Tactical Tools for Your Pharmacist Job Search

By Denise Hemphill posted 03-10-2016 17:26


My dad used to tell me, “You always need to know more than one way to get to your destination.” Quite true if there’s a road closure or excess traffic blocking or delaying your arrival. This is especially true for today’s pharmacist. Landing your ideal pharmacist job might be delayed due to the plethora of graduates and established pharmacists in line for the same one. My posts will cover several ways to get you ready for the journey.

We’ll start with the basic and most familiar route— a strategically crafted pharmacist CV/resume and a cover letter. In this world, if your pharmacist CV or resume is even read at all, it will occur after the Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) has analyzed and scored it.

In short, your CV or resume has to make it to the “read pile” and then impress in 8 sec or less. At this point, it might get a more detailed read that leads to an interview offer.

Compounding matters in 2016 the significant reduction in Human Resources staff for most hospitals part of larger local, regional, or national health systems. Remaining HR personnel migrated to centralized HR call centers that manage mostly employee matters. This reduction leaves fewer humans to manage talent searches and the reading of anything you submit. Therefore, reliance on these sophisticated ATS systems will increase.

The cover letter is still alive, and IF STRATEGICALLY CRAFTED can be a great asset to catapult your career documents to the top of the “read pile”. The overall purpose of a cover letter is to give HR and hiring managers desire to REALLY READ and not just skim your CV or resume. Out of several qualified applicants, many hiring managers will still often use cover letters to narrow down to the final top candidates.

A good cover letter does 3 important things:

  1. Shows you’re willing to go the extra mile
  2. Showcases your communication skills
  3. Gives opportunity to prove why you’re best for the job

Career tools to move your career forward are not covered in depth by schools of pharmacy or continuing education offerings for pharmacy professionals. And let’s face it, it takes that is in short supply for most busy pharmacy students and practitioners. But time spent sharpening your career tools may be time well spent in today's competitive job market.

~ About the Author ~

Denise R. Hemphill, PharmD, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CEIP, CCTC is a Resume, CV, & Profile Writer designing dynamic self-marketing tools. As a pharmacist and career manager equipped with 5 prominent career industry certifications, she helps pharmacists nationwide reach their career goals.

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