How to Rebrand your CV so it Stands Out

This article was originall published on The Happy PharmD

We get it. Writing a CV is extremely daunting…. In all honesty, IT IS SOO ANNOYING!

I can immediately hear all of the questions that run through your head when thinking about writing your CV…

What type of template should I use?

What date did I start working at that last job?

Do I include my maiden name or my new name?

Where should I bold or underline something?

OMG. Sounds incredibly complicated and time-consuming! Right?

Well friend, do not worry.

We get it. We’ve been there, done that!

Follow our advice and you will land yourself killer interviews!

We’ll show you how to set up your CV for success by following these 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Prepare for Success

Go ahead, spend some time researching and reading all of the hundreds of blog posts about how to write the best CV.

Research and Steal Ideas

We will create a list of CV how-to articles in the future specific for pharmacists, but here are a few examples of great blogs to read on the subject:

I recommend creating a Google doc to compile your notes on how to improve your CV or important points to remember. That way you don’t have to have 30 tabs open in your browser!

After you gather all of the information that is relevant to you, immediately stop searching for more ways on how to create a perfect CV. It will lead you to information overload.

Did you stop yet?

Good.

Now, this is where your work begins.

When writing your CV, it will be your absolute goal to be Authentic.

When you look at it through the lens of the recruiter, it is actually pretty simple.

Explain to them why you are deserving and qualified for this position.

Identify your dream job

Know what job you want prior to writing your CV. Have an understanding of what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. Doing so will help you structure your CV in such a way that grabs the manager’s attention.

Get in the mindset of the manager who is hiring and the skills you have to make you the best candidate for this position.

Market yourself so well that your CV is so irresistible they HAVE to bring you in for an interview.

Step 2: Write Your CV

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. What follows is advice based on best practices and common mistakes most pharmacists are guilty of committing.

I recommend writing without editing yourself. You’ll create an excess of material for your CV, which you can later edit and tailor for a specific employer.

Absolutely, do not use a template.

Did you know, on average, there are 250 applicants for 1 position.

YES, THAT IS A LOT.

Why on Earth would you download a template that everyone else is downloading?

Think: What separates you from the rest?

The CV and cover letter are the first things a hiring manager will see from you. You need to make a great 1st impression, not the same impression as everyone else.

Do not lie.

You can stretch the truth, but no making up information.

Do not forget anything!

If you have trouble remembering what exactly you did in previous jobs, look back at your Outlook calendar. Call up an old manager and ask questions about your job.

Ensure contact information is clear and accurate.

Make it easy for the recruiter to get a hold of you.

Also, on this topic, make an email address that is professional.

LinkedIn

If you are on LinkedIn (which I suggest everyone should be!), include your LinkedIn URL. Make sure your profile is reflective of your CV.

Work Experience

In each work experience include Title of the company, your position in the company, city, and supervisor.

Outside Pharmacy Experience

If you had a career prior to entering pharmacy and the skills you took away from that job will make you a better candidate for this position, make sure you include this experience.

Remember, what separates you and prepares you the best for this role?

Accomplishments

For each job or position held, describe what you achieved in the role. Quantify accomplishments as much as possible. Include specific numbers that translate into goals met.

Bullet Points

To describe an experience, the first bullet point needs to be the most relevant and specific to what you did in the position.

Cut the fat in these bullet points too. Be specific and be as tangible as possible.

Keywords

Use words that describe you as a performer. These include power words such as Lead, Managed, Created, Directed, Accomplished, Investigated.

Avoid supportive words such as Assisted, Helped, Organized.

Number of Pages

More pages of a CV does not translate into a better quality candidate.

References

You can drop the section of “References Available upon Request.” This is a given.

Stage 3: Professional Review

You created your CV. Now comes the painful part: Review.

You need to tailor your CV for the next employer. Here are a few tips on the editing process.

Use the same format

One manager said this to me about format inconsistencies on a CV,

“I don’t take you seriously if you don’t take this application process seriously.”

Page Numbers

Some managers like to thoroughly review your CV, taking out the staple or paperclip (there is not right answer), and spread out all the pages of your CV. Page numbers can save the reviewer time if the CV becomes mixed up.

Avoid abbreviations

I love to abb., but it doesn’t belong on your CV.

PDF file

Always save your final file as a PDF.  Use this format: CV_Last Name _Date. 
Example: CV_Klevens_October2017

Hire a Professional Reviewer

You saw this coming, right?

Your CV must be without a mistake! Our CV Review Service (LINK) was built to help pharmacists standout in any crowd of applications.

Why waste your one opportunity for a new job when dozens of pharmacists apply for the same job?

 

 

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Alex Barker, PharmD, is a pharmacist by day, a pharmacist career coach by early morning, and family man at night. He’s helped over 100 pharmacists find new jobs and start new businesses. He's a fan of freedom and minimalism. He paid off his house 27 years early and became 100% debt free 5 years after graduation. He pursues self-experimentation like a 30-day rejection challenge and reading one book every day, but also loves Japanese anime, coffee, and all things Star Wars.

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