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Graduate Engineering Jobs: Job Search Advice 2021

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​It’s been an unusual year for jobseekers across all sectors and levels of seniority, but none more so than graduates, students, and entry-level professionals. In many instances graduate programmes and internships have had to be reworked and the people aspect of joining a new company has been challenged.

However, in the MedTech and pharma sector opportunities are still there and, in many companies, hugely in-demand – particularly for those with a year plus experience.

Earlier this month I was pleased to chat to a range of students and graduates as part of an online event organised by Engineers Ireland about the MedTech and medical device sector in Galway and the West of Ireland. Thankfully I could share quite positive news and information.

The West is a global leader from a European perspective and Galway is leading in the number of jobs available for manufacturing engineers, quality engineers and vigilance engineers. A nice start-up culture further supports this, and world-class companies are keen to hire talented professionals.

Galway, Athlone, Limerick, and Dublin all have a healthy job landscape within these sectors, and nothing looks like changing for 2021. For new grads and junior MedTech and MedDevice professionals there are varied opportunities out there, below is my advice for anyone starting off or thinking of applying for roles in 2021.

Job search tips for junior MedTech professionals

Do your groundwork first

A good CV is still essential. If you don’t have any professional experience focus on your university projects, any work experience you do have (even if not directly related to the sector) and your university results and history. Always include contact details too (email and phone) you’d be surprised how many people omit this.

If you’re unsure where to start or what to include and leave out utilise the career departments within your university if possible. If you’ve already left uni you can download Cpl’s free CV Handbook here.

Don’t forget LinkedIn

LinkedIn is hugely popular and keeps growing. Connect with people after you meet them, share events and presentations you’ve worked on or attended and share your thoughts and expertise. This will all help to build a perception of you as a thought leader in the area. The more you put yourself out there the more opportunities you’ll be exposed to.

Do your research

Knowing what you want is half the battle. Before you start applying for anything ask yourself where do you want to work? What type of company do you see yourself in? Start-ups or larger multinationals? Look at a company’s culture, ways of working and if you know someone working there ask them what it’s like. The more research you do the more likely you are to find a job you’ll really enjoy.

If you want to travel after university I suggest travelling before committing to a full-time professional role. Employers want to know you’re committed and will expect a longer-term commitment. 2/3 years starting off will be beneficial to you and will really strengthen your CV and career prospects going forward.

Tips for interview prep

Employers will want to know about your hard skills and soft skills. Your hard skills include information like your degree, projects, masters, certs, and qualifications. Information like this will open the door for you. Soft skills, such as communication skills and an eagerness to learn and work hard, are what will get you the job.

Practice questions that highlight both your soft and hard kills, again this will help you decide what kind of job you really want and what areas of MedTech interest you. For more advice check out this article on the most common competency-based interview questionsand you can also download our Video Interview Handbook.

How to stand out

Companies in the MedTech and Pharma Sector favour career orientated people and appreciate candidates who are passionate about upskilling and learning about the industry.

Bigger companies will offer learning development opportunities and the chance to cross-qualify, but it’s really important for you to invest in your development too. Watch webinars, read articles, do online courses – all of these things will help you stand out and show that you’re genuinely interested.

The MedTech sector in Ireland is strong and companies are hiring. If you’re interested in opportunities the most important thing is a strong can-do. Recruiters, like myself, can also help and offer insights into the industry.

In Cpl Galway we have specialists who have a deep understanding of the employment landscape and salary, offer interview coaching, and know what opportunities are available. For more information get in touch or you can view all current job opportunities on our job board.