Working as a pharmacist in Ireland can be a rewarding experience, both financially and from a job satisfaction point of view. 

An average salary of around €70,000, coupled with the ability to positively impact people’s lives, ensures that this is an attractive career path.

Every year, more pharmacists qualify and are looking for jobs. Of course, getting to the stage where you are working, or even can work, as a pharmacist takes hard work and persistence. You need to gain the proper qualifications and even after that, finding an ideal job takes a level of knowhow that not everyone has. 

Luckily, we are happy to guide you on this journey throughout the following article. 

Whether you are looking for your first job, or already a pharmacist within a position, but are looking to change, we are here to help. 

Below we list seven steps that will guide you on your way to your next job. 

If you are looking to break into the industry, start at step one on the list. If you are already a pharmacist, looking to move onto your next position, you can skip a step and start at number two.

Seven steps to finding your next job as a pharmacist


Pass the registration exam and register with the Pharmaceutical Association of Ireland 

To qualify as a pharmacist in Ireland, you must complete the relevant qualifications and pass the Professional Registration Exam.

It is held twice per year and candidates must complete it within three years of completing their training. 

Once completed, you will have to register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. They hold the register of every pharmacist who is allowed to practice in the country. The cost of registering for an Irish trained pharmacist is €540. 

Your route can be slightly different if you are moving to Ireland from abroad, but details for those of you who are planning a move can be found here. If you are coming from abroad, you may also have to prove that you are capable of speaking English to a good level and an English exam may be required.


Know what you are looking for

Before you start your search for your next job in the pharmaceutical industry, you should consider what your career goals are. 

For instance, do you want to work in the local community, or would you prefer a job as a researcher, or within a hospital. That is just one of many questions you should consider before searching for suitable vacancies. Other questions you will need to answer will include, ‘where do I want to work?’, ‘what position is most suitable to my level of experience?’ and ‘is there anything I can do to improve my chances of getting this job?’.

Once you know where you want to go with your career, it becomes easier to put the measures into place to get there. 

For instance, you can start customising your CV for particular roles and you can also engage with people you know who work in those areas to gain information about specific vacancies and network.


Prepare Your CV 

As boring of a job as it is, preparing your CV is also an essential one when it comes to searching for a job. 

A quality CV can put you a step ahead of the competition when applying for jobs in the pharmaceutical sector. 

When you are completing your CV, you should watch out for these five common mistakes:

  1. Not enough information: Of course, you want to be concise, but you should also be demonstrating your abilities and your relevant experience. A CV that is too sparse will leave employers questioning whether you have the skills and experience that they need.
  2. Not selling yourself: Make sure to show what makes you different from all the other applicants. In other words, demonstrate your unique selling points. This can be your achievements, either professional or personal, or your experience or dedication in a similar role. 
  3. Badly written: A poorly written CV demonstrates that you have poor attention to detail. Spotting solvable problems is a value that all good pharmacists have and one that should be shown by a CV without spelling or grammatical errors. Ensure you proofread your CV several times before sending it to a potential employer. 
  4. Badly designed: A messy looking CV will be overlooked by employers, as it shows a lack of structure. On a practical note, it is also just plainly difficult to comprehend and easily avoided. There are many quality CV templates out there. If unsure, just use one of these
  5. Work or Life Gaps: All gaps on your CV should be easily explained or accounted for. If this is not queried on your CV, it might still be discussed in the interview. 

Now, we have gone over the mistakes. Let us look at some of the characteristics of a quality CV. 

A good CV: 

  • Is it clear and concise? Keep it brief, while showing all the relevant information. 
  • Is no more than two to three pages long. Employers are busy, so don’t have a CV that is comparable to a novella. 
  • Don’t confuse the reader. Your CV should be easy to understand. 
  • Is presented well and professionally. Keep it clean and minimal. Less is more.
  • Gives all the important information. Ensure your experience, education and relevant skills are all accounted for. 


Research What Is Available 

Before embarking on a job change, you should research the job market and find out what is available. This is especially true if you are already in a position, as there is no point in leaving one job only to find that there is no work at that level you are hoping for. Online job boards, such as our own are perfect for getting a better idea of the market at any given time.  

If you have connections within organisations, it may also be useful to network with them to find out if there are any positions available there. If you are close with these connections, they may even guide you on what it is like to work in a certain organisation and what the company generally looks for in their applicants.


Prepare for the interview 

When it comes to interviews, the old adage of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is very true. If you have gotten this far, you will want to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job. 

You should also do research about the particular pharmaceutical job you are hoping to get and the organisation that has advertised the vacancy. It is also important that you demonstrate a professional appearance and attitude and iterate your unique skills for the role. 

You will only be asked to interview for a role that the employer thinks you may be suitable for. This is your chance to prove them right. 

It is also worth remembering, that even if you don’t get the first job you interview for, you are still gaining valuable experience that you can learn from going forward.


Know you may be here again

Even when you get your ideal job as a pharmacist, you should know that you may want to move again in the future. Obviously, you will want to strive within the role, but you should also attempt to maintain strong work relationships and a professional network where possible. 

By becoming an important element of a pharmaceutical team, you should have no issues gaining future references. This will help you move onto the next step of your career, whatever that may be. 

It is also important to continue to develop. Once you are within the pharmaceutical industry, you are expected to complete Continuous Personal Development. Not doing so could lead to you losing your listing as a registered pharmacist. 

You can find out more about continuous professional development as a pharmacist here. 


When it is time to look again, look here… 

When you are ready for a change, you should know the best place to look for your next role. That is where we come in. We have a database of excellent jobs all around the country, which is constantly updated. 

Take a look here to find out more and maybe even start the process of finding your next job as a pharmacist.