Resume writing is tough for people regardless of job, industry, or career. However, some professions are more likely than others to struggle with writing their resumes due to the complexity of their jobs or other factors. Pharmacists are one such profession, so in this article we will delve into a few tips and best practices for pharmacist resume writing.
Before we dive in, it is important to acknowledge why pharmacist resumes are challenging to write. First, like many professions, pharmacists usually don’t operate on a project basis where it can be easy to discuss different initiatives and outcomes – much like retail, or customer service, it’s a very day-to-day kind of profession. Therefore, it can be difficult to write about, as well as challenging to differentiate between a pharmacist role at CVS compared to one at Walgreens. Second, pharmacists do fill a technical, medical role, and in those kinds of professions it can be confusing to know how technical to get – do you mention specific medicines or medical terms, or do you stay broader? Finally, as touched on above, due to the regulated nature of the industry, many pharmacist roles are similar, making it hard to write a resume that isn’t repetitive. However, there are ways to do so, and we will now expand on those below.
One key element to focus on in any resume are hard numbers and figures. Fortunately, pharmacists frequently (though not always) do have such metrics and statistics to point to. Examples could be customer satisfaction rate, time-to-fill rate, verified by promise time, and just total number of prescriptions filled. If such numbers are high, or you improved them, include them! Additionally, explain how your skills factored into the numbers. If you work in a high-volume facility, detail your time management abilities. Or, if you bolstered the customer satisfaction percentage, convey how you were able to do so. These numbers not only provide tangible evidence of your impact, but also differentiate you from other pharmacists and provides distinction between your various positions as well.
Another aspect of a pharmacist role that can be expanded upon is the leadership component. This might be more relevant in a retail pharmacy role than at a hospital or research setting, but can certainly be applicable. Pharmacists frequently have people working under them directly or indirectly, including technicians, interns, and customer service representatives. Explaining the team leadership element – holding meetings, providing mentoring and coaching, assisting with career growth, etc. – is one way to showcase your unique skills and how you can be of value in other positions. Even if the role you’re looking for might not be in a leadership capacity, detailing your experience and aptitudes as a leader is never a bad thing.
A different broad impactful category of achievements that should be included on resumes are process improvements. While pharmacists might not have formal projects, they frequently might reorganize the physical storage space of the pharmacy, streamline workflows, or implement new procedures and policies to keep up with novel regulations. All of these types of initiatives, however larger or small, are important to include – as well as their results. If you streamlined the prescription filling process and cut down time to fill prescriptions on average to provide a better customer service experience, expand upon that! There are many ways that pharmacists can make an impact, and process improvements are some of the best to include on a resume.
Most pharmacist jobs require customer service of one kind or another. This could more of an “internal” sort of customer service in a hospital, where you might be assisting physicians or other healthcare professionals in patient care, or a traditional role in a retail setting such as CVS where you’re dealing with hundreds if not thousands of customers a week. Regardless, your customer service skills should be included and even focused on. Are you particularly good at developing relationships with your customers? Swiftly earning their trust? Following up regarding re-fills and pick-ups? All of those elements are important and will make you look a lot better in the eyes of potential employers.
Tailor Resume for Different Pharmacist Roles
Finally, as touched on throughout the resume, there are different types of pharmacist roles. Most people think of pharmacists at the local CVS, Walgreens, or Rite-Aid, but there are also pharmacists who work at hospitals, independent pharmacists who run their own pharmacies, and pharmacists who function in research environments. Depending on which type of role you’re pursuing, you should tailor the resume accordingly. Looking at a corporate retail role? Focus on customer service. Thinking of going to a hospital? Emphasize any more multidisciplinary collaboration you’ve done before and possibly Pharmacy School rotations. It’s important to include the right keywords and the proper focus on skills and achievements, as the difference between a research role and a retail one is vast.
Hopefully this article gave some interesting insights into resume writing practices for pharmacists. If you have further questions or need continued assistance, do not be afraid of seeking professional help, as such resume writing services have extensive experiences working with pharmacists and job seekers in the broader pharmaceutical field.