A true statement: One of the biggest “door-openers” into a client company is the resume…. No-brainer. Got it! Congratulations! Now what? We spend more time on trying to make our resume the “best of the rest” than on any other part of the job search process. Yes, and well we should because the resume is absolutely a reflection of you, the candidate, no doubt about it.
A resume must have key components that should capture the attention of a specific hiring manager, human resources person and even the headhunter/recruiter. In our office at PharmaOne Search, we see a multitude of resumes each month – some are excellent, some pretty well done and others needing some work.
Recommended Resume Guidelines:
To maximize your resume’s effectiveness in the pharmaceutical industry, adhere to these simple guidelines:
· The myth of the one (1) page resume is just that – a myth. Hiring managers don’t have time to assume a candidate has the in-depth knowledge that he/she is looking for in the position. They want to know as much pertinent detail as possible in an organized fashion. Therefore, make the resume 2-3 pages if necessary in order to highlight your experiences and accomplishments.
· Make your resume shine with bullet points instead of paragraphs. Hiring managers are picky and pressed for time. They will not read a paragraph, no matter how good it is. Instead, list information using bullet points and keep each point to no more than two lines long. The resume will flow and the reader will go right with it.
· List the most detail for your most current position. Start with listing 8-10 bullets of accomplishments/experiences in your present position and work backward so that the next most recent position has 6-8 bullet points, and so on.
· Don’t take the chance of leaving an niche industry like pharmaceutical for telecommunications, IT, etc. unless you are absolutely convinced that a career/industry change is right for you, especially now in these economic times. For example, a candidate leaves pharmaceutical to pursue telecom and finds out it was not the right move 18 months later. Too many talented individuals go to seemingly “greener pastures” in other industries and then find out it is 10 times more difficult to get back into the industry they know best. Salary increases and/or big stock option packages are not always the best reasons to switch industries. Investigate the company thoroughly. Consider what you are giving up long term. It may not be worth it.
· Include an addendum along with your resume. We have found that hiring managers want to see a capsule of one’s talent in a short, precise, easy-to-read format. Typically, the “addendum-to-resume” is a separate one-page document attached to the end of the resume with 10-12 bullet points highlighting specific job accomplishments that coincide with the position being applied for. It works! This addendum attention may not always get the job, but it does help pave the way to a more thorough and effective review of your skill sets and core competencies.
So it does matter what your resume looks like and stands for. I often hear feedback from our hiring managers complimenting a candidate on physical neatness and appearance. In almost every case, their resume is put together with the same attention.