Top 10 skills you need to get the best pharma jobs
The pharmaceutical industry is constantly evolving, and with it the skills you’ll need to succeed. While technical requirements vary by role, there are certain skills and competencies almost every employer will be looking for. Make sure you develop these and keep them front and centre in your CV and at interview.
If you haven’t already decided on an area to specialise in, research the types of roles where skilled workers are most in demand right now, and choose a specialism that fits your talent and interests. If you’re still studying, getting some industrial experience during the holidays can help you decide and look great on your CV.
Accuracy isn’t a “nice to have” in the pharmaceutical industry. Your ability to pay attention to detail is a matter of life and death – there’s literally no room for error.
3. Project Planning Skills
In the pharma industry, project planning usually involves identifying needs, allocating resources, estimating costs, and understanding and resolving user-client issues. You’ll need excellent project planning skills for most roles.
4. Transferable Skills
Recruiters aren’t only looking for industry-specific skills – soft skills like emotional intelligence and professional communication will also stand you in good stead, as will basic sales skills and being a good listener.
5. Management Skills
Whether or not you’re ultimately aiming for a leadership role, you’ll need to be good at managing yourself and your time. Organisation, risk analysis, decision-making and delegating are skills every pharma professional needs.
6. Creative problem-solving and strategic thinking
Strategic thinking is particularly useful in pharma, where you need to innovate constantly and plan far in advance to make complex projects successful. If you gain a reputation as a great problem-solver, you’ll be relied on and valued.
7. Business skills and knowledge of industry trends
With pharma evolving so rapidly, it’s vital to stay up to date on key trends, including financial and regulatory changes as well as innovative products and services. If you can predict trends that might impact your employer’s bottom line, manage timelines and budgets, and make financial projections, you’ll be an invaluable asset.
8. Conflict resolution and teamwork
The pharma industry is a collaborative environment where you need to be a team player. Good diplomatic and interpersonal skills are vital to resolve conflict within teams. Develop your communication and relationship-building skills and learn to share responsibilities effectively.
9. Legal and regulatory knowledge
A good understanding of regulatory issues in the industry is also important. The more innovative your company is, the more regulatory scrutiny it’ll be under, so you need to be aware of rules and regulations on compliance and intellectual property as well as scientific research.
Like many other industries, pharma is entering a new era of agility in the wake of COVID, and the ability to go with the flow without sacrificing quality is vital. Skills that were in great demand a few years ago are already outdated, and the speed of innovation continues to increase. You’ll need to be able to recognise when your skills need updating and proactively keep yourself informed. But professional skills aren’t everything – make time to discover practices outside work that inspire you with the creativity and mindfulness you need to survive and thrive in your role.