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The #1 Biggest Resume Mistake

When Jamie realized she needed to change jobs, she went on a job application frenzy. She applied to job after job after job, sending out over 70 different applications in the span of 5-6 weeks.

Despite all this effort, Jamie heard back from a grand total of five places; four of which were rejection letters. With just one interview request out of over 70 applications, she was at a 1.43% success rate.

Jamie isn’t alone. The majority of people I speak with about the job search process report feeling discouraged.

I believe there is one major mistake that most pharmacists make when seeking a new job, and it is time to fix it.

Relying on the strength of resumes

Too often, job applicants rely solely on the strength of their resumes, but that is just not enough in today’s job market.

Someone else will always look better on paper.  It is no longer the case that dozens of people are applying for one position; instead, 50-100 applicants are competing for the same job.

The people I work with one-on-one repeatedly tell me that they dread the process of reviewing the countless number of applications and resumes that come across their desk.

The truth is that most pharmacists apply to jobs through Monster and Indeed-like job boards. They have no relationship at all with the people at the company they hope to work for.  This reduces their application to nothing more than words on a page. Even at its best, a resume won’t adequately share all of the reasons why you are great candidate.

The pharmacy manager views your resume in the same light as the other 50+ resumes. He doesn’t know who you are and it is highly unlikely that you will be chosen based solely on your merit.

When compared on paper, there is a high probability that you will not shine more brightly than the other applicants; particularly if you are trying to transition into a new job.

To be clear, the online job application process is a valid search option and I do firmly believe that you can set yourself apart from your competition with a well-worded resume.

I just don’t think that the resume itself will land the job for you.

In my opinion, it comes down to just two things: providing value, and building relationships. Pharmacists usually focus more on making connections than building relationships, and they often fail to provide value.

I get new connections every week on LinkedIn.  I have found, however, that in 99% of the cases, I never receive any message or introduction. That is not a relationship, it is simply a connection.

In addition to connections, creating value in the marketplace is valuable as well and means that you build up your hard and soft skills over time. This, in turn, will lead to a high career capital.

Career capital is an intangible thing that makes you attractive to new companies. Hard skills include things that you’ve been taught, like computer skills. Soft skills are those associated with leadership and communication. You should be able to highlight both types of skill sets in your resume.

The Big Picture strategy

Gaining experience and building relationships with the people who work at the company need to be in place first if the resume is to gain traction.

Whether you are a student, currently unemployed, or looking for a new challenge, spend time now connecting with people and creating value in those relationships so that you are who they think of first when a job opening needs to be filled. It is one of the most powerful things you can do.

Otherwise, it is like bringing only a hammer to a construction site. You’ll get some work done, but you would accomplish so much more had you arrived prepared for the task ahead.

The #1 Biggest Resume Mistake
Alex Barker

Alex Barker is a full-time Pharmacist, media company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He is also is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps busy professionals build successful side businesses.