3 Reasons Your Pharmacy Residency CV Fails
The end of October’s American Pharmacists Month signals the beginning of a new season — pharmacy residency application season. It’s understandable if you’re stressed about getting your pharmacy residency curriculum vitae (CV) and Letter of Intent done.
The fact is competition to match a pharmacy residency is fierce. It will only get worse with the ASHP/ACCP 2020 mandate for ALL entry level hospital pharmacists to have at least a PGY1 pharmacy residency. So if we pause for a reality check and break that down…if a site has 2 residency positions and gets 100 applications then 98 people (98%) will not match this residency site. More than 2 people will interview for one of these two residency spots — but you get the picture. Some pharmacy residency candidates combat potential match rejection by applying to several programs.
REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY PHARMACY RESIDENCY PROGRAMS YOU APPLY TO AVOID THESE 3 CRITICAL MISTAKES . . .
In a sea of applications, it ONLY takes one error to send your application to the “no” pile. NO one plans for mistakes, they just happen. But there are ways you can avoid them. Be sure to allow multiple proofreads. Proofread with your own human eyes in addition to computer spell checks.
The more time between each proofreading session the better. In the professional resume world, we call that “letting it get cold.” Go to bed then wake up and proofread again. Now, you are more likely to catch a missed mistake. The time delay allows you to see the document with a “fresh” set of eyes.
Also, have someone else proofread your documents. The more eyes, the better. Preceptors, professors, mentors, other pharmacists are all good people to ask. Another option, seek professional services. Let’s face it; the English language is quirky at times, and now that texting and emoji use have become the mainstay of day to day communication, it may take a little more effort to ensure our professional written communication is up to par.
2) LACK OF CONSISTENCY
Unfortunately, I’ve had CVs come to me using 3 different fonts types, in 3 different font sizes, and spacing was varying all over. Dates were also put into 3 different formats throughout the document (i.e., 10/16, 10/2016 and Oct 2016.)
Pick a format and stick to it throughout! The devil is in the details. If your CV lacks consistency, the residency director will probably wonder if there are other areas you lack consistency.
Issues such as these could be from a pure lack of knowledge, or more often than not, it’s a lack of time. If you are down to the wire with the application deadline, details like these can fall by the wayside. Again, such an impression will not go over well with those reviewing your pharmacy residency curriculum vitae (CV) to determine your interview status.
3) TOO LONG/LACK OF FOCUS
Now if you were diligent and updated your CV after each final semester and IPPE/APPE rotation, great! It’s hard to remember everything, but now might be the time to narrow things down.
If you include everything you’ve ever done since the day you started pharmacy school, your CV could end up longer than the experienced pharmacy professional interviewing you–which may be frowned upon.
While technically a CV has no limit on length, one must use judgment on what to include and what to leave out. Include things you are the proudest of, things that had the most impact on others, and items you can discuss inside and out at your interview. These must-have items should stay.
Emphasize content related to your specialty area of interest. Let’s say you are interested in infectious disease and you plan to go on to do a PGY2 infectious disease residency. Don’t limit your CV content to just general details of your IPPE/APPE’s, be sure to include aspects of antibiotic stewardship, etc. Instead of listing every presentation you ever did in pharmacy school, include key ones that focus on antibiotics or other ID issues.
At this time in the year hopefully you have a good foundation for your pharmacy residency documents, and you are just making final touches and proofreading.
If not, just close your eyes and imagine a magical place where you can scan/fax whatever disorganized CV notes you have and a crisp professional pharmacy residency CV shows up in your inbox. Now open your eyes and contact us today.
About the Author
Denise R. Hemphill, PharmD, CCM, NCRW, CPRW, CIC, CCTC is the founder of Confident Career Moves®. She is an Executive Resume, CV, & Social Profile Writer designing dynamic self-marketing tools. As a pharmacist and career manager equipped with 5 prominent career industry certifications, she helps pharmacists nationwide reach their career goals. Connect on LinkedIn
Are you seeking a transition into management? Another pharmacy practice area? Or even another career? Visit www.ConfidentCareerMoves.com/rx.