As you may have noticed, today’s job market is difficult to break into. Competition is tough, and standing out from the crowd can be difficult. It’s hard to not feel wistful yearning about the days (long since passed) of multiple job offers and mythical things called “signing bonuses.” In our experience, getting your resume to the hiring manager’s desk is half the battle! Here are a few tips to ensure your Pharmacist resume doesn’t get thrown into the ‘reject’ pile before it even reaches the desk.
In the Pharmaceutical industry, there is very specific language used to describe everything from licenses, skills, software and even basic responsibilities. With Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), it is crucial to use the most common phrases and terms in your resume in order to be short-listed. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel and develop creative ways to describe your credentials: this will be wasted energy that will actually hurt you in the long run. Here are some ways to ensure your resume is using the keywords required for the job:
– Examine the job posting and imitate the wording that is used, for example, “Clinical Team Rounding”, “Antimicrobial Stewardship” or “Patient Counseling”. Changing key terms such as these will lower your chances of getting a call back. Keep it simple.
– If you’re not sure which words to use, you can use some keyword search software such as tagcrowd.com or wordle.net to identify the terms that are most frequently repeated in the job posting. If that doesn’t help, then contact me directly and we can figure it out together.
– There are tons of acronyms in the Pharmacy world. You should both spell-out and provide the acronym in your resume, to ensure you’ve provide the style required. For example “Medication Therapy Management ‘MTM)” or Drug Utilization Reviews (DUR). Don’t assume the recipient knows the acronyms, because the first recipient is often a computer (ATS).
– Despite the importance of keywords, don’t get carried away. A resume that is so jam-packed with keywords will not impress a hiring manager when it reaches their desk.
People hire people. With LinkedIn, it is now easier than ever to find mutual connections to nearly every person. You’ve heard of seven degrees of separation? Well this is seven degrees to pharmacist jobs.
– Go on LinkedIn and find your mutual contacts. Reach out to that contact and see if you can be provided an introduction. A simple introduction (and maybe even recommendation?) can do wonders when a hiring manager is faced with multiple qualified applicants.
– Attend conferences, meetings or events where Pharmacist hiring managers attend. Make contacts and add them to LinkedIn. Who knows, those people might be your seven degrees to a pharmacist job.
– Do not show-up unannounced to speak with the hiring manager. Pharmacy hiring managers are exceedingly busy. Generally, showing up unannounced is not appreciated, and can be a big put-off to employers. Try to find a more holistic approach, like being introduced by a mutual connection.
Having your resume viewed (and shortlisted) by a Pharmacist Hiring Manager is not rocket-science, but it does require tact and planning. By focusing on keywords and strategic contacts, you will be well on your way to landing that interview for your dream job!
Garrett Brown is a practicing Clinical Pharmacist, certified professional resume writer, and founder of RXelite Resumes. Our business model is based on the concept of pharmacists writing resumes for pharmacists. Contact us now to get your FREE resume consultation from the nation’s leading pharmacist resume writing service.