How do you write a pharmacist resume? What should you include, and what should you leave out? What’s the best template to use? Should you include a summary objective, or is it unnecessary? If you’re asking yourself these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. Professional resumes, such as pharmacist or physician resumes, and academic ones like law school resumes, can be tricky to get right because you want to create a document that will stand out, but positively. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you do precisely that. In this blog, we go over everything you need to know to create a compelling pharmacist resume, and we also show you some examples to help put things into context and hopefully inspire you. So, keep on reading if you want to know how to create the best pharmacist resume.
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If you went to a college of pharmacy, you most likely already know what makes a good pharmacist. You probably had to write about it in your pharmacy school personal statement, and you were most likely asked about it during your pharmacy school interview. However, communicating that information to employers through your pharmacy resume and cover letter is a whole different process. You'll need a results-driven, clear and concise pharmacist resume, which can be difficult to create. That's why this blog will show you examples and give you all the tips you need to create a compelling pharmacist resume. So, even if you are just getting ready to go to pharmacy school and you're looking ahead, you will find some valuable insight in this blog. Now, let's can get into it:
What should a pharmacist resume look like?
The appearance of your resume is the first thing that you will be assessed on. It is the first thing that the recruiter or HR professional will see. As you already know, first impressions are important, so you should choose formatting options that will make your resume appear professional and efficient. A well-formatted resume can go a long way in inspiring confidence in your abilities.
For instance, put yourself in the shoes of an HR professional who has just received two resumes for a pharmacist position. The first one is three pages long, has multiple lengthy paragraphs written in a tiny font that you have to squint to read, and you're not sure where each section begins. On the other hand, the second resume is a neatly organized one-page document with bullet point descriptions that make it quick and easy to read. What would you infer about the pharmacists who wrote these resumes? The truth is that before even looking at the content of their resumes, the second candidate has already earned a few points because of the format that they chose.
There is no golden template for a good resume. Much like with a physician’s resume, the key to a well-formatted resume is making sure that it is easy to follow and read. Here is what you should pay attention to for your resume:
We just mentioned it, but we’ll reiterate it because it is worth repeating- presentation matters! It matters almost as much as the content when it comes to your resume. You should make sure that your layout is both aesthetically pleasing, and easy to read. Applicants usually try to put as much information as possible on every page. They often do this using smaller margins and a smaller font, but these tricks are obvious, and they don't look professional. We recommend having at least one-inch margins around the document and 1.0 spacing. That is the best way to keep your resume neat, organized, and easy to read.
As much as you want your resume to stand out, you also don’t want to include anything on it that will distract from the content. A resume is a professional document, and most medical fields, including pharmacy, are relatively conservative. We highly recommend avoiding bright, flashy colors and unnecessary images. It is best to stick with something classic, like black and white or grey and white, and then use splashes of a third color to help your resume stand out. You should stick to simple colors like grey, blue, or green for this third color. Avoid jarring colors such as red or orange.
We also recommend that you do not include a picture of yourself on your resume. This is because as we mentioned earlier, pharmacy is a relatively conservative profession, and the idea of putting pictures on resumes is still somewhat novel, meaning that it may not be well received by certain members of hiring panels, and that could distract from the actual content of your resume. Furthermore, your picture can introduce the opportunity for biases to occur based on your appearance. Instead of including a picture directly on your resume, you should consider including a link to your LinkedIn profile and making sure to have a good quality picture on your LinkedIn profile.
Recruiters and HR professionals have to read through multiple resumes, and they usually don’t have much time to spend thoroughly reading multiple pages. That is why your resume is supposed to be a concise document that summarizes your educational and professional background. Ideally, it should be a one-page document that is straight to the point. This will increase the chances of the recruiter actually reading all the information that you’ve included on your resume, not just scanning through it because it is too long. If you have been working for a few years and have at least five years of professional experience outside of your postgraduate training, your resume can be two full pages.
When it comes to font, we suggest that you focus on making sure the font you use is easy to read. The best way to ensure that is to stick to the classic fonts such as Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, or Garamond. You should also choose a font size between 10 and 12 points as that is big enough to read easily, but also small enough that it gives you room to include plenty of information. Furthermore, you should remember to be consistent with the font, font size and colors throughout the document.
It is crucial that your resume is well organized. Not only does it make reading it easier, but it also appears neater and if you need to come back to it for a specific piece of information, it is easy to find. The best way to keep things organized is to separate the resume in clearly labeled sections and to write your descriptions in bullet points. Bullet points are great for the reader because they are easy to follow. They are also great for you the writer of the resume because they make it easier for you to focus on the pertinent information and avoid unnecessary details.
Check out this infographic for a quick summary of the key points we cover below:
What should a pharmacist resume include?
Now that you know what your document should look like, let’s discuss what you need to include in your resume. You can’t blindly stuff information about everything you’ve ever done since high school. It’s important to understand that what you leave out of your pharmacist resume matters as much as what you choose to include. We recommend keeping the information on your resume neatly organized into the following sections:
- Contact information
- Experience (This can include a subcategory for volunteering experience, internships, etc.)
- Certifications/professional memberships (optional)
- Additional sections (This includes Awards, Sills, Research, Publications, etc.)
As the name suggests, this section should provide all the information that your potential employer can use to contact you. Remember to only list the contact details that you use for professional work, that you check regularly and can be reached on. For example, if you have a mobile phone and a landline but you rarely check the messages on your landline, you should not list that number. You should also stay away from email addresses that include nicknames, like [email protected].
You should keep it simple and provide the following details:
- Name & Professional qualification or educational degree
- Mailing address
- E-mail address
- Phone number
- LinkedIn profile link (optional but highly recommended)
Your resume should include a shot and clear summary or career Objective. Include this at the very top of your resume, preferably underneath your name and contact information. This is one of the first sections that a recruiter or potential employer will read, so you need to make it as compelling as possible so that it can set the tone and prompt them to continue reading. Your summary or objective should give the reader a quick rundown of who you are and what you hope to achieve. Here is an example to give you a better idea of what we mean:
Depending on your level of experience, this section will take up most of your resume, and it will also likely be the most difficult section to write. It is important that you only include pertinent information in this section and avoid details that will not add value to your resume. We recommend sticking to the following for each entry:
- Organization name
- City and state or province
- Position title
- Dates (start date and end date)
- Summary of duties, accomplishments, and success.
List your experiences in reverse chronological order and divide the experiences into different subsections if necessary. For example, you can choose to include a subcategory for research experience, volunteer experience, and postgraduate training. You should customize the sections to suit your background.
As mentioned earlier, it is best to write the summaries in bullet points, with every bullet point having one to three lines maximum. To ensure that your descriptions are impactful, you should quantify your achievements as much as possible, and use action words such as "managed," "improved," or "taught". It’s also a good idea to look at the job description of the position you are applying for, specifically the skills and traits listed, and try to include them on your resume in the places where they apply. Take a look at this example:
As with the previous section, you should list your education in reverse chronological order. We recommend focusing on your adult education and leaving out high school experiences. You should start with your pharmacy school, and mention the school’s name, city, state, degree obtained, and the start and finish dates. Then, you can mention your undergraduate degree. Provide the school name, city, state, degree, major, and start and end dates. If you have any additional degrees or other programs that you completed, you can include them based on your timeline. Each entry should look something like the example below.
We recommend mentioning that you are a licensed pharmacist in your summary and in your cover letter so that it is highly visible. If you’ve got other relevant certifications or are a member of any other professional associations, you can list them in a special section. Credentials and professional associations can go a long way in building your credibility, thus making you a more attractive candidate.
Not sure how to answer this common, but tricky interview question? This video is for you:
These are the sections in which you highlight relevant skills or achievements, and other things that do not fit into the other categories that we've discussed. This can include significant extracurricular activities and achievements, relevant skills, languages, awards, and honors, or even interests. You can choose to have one ‘additional information’ section with subcategories or simply select one category and only include information about that. To put that into context, take a look at the examples below. The first example shows an additional information section with subsections, while the second is focused on relevant skills only.
Pharmacist Resume samples:
Pharmacist Resume Sample #1
Pharmacist Resume Sample #2
1. How long should my pharmacist resume be?
Ideally, this document should be one page long. You may go up to two pages if you have been out of school for some time and have substantial professional experience.
2. Is a resume objective necessary?
It is not required but we do encourage including one as it gives you another opportunity to highlight your strengths and goals.
3. In what category should I list my volunteer experience?
You should include your volunteer positions in the experience category of your resume, especially if they are related to pharmacy or the medical field. You can either indicate that it was a volunteer position in the job title, or you can create a subcategory.
4. What’s the best pharmacist resume template?
There is no golden template for a pharmacist's resume. The only thing that matters is that your information is neatly organized, easy to read, and the layout is non-distracting. As long as those three things are taken care of, you have a winning template.
5. What are action words?
Resume action words (also known as power words) are the impactful verbs or nouns you should use in your resume to describe your experiences. Examples include orchestrated, coordinated, attained, pioneered, taught, etc
6. Should I include my LinkedIn profile link on my resume?
Yes, we recommend that you do so that the employer gets a chance to learn more about you! Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and includes a professional looking picture.
7. What sections do I need on my pharmacist resume?
You need a section for your contact information, career summary/objective, professional experience, education, certifications/professional memberships, and additional sections for things like awards, relevant skills, Research, Publications, etc.)
8. Do I need to include my high school education on my pharmacist resume?
No, you do not. We recommend focusing on your adult education and experiences. You should only include information from your high school days if it is highly relevant to the position you are applying to.
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