Career guidance for students

Most students take on part-time employment to cover their expenses and at the same time gain valuable skills that can be used in the future. Most jobs in the retail industry offer flexible work shifts so students are able to revolve their work around their course. In addition to the usual sources, your university may provide information and contacts for potential employers.

Writing a CV

Ideally, students should write a CV in the first year of their studies and then update it regularly to reflect new experiences. It is best to use a simple, clear format that is easy for prospective employers to read. CVs should reflect all of your skills, abilities and experience, including those gained in non-pharmacy work. Good interpersonal and communication skills are also important.

All universities have a careers advisory service and students can contact them for assistance with CVs.

For further information on creating a CV, see our Career guidance: creating a CV fact sheet.

The Student Room also has lots of suggestions about what to include in your CV. For further information, see their website.

Job interviews

Most people feel nervous before a job interview. A little advance preparation can make all the difference. Find out where you are going in advance and ensure you know how to get there and how long the journey is likely to take. Prepare answers for questions that will almost always come up at interviews, for example, what are your main strengths/weaknesses, why are you interested in the role and what can you bring to the role.

Be prepared to give examples of situations that have required you to use your skills. It is not enough to say where you have worked, prospective employers will want to know how you handled work place scenarios and what you learnt from them.

For further information about preparing for job interviews, see our Career guidance: job interviews fact sheet.

Summer placements 

Most summer placements are advertised very early in the year and priority is often given to students going into the final year. Do not get too disheartened if you do not get a placement within a pharmaceutical environment. Any work experience you gain during your studies will enhance your CV and give you valuable life skills. It will also give you an understanding of working life, for example, not every day is a good one, work can be very hard and you will sometimes feel very tired at the end of the day. Double check with your student union, they often have very good contacts and details of possible vacancies, or may even be looking to fill part-time positions within the union.

For further information about summer placements, see our Summer placements fact sheet.

Other useful information

We have compiled a series of short fact sheets on the subject of career guidance. These fact sheets will help applicants to complete application forms, create CVs, use LinkedIn and provide guidance for job interviews.

See our Career guidance: job interviews fact sheet

See our Career guidance: creating a CV fact sheet

See our Career guidance: completing a job application fact sheet

See our Career guidance: using LinkedIn fact sheet

See our Finding a pre-registration placement fact sheet

See our Applying for a placement using Oriel fact sheet

This fact sheet was last reviewed on 6 February 2020.