Let’s face it: employers are receiving 100’s of resumes for every job posting. If you’re still using the same resume you were 5 years ago, it most likely needs a refresh. Correction: it definitely needs a refresh. Here are a few tips to make sure your Pharmacist resume shines for your 2017 job search.
- Tell Your Story
The hardest thing to portray in a resume is your personal story. You’re more than just a jumble of keywords, workplace locations and chronological dates. The key to resume success is portraying your experience and expertise in a way that shines. Believe it or not, every applicant will claim excellent communication skills. You need to go beyond that and show it in your resume, with a well laid-out format, an easily read font, and a resume that tells the employer who you are and why you choose to do what you do. After all, despite this computer age, employers hire people, not paper.
- Prove your skill sets
It’s not enough to say you perform outpatient counselling or are skilled in Medication Therapy Management (MTM), Employers need you to take the extra step to prove it. While it’s not time to do away with key skills and keywords in your resume, it is time to revamp how you describe your roles and responsibilities on paper. It’s really simple to copy and paste your job description, but employers want to see more. Review your experience, past projects, accomplishments, and write them down. Focus on quantifiable or provable results that will really ‘wow’ the employer. Your schooling and experience are great, but now it’s time to show how you used them.
- The 1/3 Rule
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it takes an employer under 8 seconds to review your resume and decide if you should be shortlisted. This means that the top 1/3 of your resume needs to immediately catch the eye and encourage the employer to continue reading. Highlight your most impressive career achievements, point the employer to elements that show that you are current (think LinkedIn, an online portfolio of your research, or any recent certifications). While you shouldn’t ignore the rest of your resume, the 1/3 rule should be in mint condition to ensure the employer even bothers to read the rest.
- Write for the Robots & the Humans
You probably know that many employers, especially in the hospital sector, utilize applicant tracking systems when vetting your resumes. When this happens, it is absolutely crucial that your resume is in a format that can be read by a machine/robot in order for it to be flagged for viewing by the HR department. However, this does not mean your resume can look and read like a robot. You need to ensure that your resume contains the information required to pass the robot test, but also look impressive enough to catch the hiring manager’s eye while skimming through their results.
You should refrain, however, from hiring a graphic designer to spruce up the look of your resume: many people don’t realize that overly designed resumes will be practically illegible for the robot scanners. Besides, as a Pharmacist, you are not expected to be a designer, and in fact, this could be a turn-off. However, the employer will appreciate a professional, well written, and easily read resume that is also easy on the eyes.
- Research the Job & Personalize
One of the biggest mistakes Pharmacists make when applying for jobs is not personalizing their applications for the specific employer. As previously mentioned, employers receive 100’s of resumes for every posting. You need your resume to shine to the top of the pile. This is going to require a little bit of work on your behalf (sorry). You need to see your resume as a sales-pitch of sorts: the employer needs to recognize why you are the best fit for them.
This point is especially important if you have years of varied experience. You have a lot of information that could be on your resume. However, it only needs to highlight all the skills and qualifications the employer is looking for. Inform yourself about your potential employer: what is their mission? How long have they been in business? Have they been mentioned in the news recently? Has there been any regulation changes that might be effecting them? This background information will help you to craft a resume that speaks to their hiring managers. You not only want to be qualified for the job, you need to fill a need, and that need will be different for each employer.
Writing a resume for today’s market takes time and dedication, but the result will be more call-backs and a much higher success rate. Employers will know if you have dedicated some time to improving your resume, or if you’ve just sent them your cookie-cutter document that hasn’t been updated in years.
Garrett Brown is a practicing Clinical Pharmacist, certified professional resume writer, and president of RXelite Resumes. He specializes in writing resumes for pharmacists looking to find a clinical position, relocating, need a change of scenery, or having trouble in a tough job market. Submit your resume for a free consultation! You can also connect with Garrett on LinkedIn to get more Pharmacist resume advice.