I absolutely hate moving. My wife insists that we meticulously wrap everything we’ve ever owned in bubble paper. The whole process is arduous and stressful; probably the reason I’ve only moved a few times in my life. I think this is how many pharmacists feel about a job search. They don’t stay in their current position because they love it. They stay because they dread the prospects of a long, drawn-out job search, and they the fear the unknown. The truth is nobody should have to stay in a job where they are under-appreciated and overworked. Let’s face it, the job market is tough right now, so it’s even more critical to ensure you are setting yourself up for success.
You aren’t networking enough
The vast majority of pharmacists rely on Indeed.com or other job boards as the focus of their job search efforts. It’s easy to see why…this is the easiest and most convenient way to search for a job. The problem is it’s also the laziest and least effective. Statistics show that 80% of available jobs are never posted online. The ones that are posted online, are usually the least desirable and have ten-fold the number of applicants. This means when you are using job boards you are competing with the most pharmacists for the least desirable positions! Banging your head repeatedly against a brick wall is likely to be more productive (and enjoyable) than engaging in this futile numbers game. Now is the time to proactively cultivate and build your professional network. You need to reach out to your colleagues to find available opportunities that aren’t advertised online. If you don’t have an expansive professional network, start building one today. A robust and strong professional network can elevate your career to greater heights. I’d suggest setting realistic goals such as adding 5 new connections per week on LinkedIn and contacting 2-3 pharmacy recruiters each week. Remember, every job is temporary, so even if you have an established and secure position, you would be wise to grow and cultivate your professional network.
Your pharmacist resume doesn’t present you as the ideal candidate
Many pharmacists think a resume is a one-size-fits-all document. This would be true if all pharmacist positions were the same. But how similar are retail and hospital positions? How bout managed care? Informatics? The truth is the positions are so vastly different that one document simply cannot effectively market you to all of the positions. And trust me when I tell you I’ve tried! Remember, at its core, a resume is a marketing document. And we are all taught in Marketing 101 that if you try to market to everybody, you end up marketing to nobody. I recommend that you pinpoint your target area of practice, and write a resume that specifically focuses on this area. If you are in retail looking to transition to clinical, you MUST make your resume less retail-centric. I’m happy to help as I do this stuff all day long. By writing a highly targetted and less generic resume, it will resonate much more powerfully with the reader. You will get more job interviews.
You aren’t being sufficiently proactive
Too many pharmacists take a passive approach with their job search. Look, I get it. We are all busy. You don’t have 20 hours let alone 40 hours per week to dedicate to your job search. I recommend that you pick the 2-3 openings that interest you the most and approach the application process meticulously and ambitiously. Make sure your cover letter is in tip-top shape, is free of grammatical errors, and addresses the hiring manager directly. Sorry, “To whom it may concern” is a one way ticket for your resume to the circular file. Don’t just passively submit your resume and wait and pray for a phone call. Take it upon yourself to reach out to the hiring manager via LinkedIn or email and further express your interest and promote your credentials. ASK for a job interview! Statistics show this is one of the most powerful ways to actually land a job interview. In order for opportunities to come your way, you have to get out there and make it happen.
The job search process can be dreadful and intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right strategy and armed with up-to-date and eye-catching marketing documents (resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter) you can rise above the competition. In a rough and competitive job market, pharmacists must utilize the tips outlined above to find greater success. Good luck!
Garrett Brown is a Clinical Pharmacist and President of RXelite Resumes. A great pharmacist resume is imperative in today’s challenging job market. If you are looking to transition to a new are of practice, are stuck in your current position, or are simply not attracting enough interest in the job market, a lackluster resume may be the reason. Contact RXelite Resumes now to get your FREE resume evaluation.