Job Hunting 101: Expert Tips for Finding the Right Role

Woman working on laptop at home


Are you looking to launch your career in the life science sector, but don’t know where to start? Finding a job can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting your career. But, with a little know-how and the right resources, you can make the job search process a lot easier. Here are some of our top tips to help you get the job you want.


How to Create a Job-hunting Strategy?

A job-hunting strategy is crucial for anyone looking for a new job. It helps you stay organised and focused on your search, providing a plan of action and a way to track your progress. Having a strategy in place can also help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated during the job search process. 

Additionally, it allows you to identify the most promising job opportunities and target those that are most likely to lead to a successful placement. So, take the time to put together a comprehensive job-hunting strategy and increase your chances of finding your dream job.

A job-hunting strategy might include the following steps:

  1. Research potential job opportunities.
  2. Create a professional CV and cover letter.
  3. Network and build relationships with potential employers.
  4. Participate in job fairs and other recruitment events.
  5. Apply for positions that fit your skills and experience.
  6. Follow up on applications and enquiries.
  7. Monitor job postings and apply for additional opportunities.
  8. Prepare for interviews and practise your answers.
  9. Negotiate salary and benefits.
  10. Celebrate your success!

 1. Update and Tailor your CV and Cover Letter

As part of your job hunting strategy, it’s really important to make sure your CV is current and contains all of the relevant information employers are looking for. Make sure to include your education, work experience, skills, and any other qualifications that make you stand out.

It’s also important to note that a lot of employers are now using ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to conduct their shortlisting process, so to increase your chances of being shortlisted by an ATS, you must tailor your CV to suit the role/s you are applying for. For instance, if you’re applying for a digital transformation job, make sure that your CV contains relevant skills and experience mentioned in the job description.

There are many free CV templates available online, the top tip is, keep it simple! Avoid using tables, imagery and graphics, and try to keep your CV to 1-2 pages max. Finally, make sure you complete a thorough spelling and grammar check before you hit ‘send!’  


2. Update Your Online Presence

Networking is a powerful tool when it comes to finding a job, and in Ireland, it can be especially useful as it's a small country and having a connection in your desired field can go a long way. A great place to start building your professional network is LinkedIn.

Begin by connecting with friends, family, classmates, and professors, and then expand your network by following companies and people in your desired field, including recruiters and hiring managers.

Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and tailored to the roles you're applying for, using industry keywords to increase the chances of being found by potential employers.Remember, LinkedIn is a professional platform, so keep your interactions positive and industry-related to maintain a professional image.

Networking through LinkedIn and other professional platforms can give you an edge in your job search and open doors to new opportunities and contacts.

3. Apply to Jobs You’re Under-Qualified For

Before applying for a job, it is important to understand the job requirements and compare them to your own qualifications and experience. This will help you determine whether or not you are a good fit for the position.

In order to increase your chances of getting the job, if you believe you are somewhat ‘underqualified’, it is important to demonstrate your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. Additionally, you should focus on highlighting your transferable skills and any relevant experience, even if it may not be directly related to the job. 

It is also important to emphasise any accomplishments, awards, or certifications that you have. Finally, be sure to research the company and show that you understand the organisation’s company vision and values.

Top Job Hunting Sites

Top job boards to keep an eye on:

If we take the life science sector as an example, the best way to search for jobs using job boards is to use specific keywords related to the field, such as “biotech,” “biomedical,” “pharmaceuticals,” and “medical device.” 

Additionally, you can narrow your search by location, job type, and other criteria. It is important to regularly check job postings to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities. It's also worth checking your local (county specific) job boards as well as local radio stations and the paper, as these are still common advertising methods in some areas.


4. Be Prepared for Screening Calls

Be prepared for a job screening call by reviewing the job description and having a list of questions ready. Also, have your CV and any relevant documents on hand. Ask questions that show your interest in the position and the company, and also have a professional voicemail set up. Remember, the call will give employers an initial impression of you, so be ready to showcase your qualifications and make a positive impression.


Remote worker speaking on smartphone


During the call, it is important to ask questions that demonstrate your interest in the position, such as “What does a typical day look like for someone in this role?” and “What challenges would I be expected to face in this position?” Additionally, you can also ask questions about the company’s culture and the hiring process.

5. Keep Track of Your Job Applications

It is important to keep track of your job applications because it allows you to stay organised, easily view the progress of your applications, and make adjustments as needed. Additionally, keeping track of your job applications allows you to stay on top of deadlines, follow up with employers, and quickly apply for new job postings. 

The best way to keep track of applications without getting consumed by the process is to use an organised system. Create a spreadsheet, or handwritten logbook, that includes the company name, job title, status of your application, and any other relevant information. Make sure to set reminders for yourself to follow up on applications and respond to any enquiries from employers.Take regular breaks throughout the day to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed.

6. Prep for Interviews and Send Follow-up Emails 

Experienced recruiters can tell immediately if someone has prepared for the interview or not, so always remember this saying, ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’.

To be well-prepared for an interview, research the company and learn about its vision and values. Additionally, practice answering questions using the STAR method and develop a list of questions to ask the employer. This will help you to demonstrate your knowledge of the role and the company during the interview.

After the interview, send a follow-up email or message because it shows employers that you are serious about the job and helps you stand out from the competition. Follow-up emails or LinkedIn messages are a great way to remind employers of your interest in the position and show that you are engaged and proactive. 


Tips for Graduate Job Hunting

As a graduate, you should make use of the career support services available to you. Most 3rd level education providers offer free career guidance or online career portals, so utilise these services, and more importantly, keep at it! You may not get your dream job straight away, but in time, if you persevere, you will succeed.


Tips for Job Hunting Abroad or as a Foreign Applicant

Ireland is known for its highly skilled and educated workforce, which is why so many multinational companies operate out of Ireland and continue to do so with great success! This means, there are a lot of exciting opportunities and growth, but on the flipside, the job market is highly competitive. Therefore, it’s important to be realistic when creating your job hunting strategy. While you may not land your dream job straight away, as a foreign applicant, our advice would be to focus initially on developing a local network, and getting a foot in the door, then look to explore internal vacancies in due course.

If you are legally entitled to work in the Republic of Ireland, you should approach job hunting in the same way as a local applicant would. It’s always best practice to disclose your visa status on your CV, but if you don’t require sponsorship, this is not a requirement.

If you require sponsorship, you should seek further advice from

Finally, make sure you immerse yourself into Irish culture, join a local club, or community group. It's a great way of building your network, and may result in a ‘word of mouth’ job opportunity. 

How to Stay Positive While Job Hunting?

Rejection is never easy. If you experience rejection, don't let this deter you from reapplying for other opportunities. It's very uncommon for a job seeker, especially a graduate, to be successful the first time around. 

Make fewer applications, but put more time and effort into those, and you will succeed eventually. Take regular breaks, and if it starts to consume you, focus on something else for a while, such as a hobby to relieve some of those built up frustrations. Then, return to your job hunting strategy once you have a more positive mindset. 


What Happens After You Get an Offer?

So, your job hunting strategy has paid off, and you now have your first job offer! 

Now what?

If you completed your company research in the initial phases you should have a fairly good idea if this is the right opportunity for you or not. However, it’s always worth taking some time to consider your options, especially if you have more than one offer on the table.

Things to consider before you say ‘yes' to the job:

  • Contract type, is this a permanent, temporary or fixed term role?
  • What are the benefits, if any, such as pension, healthcare, bonus scheme?
  • Starting salary? Any performance/pay reviews?
  • What is the reporting structure?
  • Is this an onsite role? Hybrid? Or fully remote?
  • How long is the training period, and will you be paid your full salary during this time? 
  • With the increased price of fuel, it’s work checking how long your commute will be, how much this will cost on a weekly basis, and if there are any tolls?
  • Career Progression? Will this role give you the scope to progress your career in the future? 

How to Accept a Job Offer

An offer of employment may be presented to you by the Hiring Manager or Recruiter either over the phone, through email, or more formally written in an offer letter, so how should you respond? And what should you say?

Firstly, thank the Hiring Manager or Recruiter for their time and for the exciting opportunity they have presented you with. Let them know you wish to accept their offer of employment and proceed by recapping the start date, salary and benefits as you understand them. 

The company's HR representative will then usually follow up with a written employment agreement prior to your start date, in which case, you’ll need to read, sign or seek advice if required. 

By signing this employment agreement, you are formally accepting the terms and conditions set out by your new employer. So at this point, once you have signed your employment agreement, it’s a done deal, and you can now celebrate your success! 

How to Decline a Job Offer

If you are actively applying for job opportunities, you may experience multiple job offers all at the one time! So, If you find yourself in this position, well done, your job hunting strategy has well and truly paid off.

You should carefully consider your options, seek advice from a trusted family member, friend or college career service to help you make a calculated decision - one that is going to benefit you and your career.   

Declining an offer is similar to accepting one. Always thank the Hiring Manager or Recruiter for their time, reiterate your interest in the role and the reason you originally applied. Then, state that regretfully, you wish to decline their offer at this point in time, but you hope to keep the lines of communication open for future job opportunities.

Always end on a positive note, because you never know the opportunities this employer may present to you in the future. 

Job hunting is never easy. You need to dedicate the time and energy in order to succeed. 

By following the tips outlined in this blog and availing of your college's career supports and services, there’s no doubt that you will have a successful and rewarding career ahead of you.

For more information, please contact us at or connect with the author on LinkedIn:

Contact our team today

Fields marked with an * are required.

I am happy for Innopharma Education to contact me