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How to write a pharmaceutical CV

How to write a pharmaceutical CV


How to write a pharmaceutical CV
Last Updated: 12-Dec-2014

Applying for jobs can often be a difficult and time-consuming process, particularly in the current climate in which jobs are scarce and the number of applicants high, despite the continuing economic recovery.

The pharmaceutical sector is recovering from the recession, but it's important to ensure your application is as strong as possible to make sure employers take notice.

Recruiters often have a huge number of CVs to get through and only a short amount of time available in which to view them. You should therefore ensure your CV achieves maximum impact - you need to prove you are the best person for the job.

Apex Recruitment modifies the CVs it receives into an Apex standard format that can be easily used by employers. However, it is still important to ensure CVs are as well-prepared as possible before they are submitted.

Alex Elliott, business development manager at Apex Recruitment, says it is vital to ensure CVs contain all the relevant information and to make sure they are tailored to the job candidates are applying for.

In many respects, pharmaceutical CVs do not differ significantly from applications for jobs in other white-collar sectors. They need to include your name and contact details, a brief profile and details of education and employment histories, in reverse chronological order. It is also standard practice to provide details of two referees, one of which should normally be your most recent employer.

Ms Elliott emphasises the need to include specific details of qualifications and work experience - candidates focussing too much on the 'bigger picture' are often prone to omit this essential information.

Education histories should include the place of study, period of study and the type of qualifications obtained. Details of degree subjects should include the classification - first, 2:1, 2:2 and so on.

Similarly, employment histories need to include the names of companies and the dates and times the candidate worked in the role. It is important to provide details of the duties associated with each role, not just a brief summary of the work carried out.

Applicants need to ensure they include key words and phrases. If they have experiences of working with databases, they ought to provide details of this on their CV. Codes of practice followed in particular roles - for example, the ABPI code of practice - should also be included.

Information on therapy areas should also be provided on a pharmaceutical CV, as well as more general details such as proficiency in foreign languages, if appropriate.

LinkedIn and similar social media platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years and, while they have yet to replace the traditional means of applying for jobs, many people use them to find employment. They can also be a useful tool for recruiters looking for people to fill their vacancies.

Ms Elliott says that while such platforms can be useful for jobseekers, they have yet to make a major impact on the pharmaceutical sector. Time and manpower constraints mean many companies do not use such sites to identify candidates, and it is unlikely they will replace the tried-and-tested CV format.

Candidates should make sure they do not leave any gaps in their employment history or any false information, while elaborate fonts or colours should also be avoided - these are common errors in industries other than the pharmaceutical sector.

Including information about hobbies and interests is often an optional section, but it can be useful. Employers are particularly interested to hear if candidates have appropriate experiences involving teamwork or voluntary activities.

 In summary, when writing a pharmaceutical CV, it is important to be as concise as possible - make maximum use of the space available. While it is crucial to include all the relevant information, you also need to be brief and to-the-point, as employers are often pressed for time.

Ensure your CV is tailored to the job rather than a general template - you should rewrite CVs when applying for a new position. Crucially, don't let the focus on the bigger picture come at the expense of the finer details.