Are you graduating soon? Looking for your first role?
Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Elizaveta Luneva and Laila Manshi, Regulatory Affairs Advisors @Bloom Regulatory Ltd, have put together a little guide based on personal experience and industry knowledge to help you get a head start!
Our personal experience
Laila (graduated Cosmetic Science 2020):
Looking for a job straight out of university was definitely daunting however once I begun my search, I was surprised to see how many opportunities are out there if you look in the right places. I found LinkedIn a great tool not only to connect with recruiters but also directly with employers to discuss opportunities they may have.
Although I applied directly to the job I have now, I secured a few interviews through recruiters who had simply messaged me on LinkedIn approaching my graduation date (this is a big thing I noticed – recruiters tend to message you towards the end of the academic year in advance of graduation so if you are looking for a job at a different time don’t be afraid to reach out to them!).
I tended not to turn down any opportunity that would come up for an interview even if it didn’t seem the exact perfect match for me at first, you never really know what may come of things (as well as the main thing being getting your foot in the door).
Interviews/recruitment process did tend to vary between companies but I think the main thing I did was make sure I tailored my cover letter and CV to suit that exact company as well as doing lots of research on the company, their ethics and how they work.
My main two pieces of advice for any new graduates would be apply for lots of different roles (don’t have your heart set on one particular company/ role) and show lots of enthusiasm for the job! Although you don’t have all the experience in the world (companies hiring graduate roles generally know and expect this), draw on the experience you do have and show that you’re eager to learn and grow with that company.
Liz (graduated Cosmetic Science 2019):
I remember when I was looking for my first role, it was before I even graduated. It can be quite hard to balance final year deadlines and think about what you want to do in your future. After being in the industry and having experienced quite a few job applications, here is my advice:
One of the first things to do is determine what you want to do as the MSc Cosmetic Science course opens up so many opportunities (NPD, Regulatory, formulation, marketing). Have a look through some job descriptions on LinkedIn and think of what kind of jobs you would like and the day to day activities that interest you.
The next most important step is to polish up your CV (try to keep this to a maximum of one page for your first role) and write up a base for your cover letters, as you want to have this ready for when you find a job you want to apply to. Have friends and family have a look over it, getting some advice on how to make it better is key as it’s the first thing impression the person hiring gets of you.
Remember to not be scared of reaching out to people in the industry through LinkedIn or emailing companies directly with your CV as you never know if they are looking for someone or can give you some advice. Prepare yourself for a little disappointment, as not everyone will get back to you, but remember to not to let that affect you. All companies have different recruitment processes but usually the first contact tends to be quite casual as they do want to get to know you and see if you would fit in with what they are looking for, second interviews is where you should really prepare and get ready for technical questions.
The key message is to apply, apply, apply, even if you don’t quite feel the job description is exactly what you want, apply anyways because that might be the job you will happen to love!
Little how to guide
Stay in touch with university tutors and careers centre/department They can advise you and help with CV’s, Cover letters and interviews.
Explore different career paths and do lots of research on them There are so many different roles within the cosmetics industry. From NPD to formulation to regulatory, you never know what you might enjoy even if you think you already know! Reach out to people in different sectors and ask them about their own experiences – people are usually really happy to share tips and give advice.
Tailor your CV/ Cover letters to each job you apply for This is really important in showing enthusiasm and commitment to each specific job.
Make connections on LinkedIn and utilize them! There are so many industry professionals on LinkedIn, all with interesting things to say. This is also a good place to find new job advertisements and an easy way to apply.
Send out your CV speculatively Someone doesn’t need to have an explicit vacancy on their website for them to hire you. Reach out to them and send your CV!
Contact recruiters (see our list of those we know) They will be able to help you find a role you will fit into the best, give you an idea of salary expectations (remember these will depend on type of role and location).
Apply for an SCS membership. This is a great way to meet new people within the industry and stay involved with what’s going on in the industry.
Subscribe to cosmetic magazines and mailing lists Lots of them have separate sections on new jobs (e.g. cosmetics business has a dedicated jobs page https://cosmeticsbusiness.com/jobs/jobs_page).
Apply for temporary positions/ internships/ placements throughout your degree. This is important in ensuring you’re building your CV.
Don’t give up and don’t be afraid to follow up!
Where to start, Recruiters?
Arthur Edward Recruitment https://www.arthuredward.com/
Science Solutions Recruitment https://www.sciencesolutionsrecruitment.com/
Non-Stop recruitment https://nonstop-recruitment.com/
Element Selection https://www.elementselection.com/
VPss Recruitment : https://www.vpss.co.uk/
Veblen International https://www.veblen-int.com/
Annabelle charles Associates https://www.annabellecharles.co.uk/
Carrot Pharma Recruitment https://www.carrotrecruitment.co.uk/
Remember to also look out for raw material manufacturers, contract manufacturers, testing houses and consultancies!