You're ready to change your career to pharmacy, but is your resume?

January 11, 2011

It’s not uncommon for people to change their career path, especially to pharmacy since it is considered a stable and rewarding career path. At PharmacyWeek we see this all the time. But how do you show a potential employer that your previous work experience will help you succeed in your pharmacy career? The answer isn’t always so simple, but here are some of our tips:

1. Think about what past career experience and skills you’ve developed that can be transferred into your work in a pharmacy. Did you formally work in IT? Stress your ability to work with and adapt to new computer programs. Or perhaps your ability to problem solve. Were you a teacher or a customer service representative? Then perhaps convey your ability to teach and communicate difficult concepts to others — This will definitely come in handy when communicating with patients.

2. It’s never too late to get involved. Perhaps you’re a single mom or you’ve got a job on top of continuing your pharmacy education, but don’t let these factors stop you from adding bullet points to your resume or crucial networking contacts. Find out what pharmacy associations or groups you have time to become involved with or meetings you can attend, even if it just means dedicating just a few hours out of the month you’ll gain useful information and develop relationships that will help you down the road. Maybe you could even start a single mother pharmacy technician and/or pharmacist support group? Grab some pizza, get the kids to play together, then gather with your group and start talking. Remember: Sometimes it’s not the grades you make, it’s the hands you shake.

3. What can you do that not many other pharmacy professionals can? This tip is a lot like tip #1. After you’ve thought about all your previous career experience, skills and accomplishments, bring attention to how these facts about you make you stand out of the crowd in your objective statement, cover letter and resume.

4. Think Keywords. Whether you writing a resume for a career change or not, keywords are a must-have in your resume. Today several companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), which rely heavily on keywords, many of which you can find in the job description itself.

Here is an example of keywords using one of the many ads placed in PharmacyWeek:

Seeking experienced certified pharmacy technicians for full time career opportunities. Responsibilities include data entry and problem solving with pharmacists to deliver accurate prescription information. The Pharmacy Technician contributes to the success of companies’ business strategy by collecting and entering broad based information required for timely and accurate processing of prescription orders for our members.
Skills Needed:

  • Communications Knowledge: An understanding of integrated communications planning as well as use of tactical tools.
  • Implementation/Execution: Effectively leverages available resources to accomplish objectives and maximize return on investment.
  • Computer Knowledge: Basic understanding of the role of and use of a computer in the processing of prescription orders.

Qualifications:

  • 1-2 years experience as a Pharmacy Technician in a retail, mail order or hospital pharmacy setting.
  • Strong data entry skills.
  • Ability to solve problems and encourage others in collaborative problem solving.
  • Self directed, but also able to work well in a group.
  • A positive, proactive attitude, energetic, highly motivated and a self-starter.
  • Work ethic that is focused, accurate and highly productive.

All of the words bolded and in blue are keywords that you can use in your resume and cover letter to stand out from the crowd. Don’t hesitate to incorporate these words into your past experiences. It will help you get noticed!

Still need help or want someone to look over your resume? PharmacyWeek can help! By joining our career-long Concierge Service, not only will you get FREE resume/cover letter reviews and critiques, you will also get instant job notifications, instant networking opportunities with pharmacy employers for job openings in your desired location and work setting, and more! Email Kevin Mero at kevin@pharmacyweek.com, or click here for more information!

, career, career change, director of pharmacy, hospital, pharmacist, pharmacy, pharmacy residency, pharmacy techinician, remote staff pharmacist, resume, retail, Uncategorized

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