From our series on how to break into pharmaceutical sales, the important first step in landing your dream job is to prepare your resume.
There are numerous articles and resume templates that walk you through what career information should be on your resume, but job seekers should be very careful about how much goes on your resume and the format you use. A hiring manager or recruiter will take a quick glance at your resume and make a decision if they are going to call you within a few seconds. Here are few fundamentals to get your resume noticed.
Use a clear concise format with bullets. The fastest way to lose the attention of someone reading your resume is to have a long winded resume in a paragraph format. Busy hiring managers do not have time to read through and interpret long resumes.
Always put dates and length of employment for each position. Don’t make hiring managers try and do the math, make sure your tenure at each job is clear and easy to understand. Make sure the dates are consistent between your resume and other places its posted, like LinkedIn, you don’t want to look sloppy.
Make sure you always add accomplishments. Don’t use standard job descriptions to define your occupation. Make the position personal to you and show how you are different in the role. Set yourself apart by using bullet points of accomplishments, awards or successful milestones. This will set you apart before the interview
Add keywords that are going to get you found on the internet. These days people find jobs by posting resumes on job boards and career sites like LinkedIn. While this can open new opportunities, it can also make it harder to be found when compared to the old fashioned way of sending your resume directly to the hiring manager. Unless you’ve set up your resume correctly, you can have the greatest experience and accomplishments and still not be found. The trick is to use keywords recruiters are going to use to find you.
Determine the keywords you need to use. You can do this by reading the job descriptions of the positions you are interested in. Jot down titles, requirements and other common words. These are your keywords. Then use keywords throughout your resume by adding them to your title and in the job history. The more keywords you use the better. If the keywords aren’t fitting into your resume in a way that makes sense, it may mean you need some more experience before you apply for the position, or this might not be the right position for you.
Never leave gaps of employment on your resume. Employers want to see a clear, concise, consistent employment record. This starts from your first job out of college. They also want to see longevity at your positions. No employer wants to hire someone who bounces from job to job, they will be worried you will do the same thing to them. If there are no dates of employment employers may make the assumption you are a job hopper. If there is a gap make sure to explain why, add information about volunteer time or other things you were doing during the gap. Hoping they won’t notice isn’t a good plan.
Never make your resume more than two pages. Recruiters, human resources and hiring managers can receive a hundred or more resumes for a position. If your resume is not short and to the point, it may not be read. People should be able to glance at your resume and quickly notice your accomplishments and want to learn more about you. Use bullet points, short sentences and organize by date to keep it simple and easy to understand.
To get the full ebook go to Everything You Need to Know to Land a Pharmaceutical Sales Job. If you are already in pharmaceutical sales and are wondering if you are ready to take the next step to management take our quiz, Do you have what it takes to be a Pharma Sales Manager? If you need a resume re-write