advance

Once you find an interesting job during a pharmaceutical job search, it's time to apply. But before you do so, it's important to make sure you have all the materials and resources you'll need. Most jobs require a cover letter and resume at the minimum. 

You should always make sure you have both of these materials prepared in advance. However, you should also tailor both your resume and cover letter for each specific job.

When writing a cover letter, highlight the hard skills you have that can help you stand out above other candidates. You can take this from the skills outlined in your resume, and you may even want to make an entire section for your hard and soft skills. You can also make a section on your resume to outline any degrees and certifications you have that are specific to the industry. 

Once you have a strong draft of your resume and cover letter, tailor both documents for each specific role you apply for. You can take words and phrases from the job posting and insert them into your resume and cover letter. This will help for all positions, but especially those in which the companies use artificial intelligence to filter out the best candidates. 

Prepare for the Interview 

Preparing for the interview is arguably the most important step once you have completed your pharmaceutical job search and found your preferred job. We've previously compiled a detailed guide on how to answer interview questions if you want more information. 

Before your interview, try practicing with a friend or professional colleague. This will make you more confident in your responses, which is one of the most important aspects in an interview. Additionally, you may want to consult a mentor or former boss and ask them to help you prepare. They may have experience in interviewing candidates and can give you advice on the types of questions you'll be asked. 

Another crucial step in being ready for an interview is preparing questions to ask the employer. Make sure to research the company beforehand so you can ask specific questions related to the company and its role. Additionally, you can read reviews of the company and ask questions related to those reviews. For example, if other people complained about the company's health benefits, the interview is the best time to inquire about those. 

The Bottom Line

Scoring a job in the biopharma industry doesn't have to be scary. If you think it's time for you to move on to a new role, be proactive during your pharmaceutical job search, and take the steps outlined above. If you adequately prepare for the process before it begins, you may find yourself accepting your dream job in no time. 

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