The job hunting experts over at CareerStep.com have four basic tips for aspiring pharmacy technicians that should help you prepare for your ideal career, whether you’re finding your first job or preparing for a career change.
Complete an externship
Build your network and your resume and gain practical experience by completing a pharmacy externship or internship at a hospital or pharmacy. Some companies allow you to shadow experienced technicians to learn on-the-job skills; other online schools feature externships as a routine part of the course. Do your research and find out if there are opportunities available for you.
This is always included so casually in lists of job hunting tips as though it’s not the most intimidating part of the whole process. So start small—develop an elevator pitch to use on friends and family who ask what you’re up to or what kinds of jobs you’ll be looking for when you graduate. Don’t stammer and change the subject—be ready to talk about the kind of pharmacy (hospital, retail, private, institutional) you’re hoping to work in. You never know when someone will know someone who will know someone who can give you an inside track.
Then build on your newfound poise to talk to classmates, colleagues at your internship/externship, career center resources, and even LinkedIn contacts. Go to a mixer occasionally, and make contact/business cards to help people keep you in mind.
Rework your resume
I say this all the time, but I really do have 6 different working versions of my resume, and it’s served me well. If you’re not sure what kind of pharmacy you want to work in, develop one for each track. Talk to your instructors about the demands of each particular setting.
Retail experience should be showcased for retail pharmacies, obviously, but think about what a hospital most needs from its pharmacists: responsibility? professionalism in stressful situations? attention to detail? What about an institution like a residential or correctional facility? Polish the content for each prospective audience. Then take a look at the physical layout. Is it crowded? easy to read? concise? Do you have relevant accomplishments highlighted?
The hard thing to balance about online presence is the mix of being “present” and being “professional.” Make sure your newly perfected resume is available on industry sites recommended by your career center counselors or professors. Check the privacy settings on all your social media, and strive to be the kind of pharmacy tech you would want to have handling your prescription in all your interactions online!