Growing Your Career as a Pharmacist
Pharmacy is a unique career path where you become an essential part of society. Here are a few tips that will help you to grow your career as a pharmacist.
As a pharmacy technician, your job is in high demand. This is excellent news for your job security, but it also means you’ll face stiff competition in the job market. You may end up competing with dozens of applicants for the same position. What’s more, hiring managers at large organizations, such as hospitals, often only have time to glance at pharmacy technician resumes or use an applicant tracking system to scan for relevant keywords.
That said, you have a limited opportunity to make a lasting impression. You need to synthesize the most important, relevant, and impressive pieces of information about yourself and format your resume strategically to highlight your skills and talents and set yourself apart from the competition. We’re here to help you create the most impactful pharmacy technician resume possible with these tips.
The skills section of your pharmacy technician resume is critical to get right. When hiring a pharmacy technician, the hiring manager looks for specific skills on your resume. If you don’t include those skills as keywords within the skills section and throughout your work experience, you may be immediately counted out for the job in question. A high-quality resume with critical pharmacy technician resume keywords increases your odds of getting the job.
“A high-quality resume with critical pharmacy technician resume keywords increases your odds of getting the job.”
You can determine the skills they’re looking for by reading the job description and picking out the strengths the ideal candidate should have. Even if you haven’t worked as a pharmacy technician yet, you likely have skills that pertain to the position. For instance, if you’ve worked in any retail or warehouse position, you know how to manage inventory. If you’ve worked at a call center, you have customer service experience. These relevant skills should be included in your resume.
General skills, such as customer service experience, are in high demand for pharmacy technicians. You are tasked with collaborating effectively with the general public and medical teams. For these job responsibilities, vital soft skills to list include:
Hard skills are equally as crucial for your resume as soft skills. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some position-specific hard skills that pharmacy managers will be looking for:
Prescription filling and labeling
Ability to label and re-package medications
Knowledge of inventory control practices
Ability to read and interpret physician’s medication orders
Counting prescription medications
Confidentiality maintenance and HIPAA compliance
Coordinating prior authorizations
Medication and supply purchases
Patient insurance processing and third-party billing
Math and computer proficiency
Familiarity with pharmacy information systems
Knowledge of brand-name and generic drugs
The way you organize your pharmacy technician resume matters more than you may think. When a hiring manager can quickly get a feel for who you are and your greatest strengths and career achievements, they’re more likely to continue reading.
In formatting your resume, use one-inch margins. Be respectful of the hiring manager’s time by keeping it to one page and being concise. You may have more skills and work experience than can fit on one page, but your resume should be tailored to the job and trimmed down to the most relevant qualifications that make you the best candidate for the position. Make your work experience more digestible using bullet points to break up the text. Avoid the use of icons and images.
The best way to lay things out is in reverse-chronological order. Employers care more about your most recent experience than your job from seven years ago. So, listing your current or last employment will ensure that the most relevant and up-to-date information is at the top, where employers can easily see it.
It’s great to list work experience, but it’s better to explain how your work experience makes you a good employee. An objectives section is one of the first sections of a resume that provides a short description of the work you’re seeking and how you would add value to the position you want. If you’re an entry-level candidate or transitioning from another industry, an objective section is appropriate to include in your pharmacy technician resume.
“An objectives section is one of the first sections of a resume that provides a short description of the work you’re seeking and how you would add value to the position you want.”
A summary is typically used by individuals with at least 10 years of experience; it’s used to highlight job history, personal qualities, top pharmacy technician resume skills and qualifications, and interest in the role. It should be customized for the position you are applying to. As a rule of thumb, try to condense your top selling points into four sentences or less. Be sure to include high-impact keywords and avoid being generic. Your summary should highlight what makes you unique and memorable, so customize it accordingly!
Objective and summary sections should be listed at the top of the resume after your name and contact information but before your work experience. They are often written in the third person in the past tense using strong action verbs. If you choose to include these sections in your resume, take time to craft it carefully. If you lazily type something up without giving it much thought, you risk making a poor first impression on the hiring manager, and they may not continue reading your resume beyond that section.
In your work experience section, it’s important to focus on your achievements on the job rather than just the responsibilities of the position. Coming up with an example of how you’ve used your skills to benefit your company shows what you are capable of and how you can contribute value to the next company you work for. Achievements are most impactful when described in metrics, as they help you quantify your contributions and back up your words with data.
For example, pharmacy technicians are responsible for providing excellent customer service. See if you can dig up some numbers about customer acquisition and retention that you were responsible for — i.e., how many new customers per month did you help to acquire? Of those people, how many that you regularly worked with have your retained since then? Other numbers of interest could include:
The size of your team
Number of customers served or acquired
The number of people you’ve managed (if applicable)
Number of orders you can fill in one day
Years of experience
How quickly you can work without sacrificing accuracy or quality
Each pharmacy runs a little differently and has unique needs. Having a unique resume for each job you apply for might sound like a daunting task, but we don’t mean that you need to rewrite your resume from scratch for each position.
Tailoring your resume simply means adding and replacing details here and there to match the requirements of a particular role listed in the job description to prove you’re the right fit. Candidates most often adjust their summary/objective sections to discuss their interest in the company and role, as well as the pharmacy technician resume skills and work history sections to show how their work experience fits the pharmacy’s needs.
As an entry-level pharmacy tech, you’ll need to create an attention-grabbing resume demonstrating how your past work experience has prepared you for the pharmacy field. Jobs in child care, retail, customer service, food service, and more involve skills that translate well to pharmacies. If you don’t have any work experience, focus on applicable volunteer work, hobbies, personal projects, or educational qualifications and accomplishments that have led you to this position.
If you have experience working in hospitals, highlight this in your resume. Describe the capacity in which you’ve worked in a hospital before and how your experiences there will make you a great pharmacy technician for the hospital setting. Discuss your experience with drug misuse surveillance, medicine distribution to patients, and answering patients’ questions and concerns about particular drugs.
Hiring managers seek out pharmacy techs who are trained and certified with the right pharmacy technician resume skills to match. Make sure your resume includes certifications required by law, or you may not be considered for any position. Those applying for a pharmacy technician job tend to have several years of experience, and if this is true for you, it’s probably okay to skip the objective section.
Working in a long-term care facility involves working with nurses and serving the elderly. Your resume should highlight your communication and collaboration skills, ability to plan, implement plans, and evaluate, and dedication to treating senior citizens with compassion, dignity, and respect.
Being a registered pharmacy technician means that you’re certified by your province and have a working understanding of medicine brands and medical terminology. This is a big accomplishment, so don’t forget to include “Registered Pharmacy Technician” as your job title at the top of your resume. You should also mention the province where you’re registered and your licensing/certification details on the side or at the bottom.
All that’s left to do now is design your resume for the job you’re looking for using the tips above, and you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job. Be sure to run your resume through an online checker that can provide additional pointers on improving it. You can also compare your resume against a winning pharmacy technician resume example online to see how you can mimic those strategies in your resume. Good luck!