The resume abyss is a dreadful and cruel place. It can swallow up your resume like a black hole engulfs a once brightly-shining star. The resume abyss is something we should all fear (cue screaming from a cheesy 1980s horror flick). The abyss wields such impressive power that it’s able to ruthlessly suck away the confidence, hope, and enthusiasm from your once-promising job hunt.
It was technology that gave rise to the resume abyss as we know it. Ya see, employers were able to begin posting job openings online rather than taking out ads in the local newspaper. Their recruiting efforts became exponentially farther-reaching, and they were able to begin attracting 100s of job seekers to just a single job posting. Of course, the overwhelming number of applicants eventually gave rise to electronic filtering systems or ATS. Applicant tracking systems are like the Pacman of job boards as they go around gobbling up upwards of 80% of the resumes submitted online. This means your resume, however great it may be, is facing an uphill battle just to get looked at by a pair of human eyes! The key is to not try and battle the abyss head-on, but instead focus your job search efforts on relationship building to tap into the “hidden job market.” You need an eye-catching pharmacist resume, but then you must know how to use it.
Two facts that you need to remember:
- Roughly 80% of available positions are NOT advertised online. This is the “hidden” job market.
- The positions that ARE posted online are generally the least desirable positions with the most competition due to their visibility to the public. Nothing more humiliating than begging for a job that, frankly, you don’t even like.
Translation: If you are strictly using job boards as your means for finding available positions, you are going to be disappointed. It is time to alter your strategy to tap into the “hidden” job market. Trying to beat the resume abyss at it’s own game is like fighting fire with a smaller fire. Instead, try fighting fire with water. Here’s how:
We often talk about networking in our job search. But I wonder if most pharmacists truly understand what that means. It’s a nebulous verb that gets thrown around, but lacks clarity. Without knowing what the heck networking really means, you’re basically a headless chicken wandering around hoping what you’re doing is correct. I want you to simply things and think of networking as relationship building. You’re making friends…professional friends. You need to meet as many people as you can in your field, and cultivate a professional relationship with these people. But it’s not simply a numbers game. You need a quality network, not just a big one. Here are a few key groups of people to target (in order of efficacy):
- Pharmacy directors/managers: Pretty obvious, right? No better way to get hired than have an “in” with the very person who does the hiring.
- Other pharmacists: Look, the pharmacy world is a small one. Everybody seems to know everybody. Many of us have a full-time job, but also moonlight at other places as well. Getting a vote of confidence or endorsement from a fellow pharmacist carries more weight than getting an endorsement from a recruiter because recruiters are incentivized to recommend you whereas a fellow pharmacist isn’t.
- Pharmacist recruiters: These people know of job opportunities that you don’t. They likely have a relationship of trust with the company, and can get your name to the top of the pile.
Job Searching vs. Company Searching
I want you to begin changing the way you approach your job search. Focus less on job searching, and focus more on company searching. This is the best way to find your dream job. Old-fashioned job searches be damned! Quit waiting for your dream job to appear on job boards, and then go toe-to-toe with the resume abyss. Try doing it backwards. START with conceptualizing your dream job…and dream companies. Then, formulate a plan to get an “in” with that company. Reach out to your connections that work there. Meet new connections that can get you an “in.” Trust me when I tell you: if you do this effectively, you will see doors open. Just don’t expect it to happen over night. Relationship building takes time. If you want a job fast, you will have to settle for herding cattle through the doors at Rite Aid or CVS. If you want your dream job, you will need to be patient and laser-focused.
Pharmacists, quit doing battle with the resume abyss. Sure, there are the occasional David vs. Goliath success stories out there, but mostly just carnage and crushed dreams in it’s wake. Once you have a great-looking resume, it’s time to focus on getting that resume to the desk of the hiring manager! I urge you to focus on the concepts of relationship building and company-searching to give your job search a fresh, modern touch with a vastly higher rate of success.
***Garrett Brown, is a Clinical pharmacist, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and the President of RXelite Resumes. Your resume is often the first impression you will make on a hiring authority. Make that impression count! Contact Garrett and his team now to obtain an industry-leading pharmacist resume.***