Many of us have experienced the soul-sucking discouragement that comes when you receive a rejection letter for a pharmacist position you thought you were the ideal candidate for. Sure, I get it. Those infamous letters are supposed to be a professional and courteous way of informing you that you are no longer in consideration. The truth is they can come across as generic, obligatory, and (at times) insulting. But, my biggest complaint is rejection letters never truly divulge WHY you were passed over, merely expressing appreciation that you took the time to apply. If the scenario I've laid out above sounds familiar to any of you pharmacists, here is why your resume may be the culprit of your ill-fated job search.
Your resume's appearance is uninspiring
For those of you who don't think appearance matters, try wearing a $7 pair of Wal-Mart khakis to your next job interview, and see how that turns out. I've been told that first impressions mean everything. And before a pharmacy director reads a single word of your resume he/she will take notice of how professional and modern the appearance is. Are you using the proper layout? Do you have enough white space? Do you have just enough color (and the right color) to break up your resume's monotony? Are you utilizing concise bullet-point lists written in the correct font? Fair or not, your resume's appearance is often the first impression the reader will form about you. If the great Ronald Reagan was roaming the floor of the oval office the last time you updated your resume, it may be time to modernize and update it.
Your opening page lacks true impact
Generally speaking, you have about 10 seconds to catch the attention of the pharmacy director who is reading your resume. Too many times, pharmacists will cram a buzz word-filled opening biography alongside a generic "competency" checklist at the top of their resume. Why? Because 20 years ago some career counselor in a plaid suit with a sparse, greasy comb-over said that's what we needed to do, so we never questioned it? I suggest that you view your resume's first half-page as the paper version of your "elevator pitch." Rather than opening with a relatively uninteresting career narrative, make sure you keep the focus of your opening paragraph squarely on answering this question: "why should we hire you?" Then, below that, use a concise, neat bullet point list that shows off your most relevant qualifications/accomplishments. In essence, you are telling them why you are the ideal candidate for the position, and then demonstrating it with tangible and measurable evidence. This type of interview-landing strategy makes an impression and maximizes impact.