Top 10 CV Tips for Pharma Jobs
SummaryAs your CV is often the first thing a pharma recruiter or hiring manager will see in your job applications, it’s one of the most important tools you can use to create a great first impression and to market yourself as a strong candidate. After sharing our advice on what not to include in your CV, in this article we’ve outlined our top 10 tips on how to create a CV that will make your application stand out and help to secure your next Life Science job.
- Author Company: PharmiWeb
- Author Name: Lucy Walters
- Author Email: Lucy.Walters@pharmiweb.com
- Author Website: https://www.pharmiweb.jobs/
As your CV is often the first thing a pharma recruiter or hiring manager will see in your job applications, it’s one of the most important tools you can use to create a great first impression and to market yourself as a strong candidate.
After sharing our advice on what not to include in your CV, in this article we’ve outlined our top 10 tips on how to create a CV that will make your application stand out and help to secure your next Life Science job.
Tailor Your CV to Each Role
Aim to create a new version of your CV for every job you apply to that’s tailored to the specific requirements of that role. This will show a genuine interest in the role and an understanding of what it entails, and will also help you to deliver your key strengths as a candidate quickly and clearly.
One way to tailor your CV is by including the keywords used in the job description to demonstrate your suitability for the role and to help your CV get past scanning software used by recruiters. More information on this can be found here.
Include Your Contact Details
One of the first things you should put on your CV is your contact details. As pharma recruiters will have hundreds of CVs to sift through, you need to make sure you’re as easy to contact as possible, as they aren’t going to waste their time hunting down your details. You don’t need to include a full address, but do include your full name, a contact number and email address.
Start With an Engaging Personal Statement
Below your contact details, start your CV with a short, snappy introduction into who you are, your career goals, a brief outline of your key skills and experiences and what makes you a strong candidate for this role. Many recruiters will only read this part of your CV, so it’s your best opportunity to sell yourself and set yourself apart from your peers. Keep this no longer than 4 or 5 sentences or between 100-150 words to keep recruiters engaged.
Only Include Relevant Information
Only give details on the skills and experiences that are relevant to the role instead of listing every single thing you’ve ever achieved. For example, if the role requires a degree in Biomedical Sciences, you don’t need to list the Catering and Drama GCSEs you achieved 10 years ago! You can instead write something along the lines of “10 GCSEs A-B including Maths and English” as these are basic requirements for some roles.
Similarly, if you’ve got lots of experience outside of pharma, don’t go into detail about each one, especially if they were roles you held years ago. For these, you can simply write your job title and the years you worked to cover any employment gaps. If the recruiter wants to know more, they will ask.
Keep It Straight to Point
Don’t bore recruiters with lots of fluffy adjectives. Instead, use short sentences and bullet-point lists to deliver your strengths clearly and make the most out of the limited space you have. Be factual instead of descriptive, and leave them wanting to know more.
Avoid making vague statements like ‘I am a team player’ and instead draw on specific situations where you demonstrated teamwork and outline the results you achieved from your actions, even throwing in some figures if you can.
Keep Jargon and Acronyms to a Minimum
Keep industry jargon and acronyms to a minimum as not all recruiters will be familiar with them. Some will be necessary to use, especially if they are keywords included in the job description, but only use them where it’s essential.
Pay Attention to Formatting
Make sure there’s plenty of white space on your CV and that you haven’t crammed lots of information into 1 or 2 pages by using small fonts, short margins or small spacing between paragraphs. Use simple fonts like Calibri or Arial and use bold headings to direct recruiters to the most important parts of your CV.
Try to keep it no longer than 2 or 3 pages, and if you’re sending it to recruiters electronically, use a PDF format to make it easy to open across different devices.
Telling lies in your CV is pointless as they’re often easy to uncover and will only make your job harder later down the line if they do get past recruiters. Instead of lying about your achievements to cover areas you might be lacking in, outline your plans to develop, and focus on the transferable skills you could bring to the role.
Typos and grammatical errors in your CV could get your application rejected immediately, especially if a recruiter has hundreds to sort through. Proofread your CV and even get someone else to review it as a fresh pair of eyes is always helpful with spotting mistakes. Here are some of the most common CV spelling mistakes for you to start checking.
Make a Good Impression…
Taking the extra time to tailor your CV to each new application you create and to make your potential as a candidate as clear as possible will provide better results than defaulting to a scatter-gun approach. Remember that your goal is to land an interview, and you won’t be able to do this if your CV doesn’t stand out.
Remember to keep a note of which version of your CV you’ve sent to which recruiter, and be prepared to expand on anything you’ve included in further detail either in your cover letter or your interviews.