I still remember the first time I was introduced to video games. My mom dropped me off at preschool, and there I discovered the original Nintendo system and it’s hallmark game, Super Mario Bros. It was surreal to my young eyes and young brain. You mean if I push this button that guy on the screen will jump? Mind blown! I must’ve played it for 8 hours straight because before I knew it my mom was there to pick me up, and I hadn’t moved. I’m pretty sure I blinked a few times, but even that’s not a guarantee. Technology is a beautiful thing isn’t it? Fast forward to 2016. Unless you are living under a rock (at least you would have a cheap mortgage payment!) or dwelling in the Brazilian rainforest, you cannot escape technology. We are all connected via social media and the worldwide web, and this makes professional networking a necessity. I understand many of you hate networking. You may be introverted. You may just not like people. But, if you aren’t networking you’re being left behind. You can start by following the 3 P’s of networking: professionalism, positivity, and persistence. Here’s why your networking efforts are falling flat.
You’re professionalism is painfully lacking
Your job interview doesn’t begin when you strut into the office in your freshly-creased pants or skirt. The interview begins with the very first email! Unless you’re Jim Harbaugh, you can’t walk into your interview in a $7 pair of Walmart kakis and puke-colored blazer and hope to get the job. Similarly, if you approach pharmacist colleagues, directors, and recruiters with emails replete with grammatical errors and slang terms, how will this reflect on you from a professional standpoint? It’s a bad, bad look friends. Conversely, few things are more impressive than a Pharmacist with a very nice looking resume (view my samples here) who speaks and acts like a true professional. Interview granted. Even in a world of Twitter and texting, there’s no excuse for not following proper email etiquette.
Nobody wants an invitation to your pity party
You may have decided to invoke the Leslie Gore circa 1963 philosophy: It’s my (pity) party and I’ll cry if I want to. But, trust me, although heart-warming tears may be shed along the way, you will not pity your way into a job. I truly feel for my pharmacist colleagues who are unjustly and unceremoniously let go from their positions. It bothers me when a qualified pharmacist is overlooked for position after position when they have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I know from personal experience how it feels to be thrown under the bus unfairly at work. And to this day, I’m still angered and aggravated by it. I deeply understand how unforgiving the current pharmacist job market is in some areas of the country. But , that said, you must keep your personal challenges to yourself. Do not beg for a job or try to use your unfortunate situation to gain leverage. It is manipulative and It will only make you look bad. And whatever you do, do not speak poorly of a past employer to a prospective new employer! My recommendation is to keep your personal troubles to yourself, and instead focus on presenting yourself as the ideal candidate through the utmost professional networking, a powerful resume, and unwavering persistence.
Third time’s a charm?
So you contacted somebody one time and they didn’t respond, so that’s it? You’re done? Stick a fork in you? It’s not time to give up, it’s time to get creative! If I had given up the first time my wife turned me down for a date, I’d probably be sitting at home eating Cheetos and playing video games all day in flannel pajamas. But I persisted. Finally, she succumbed to a pity date, and as they say, the rest is history. Professional networking needs to be looked at as a daily way of life, not just a one-time shot in the dark. Those who are relentless and persistent will see results. If there is a position you are interested in connect with that person and contact the hiring authority via linkedIn. That didn’t work? Try emailing them. Still nothing? Find somebody else in the company and start the process over. Are you feeling me? There is more than one way to skin a cat, and you need to invoke all of them. Now, there is a line between between being persistant and being annoying and over-bearing. It’s up to you as a professional to understand where that line is. But, there is nothing wrong with being pleasantly persistent.
Technology has come a long ways since the original Nintendo was invented. Professional networking is here to stay. So learn it and learn it well and your career will prosper.
***Garrett Brown is a practicing Clinical Pharmacist, certified professional resume writer, and the President at RxElite Resumes. RxElite Resumes specializes in writing resumes for pharmacists. Are you looking to transition from retail to clinical? Relocating? Looking for a new position? Contact Garrett today and have your pharmacist resume evaluated for free!***