Crafting a Compelling Resume to Land an Interview in Pharma Advertising or Medical Communications
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Your resume is the first thing a hiring manager will see, and you want them to have an excellent first impression to solidify an interview. Typically a resume is scanned for 30 seconds before the hiring manager decides if you are a fit. These are 30 critical seconds that you cannot get back, so you need to make your resume flawless.
If you’re looking for a career in pharmaceutical marketing, here are some resume tips to consider to increase your chances of landing that coveted interview.
Keep it short and sweet
Hiring managers receive dozens to hundreds of resumes for each job opening, and your design should allow them to skim quickly and identify the key qualities that make you the best fit for the position. Make your resume as long as necessary to include your experience as it relates to the role, don't leave off valuable experience just to keep your resume to one page. More than one page is completely acceptable, but you'll want to avoid design elements that clutter the page and excessive word use. Use bullet points to organize your accomplishments and only include your most prominent achievements for each position. Make good use of white space on your resume, so you don’t overwhelm the hiring manager. If things are not organized neatly, the reader cannot identify where to look or what’s most important.
Include quantifiable achievements
If you’re looking for marketing communications jobs, it’s beneficial to include accomplishments that are quantifiable. When highlighting your previous positions, don’t just regurgitate the job description. It’s critical to highlight your achievements with concrete numbers or direct results of your work (i.e., increased sales by 22% or implemented a campaign that resulted in 15% more impressions). If you cannot quantify your work, showcase how others benefited from what you did (i.e., implemented a new ordering process that decreased the amount of time the team spent on invoicing or took over administrative responsibilities so the team could focus on growing the business). Including numbers and critical benefits add credibility to your aptitude as a viable candidate.
Customize for each job application
Different jobs require different skill sets. Customize your knowledge and accomplishments for each job application. One position could value leadership, while another might value innovation. For the first job, you’ll want to highlight how you took the lead on a significant new business project that landed a new client. For the second, you could explain how you used new tactics and an innovative approach to landing a new client. It’s the exact same project, with key differences in how you market your skills. When determining what to include on your resume, be highly selective and make sure every bullet can relate back to the position you are trying to secure.
Pay attention to word use
Use keywords, mix up your word use, and avoid words that are empty or meaningless. When using keywords, don’t go overboard, but take a look at words that are used frequently in the job description and pepper those words throughout your resume. If you overuse certain words, you risk boring the hiring manager. Instead of saying, “I was responsible for…”, use “I was influential in…” or “As a key member of the team…” Avoid words that are overused, like hard-working, detail-oriented, etc. These words are used so often that they lose meaning. Rather, you can highlight an accomplishment that happened as a direct result of your hard work. Always show what you’ve done in place of telling what you are.
Take a marketing approach
Your resume is a marketing tool you use to showcase your individual brand. Instead of thinking of your resume as a record of your experience, think of how you can express your individuality and what skills separate you from the competition. Consider ramping up your online presence, whether it’s through an online portfolio or a new and improved LinkedIn page to reflect your personal brand. If you have a portfolio, don’t forget to include the link along with your contact information on the resume. If you have a blog, include that as well. Everything you post on your blog or other social media platforms should be a reflection of what you want to convey to a hiring manager. If it appears that you will add value to their organization, the hiring manager will be more inclined to bring you in for an interview.
Don’t forget to review and proofread
Once you’ve completed your resume, you may be tempted to start firing it out to potential job leads. It’s important not to skip the proofreading step because a spelling error could be detrimental to your chances of landing a position. Read over your resume five times before sending it to anybody. Double check your font and ensure consistency in all design elements. A hiring manager will spot these errors right away, so be extra diligent in your review process.
Generating a compelling resume that will land you an interview can be a challenge, especially if you’re on the marketing communications career path. If you’re looking for a position within the pharma ad or medical communications industry, the expert recruiters at GLE Creative Talent can help you craft a compelling resume that will get you noticed. Our recruiters are here to help you in your job search and are uniquely qualified to offer up advice and provide coaching throughout the process.
Our goal is to connect you with positions that best align with your career aspirations and talents. Our sweet spot is bringing our clients and candidates the best possible hiring experience, and we want to do that for you.