Top tips when considering your career path.

11 May 2023

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At Simpson Judge, we like to work in partnership with clients and candidates, for a number of reasons; for clients, we have a deeper understanding of your business and growth plans which ensures that we find the perfect candidate for your roles, we can support with recruitment strategies and with our specialist divisions, we have unrivalled industry knowledge so can make sure that you set yourselves apart from your competition and recruit the best talent. For candidates, it’s important to understand career goals and objectives so that we can support you to achieve success as you advance through your career.

Three weeks ago, our Business Manager of Cosmetics & Personal Care (Consumer Goods), Stephanie Houghton alongside Ana Muggenburg, from Iconic London presented to Cosmetic Science students and upcoming graduates from the University of Arts London (UAL).

If you missed the presentation and are considering a career path in the beauty industry, here are Stephanie’s insights and tips and while some of them are industry-specific there are a few that any graduate should consider when taking their first career steps in the working world.

Graduating this year? Looking for your first job in industry? Here are a few things to consider and where to start!

Like many industries, the beauty industry has a large spectrum of roles, so first things first think about where would you like your role to be based. Lab-based or office-based? Lab-based roles could be anything from Research & Development, Quality Control to Analytical Chemistry and with a wide range of office-based roles throughout New Product Development, Brand & Marketing, Regulatory, Commercial to Quality Assurance – it’s an important consideration when applying for graduate roles.

Location and Salary, and Brand or Manufacturer? When you are looking for your first opportunity, be open to relocation and naturally with that some salaries will depend on the location of the role. While London is the hub of beauty Brands, there are less lab-based opportunities in London. Manufacturers are dotted around the UK, so being open to relocation will give you a wider range of companies and roles to apply for. A role within a manufacturer potentially will give exposure to different brands and product categories over many roles within a Brand.

It’s exciting taking your first step in industry, it’s also worth considering and asking yourself “What role do I want to be in, in 3-5 years’ time?” And what career steps would be needed to get you there? Working with a specialist recruiter with in-depth industry knowledge and experience can assist you in taking the right approach to your career, looking at different opportunities and avenues to get you to your career goal. Especially when taking your first step it’s sometimes difficult to set realistic expectations of the package you would like to command which can lead to pricing yourself out of an amazing opportunity, a specialist won’t let that happen!

A foundation value of Simpson Judge is Trust, we build trusted partnerships and have confidence in delivering a best-in-class service. In an industry where it’s all about people this is a particularly important value for now and the future, with Stephanie’s personal approach and unrivalled industry knowledge, she will look to forge long-lasting partnerships with upcoming industry experts in their initial career steps and maintain a relationship as they advance through their careers, supporting them to achieve their career goals.

As with Stephanie, working with a specialist recruiter with industry experience and depth of connections gives candidates access to desirable contacts in the industry. Some roles may not be actively advertised but the recruitment partner may be aware of key skill-sets companies are keeping an eye for and can advise on when best to start applying.

Here are some top tips in creating the best CV and profile:

Transferable Skills
When creating your CV, think about all the transferable skills gained from your time at university and how these could be useful in the working world. Formulating in the lab, the types of products worked on, any relevant testing (pH, viscosity, stability, efficacy, compatibility).

Buzz words
In your CV, include key buzz words to help recruiters and companies to find your profile on the job boards and ensure that your profile stands out… E.g., key skills as above as well as “skincare, hair care, claims substantiation, packaging, production, colour cosmetics, regulatory, concept creation”.

Include a brief overview of the modules you studied, this varies between universities so it’s good for employers to see exactly what you covered in your time at university, as well as any industry placements undertaken.

LinkedIn is a key platform widely used in industry, as a graduate and a candidate it is an excellent resource and can support your career in several ways:

– Share and read articles on the cosmetic industry e.g., latest trends, new regulations, and new technologies. This keeps you up to date with what is going on in the industry, but also give opportunities to engage with potential employers.

– Use it as a marketing and networking tool, to connect with other industry professionals.

– It’s useful for finding out about online industry events and webinars.

– And finally, you can view live job vacancies.

Looking for a new role or not sure where to start in your career? One of our team would be happy to have a chat with you to discuss how we can support you to reach your career goals. Or if you are looking for some beauty specific advice, please get in contact with Stephanie on [email protected]