If you’re looking to make a career change into pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing, the thought of starting your job hunt may be a little overwhelming. When you don’t know an industry, every step of the job hunting process can become a massive hurdle.

We know. Here at GetReskilled, we’ve been helping trainees make that transition for nearly 10 years.

Now it’s time to share what we’ve learned as we launch our Pharmaceutical Job Application Checklist and Tracking Template.

The Pharmaceutical Job Hunting Template

Our template lays out the essential steps for a pharmaceutical or medical device job hunt.

What’s more, these steps are laid out in order and organised into weeks, so you know you’re always doing the right thing at the right time.

You want more?! Ok, we’ve also listed out links to resources and useful articles against many of these tasks so if you’re unsure about what to do, you can get more information.

How To Get Started With The Template

The spreadsheet itself is designed to be self-explanatory but, incase you want a little more guidance, we’ve made a series of short videos to guide you through setting up and using the document.

First up you’ll need to get yourself the spreadsheet. Head on over to Google Sheets via the link below and make yourself your very own copy of the spreadsheet (details on how to make a copy in the first video below).

Click this link to go directly to the spreadsheet 

Video number one is an introduction to the sheet, how to make yourself a copy and how to navigate through the different pages…

The “Weekly Walkthrough”

This tab of the spreadsheet is where you’ll find the list of tasks, organised into weeks, and with space for you to track and make comments on your progress.

Here’s a quick guide to the contents of this tab:

Column B – Week number
Column C – Outline of tasks
Column D – Links to resources or articles that further explain or help with the task
Column E – For you to complete, date you did each task
Column F – For you to complete, replace the text in these boxes with your own notes about the task – what did you find out and what are the key points to remember from it?

For more information on using this tab, check out the video below…

The “Application Tracker”

This third tab of the spread sheet is for you to keep all the relevant information about your job applications, together in one place.

A brief outline of the contents:

Column A – Week number
Column B – Application number for that week (by default there are 5 spaces per week since we recommend 5 applications per week)
Column C – For you to complete, the company name you applied to
Column D – For you to complete, the job title of the job you applied for
Column E – For you to complete, the date you submitted the application
Column F – For you to complete, the closing date of the job (if known/applicable)
Column G – For you to complete, how you applied for the job (company website, email, post, speculative application etc)
Column H – For you to complete, what were the key words and phrases used in the advert to describe the sort of person they are looking for. Which ones did you use as you tailored your CV?
Column I – For you to complete, noting any response to your application (may require several updates as an application progresses)

For more information on using this tab, check out video 3 below…

The “Speculative Applications” Tab

The final tab of the spreadsheet is for planning speculative applications. This is an extremely important part of job hunting these days and one you should take seriously. In week 3 you’ll be prompted to fill out this tab with companies you want to target with a speculative application as your job hunt progresses.

The aim isn’t to create a list and send out these applications all in one go. The aim is to set yourself up with a list that you can work through, supplementing your applications in response to job adverts as you move through the weeks of your job hunt.

It’s fairly self explanatory but, just in case:

Column B – For you to complete, the name of the company you want to apply to speculatively
Column C – For you to complete, a named person/contact within the company that you uncover via internet research or networking (having a named person to send your application to is important)
Column D – For you to complete, how you’ll contact them (email, address, phone number for follow up etc)

You’ll notice there isn’t room for tracking these applications here. That’s because as soon as you send a speculative application, you should be making a note of it on the Application Tracker tab and noting the progress there.

For a little more detail on which companies to consider for targeting your speculative applications, check out video 4 below…


Making the Most of the Template

A few tips on maximising your success in using our Pharmaceutical Job Application Checklist and Tracking Template:

  • Make it part of your routine – you’ll have the greatest impact on your job hunt if you can form a routine. Dedicate time to it and don’t let anything distract you
  • Don’t expect it to find a job for you – this will organise your job hunt but it’s not going to do the work for you, be under no illusions… this WILL take time and effort
  • Don’t skip steps just because they seem a bit hard – if we’ve put it on the sheet, we believe it’s an important part of your job hunt. It’s far too easy to convince yourself that one little thing can’t be that important if you think it’s going to challenge you
  • Keep going with your job hunt until you have a signed offer of employment – don’t let things lapse for a week or two because you get an interview and you’re “waiting to see what happens with that”
  • Make it your own – you’ll get the most benefit from this template when it’s capturing ALL the information relevant to your job hunt. While we’ve covered the basics here, feel free to add to it to really make this template a document that encompasses all of your job hunt.

Let us know what you think – leave a comment below with feedback, questions or to let us know how you’re getting on using the template. And if you’re looking for more help and guidance in job hunting, be sure to check out our Job Hunt Resource Centre, a collection of resources specifically designed to help progress your pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing job hunt.