Some of the most common questions we get at Pharmacy Technician HQ are related to landing a job. In many cases, even after successfully completing the PTCB exam and becoming a pharmacy technician for their state, pharmacy technicians are having a hard time landing that first job. In this article we will cover key components (and things that should be left out) of your resume, which is the proverbial “foot in the door.”
Experience: Not a lot you can do here, and we have addressed it in the eBook and in other articles. The one thing you can do to add experience is to do everything you can to get an externship while in training or after it. If you have to volunteer at an independent pharmacy (easier to get into then a large chain pharmacy with too many rules) in exchange for experience, then do it!
-All training and related experience (especially jobs that have customer service). You want to show you have held jobs for long periods of time (if you have).
-Professional affiliations to pharmacy organizations (if you do not have any, then get at least one). For pharmacy technicians, these are often a lower cost to entry as compared to pharmacist. If you can, go for ASHP for hospital work or APhA for retail/community work.
-Certifications and training. Even if they are not pharmacy related, for instance, computer training certifications are great.
-A letter of intent – this is separate from the actual resume, but can be a nice touch. This should not be long or it will not be read (i.e., less than one page). You need to research the company you are applying for and concisely explain why you are applying to their company and how you will be a good fit.
-Contact information that is professional. Address, phone number, and an email that is your name and not some youthful play name like “firstname.lastname@example.org.” (I have seen some very interesting emails, and the person applying loses credibility pretty quickly). Open up a new account if you have to, it’s free!
-Visually appealing – Search the internet for good examples of resumes. Look for resumes that are appealing and get feedback from others. Sometimes there are so many resumes to filter through, ones that standout can help (but don’t go crazy).
-Print – Use a laser printer, in color (if you have color), and nice paper. If you need to, pay the $1.50 to print it at Kinkos. It looks bad when you use an ink jet printer that smears all over the place, the laser printing looks neat and professional.
Do NOT Include:
-Personal information, this should be limited to the letter of intent and only to explain why you are a good fit or why you like their company. No hobbies and that type of stuff, it is interesting, but irrelevant. Leave off family information (e.g., marriage status, kids). You can include some volunteer activities as this speaks to your socially responsibly grownupness (I may have just made that word up).
-Anything religious. I am a religious person, but this is not the time or place to get religious.
-Grammatical and spelling errors – have someone or multiple people review your letter of intent and resume for both grammar and spelling issues. Don’t make up words like I did above (if you are writing on your own website, feel free to make up words).
This should provide you with items to check against your resume. If you haven’t signed up for our free eBook on landing a job, I recommend doing that as well for more tips on the landing a job as a pharmacy technician.