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Employment demand for pharmacists is expected to decrease 3% by 2029 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The expected decline is caused by automation and the increase of people using mail-based prescription services.
This means that since there will be fewer roles to compete for that the quality of your resume is going to be more important than ever before.
To make sure your resume helps you stand out from the competition, follow our professional resume-writing tips to make sure your resume is outstanding.
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3 Tips for Writing Pharmaceutical Resumes
1. Choose the right format for your resume
As you know from your work in pharmaceuticals, organization is everything.
When it comes to resumes, the way that you organize the information on your resume is called its format.
There are three main resume-format types: chronological, functional and hybrid.
The main difference between the three formats is where the primary focus is placed on your resume, whether it’s more weighted toward your skills or toward your work history.
Chronological formats work best for pharmaceutical employees with years of experience because they put the emphasis on roles you’ve held, duties you’ve performed, and show a career progression. For candidates with more than five years’ experience, this should be your selected format.
However, if you’re fresh out of pharmacology school or transferring from a different industry, you should choose a different format that is a better fit to your experience level.
Functional formats put greater emphasis on your skills and education which takes attention away from your relative inexperience. If you have less than two years’ experience as a pharmaceutical professional, this format is ideal.
A hybrid format is a combination of the functional and chronological formats and gives a more even balance between your work history and skills. If you’ve worked for more than two years in pharmaceuticals, but less than five total, use this format.
2. Promote your skills
While every role in pharmaceuticals may require its own set of unique skills, here’s a list of useful skills that can be applied across the spectrum or pharmaceutical jobs.
Try to include six-to-eight important skills that you possess on your resume.
Desired skills often include:
Pay close attention to the job posting or ad — the phrases and keywords listed are your best indication of exactly what the position needs in a candidate.
Show that you pay detailed attention by echoing back some of those key skills with similar phrasing the employer uses when they apply to you.
3. Use a template to make sure your resume looks amazing
As you know from working in the pharmaceutical industry, attention to detail can be a saving grace.
That’s why when you submit your resume it’s important to show that you took the effort to make sure that it’s readable, well-designed and eye-catching.
That’s why you should use a resume template.
A template is just a preformatted document created by a professional designer to look sharp, professional, and to make creating a resume fast and easy.
All you have to do is select one that you like and fill in your personal information. Once you save in your desired format, you’re ready to start applying to jobs.
JobHero has some great resume templates that you’re welcome to use.
Even better, JobHero features a that allows you to choose from a selection of templates and takes the automation a step further.
The builder suggests phrases to describe your work history that were designed specifically for the job title that you’re applying for.
JobHero’s is like having a career expert look over your shoulder to give you practical advice every step of the way.
How much does a job in pharmaceuticals get paid?
In 2019, the average annual salary for a pharmacist was $128,090 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This salary is well above the national average — part of the reason that pharmaceutical jobs tend to pay so well is because of the advanced education necessary to be employed.
This is a very high-paying job with serious consequences, failing to catch errors in patient medications could be life-threatening. That’s why it’s even more important that you submit a resume that shows your seriousness as a candidate.
It’s another compelling reason why you should consider using a to create your resume and make sure that it has that professional touch.
What should I put on my resume for the pharmaceutical industry?
One of the best ways that your resume can grab the attention of employers is by including as many numbers as possible.
Like most resumes, the main selling points of your pharmaceutical resume should be found in your skills and work experience sections. Those are the main spaces where you have to show employers that you’re the right person for the job — do it by using numbers.
Numbers will not only grab the attention of employers, they give a much better impression of what you’re capable of achieving as an employee.
For example, a pharmacist could include figures to better convey the impact and breadth of their work:
Transparency is a big part of being a pharmacist. So, while you want to use numbers that portray you in a good way, it is never acceptable to embellish numbers or lie on your resume — doing so will only backfire.
How do I list education on a pharmaceutical resume?
A patient’s medication can mean life or death to them, so it makes sense that for most roles in the pharmaceutical industry higher education is an absolute necessity.
What’s expected is that you list all education you’ve completed after high school.
List them by including the name of the institution, it’s city/state location, the degree(s) you obtained (if any) and the major or focus of your education.
It might look something like this:
Rhodes University Prattville, AL
Hawthorn College Brightson, MS
It used to be customary to list the year that you graduated from university, but including the date with your degree has the unintended effect of hinting at your age, which can lead to hiring bias concerns.
Most pharmacists are required to have a certification in the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
In order to show that you’ve earned this license, you should create a section separate from education called “Licenses and Certifications” where you list this information.
What kind of work experience should I put on a pharmaceutical resume?
If you can, keep all the work experience you include in a resume focused on your pharmaceutical experience.
The more your work history aligns with the position that you’re applying for, the more that managers are going to consider you.
Try to include details about your previous roles that you believe will be useful in this new role, for example, anything that involves math skills, customer service, research, data analysis, note-keeping or chemistry.
If you’re fresh out of pharmacology school or new to the pharmaceutical field, include any unpaid experience or training that you did while in school.
Should I include a cover letter with my pharmaceutical resume?
Yes, it’s in your best interest to include a cover letter when you submit your pharmaceutical resume.
For one, it’s the expectation and will put you at a distinct disadvantage not to include one.
Furthermore, you don’t want to miss this chance to really sell yourself and what pharmaceutical skills you bring to the table.
If you can, try to tell a story that highlights some of your career achievements or demonstrates the level of your professional growth.
To begin writing your own letter, check out JobHero’s pharmaceutical cover letter examples page, it has plenty of examples of well-done cover letters that you can use to get some great ideas for your own.
If you need more information, JobHero also has a step-by-step guide on how to write a cover letter that will break each section down for you so that you know you nail each section.