Four Ways to Get into the Consumer Goods Industry

Thinking of breaking into the industry? Here’s a breakdown on how you can land a job in the consumer goods sector.
Carmen Teh
Writer, gradsingapore

As one of the most attractive sectors to work in, graduate roles in the consumer goods industry are highly sought after. Competition to land a role in this sector can get tough, and would require graduates who are interested in joining the industry to start preparing as early as possible.

To aid you in your preparation, here are some ways you should consider to land a job in the consumer goods sector.

1. Graduate training schemes

If you are looking to start a career in the consumer goods industry, a place on a consumer goods company’s graduate scheme would be a good place to start. To get a place on a graduate scheme is no easy feat, but having language skills, a global outlook and a willingness to relocate could all boost your chances of getting one. 

Applications for graduate schemes in Singapore typically open around the months of August to September, but most companies may accept applications all year round. It is important for graduates to research about the application requirements and deadlines in advance.

Aside from application requirements and deadlines, graduates should also consider the following about graduate schemes offered by different consumer goods companies:

Length of the scheme
How long is the scheme overall? Would it consist of a number of different placements?

Are the programmes rotational across different departments? Will you be given a broad overview of how the business works?

Would the scheme require for you to relocate? If so, is relocation feasible for you?

Having a clear idea of what is required of the schemes and what they entail will benefit both you and your prospective in the recruitment process.

2. Internships or work placements

If you worry about not being able to secure a place in graduate training schemes in a consumer goods industry, a way to set yourself apart from other applicants is to gain experience through an internship or a work placement within the industry while you are still a student.

Not only will you gain insights into the company prior to applying for a graduate scheme upon completion of your degree, it also shows your determination to enter this industry. Demonstrating that you have a clear idea of what you will be getting into in this industry and showing resilience in joining the sector are attractive qualities that recruiters look out for.

Most companies in this sector offer work placements and internships for students in their penultimate year of their degree. You can start by paying a visit to your university’s career advisors, who may be able to connect you to the right internship opportunities. Applying for an internship while you are still a student will give you a head start, as they are often used as a recruitment tool.

3. Company competitions and challenges

Consumer goods companies especially FMCG companies, are known for their commitment to innovation and nurturing bright minds. The top players of the sector such as Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Nestlé and L’Oréal run business case competitions and innovation challenges across different countries.

Notable ones include Unilever Future Leaders League, Procter and Gamble CEO Challenge, Nestlé-NUS Innovation Challenge and L’Oréal Brandstorm Challenge. These challenges are typically open to university students of all disciplines whose creativity and analytical skills will be put to the test. Some of these competitions are global, and participants would be competing with students from all over the world.

While the competition to win may be tough, your participation itself can go a long way in showing your prospective recruiters your genuine interest in joining the sector. So, keep an eye out for such challenges while you are still in university and treat them as opportunities to learn!

4. Speculative applications

Afraid of missing the annual graduate recruitment for training schemes? While most companies may have specific intake periods, you can always get in touch with employers in the consumer goods industry on a speculative basis.

New graduate opportunities do come up throughout the year, and if there is a business need to recruit, they will consider taking you in. However, do make sure that you have mastered the art of speculative application before you start contacting prospective employers.

Remember, preparation is key!