How to write the best pharma CV: Top Tips

When it’s time to move on, knowing how to write the best pharma CV is the first step.

In a competitive recruitment market such as pharmaceutical sales, sending out any old CV just won’t cut it. This is your calling card, which must showcase the best of you, your talents and achievements, and fast. Recruiters reportedly take just seconds to decide if a candidate’s CV is worth reading past the first few lines, so you need to create a document that will make hiring managers sit up and take notice.

“A standout CV is clear and concise with logical and continuous career progression, with any employment gaps explained, and contains impressive achievements under each role,” says Hannah Hall, Pharma Sales Recruitment Consultant at Carrot Pharma. “As a recruitment consultant looking at numerous CVs every day, bullet points of achievements under each role with key achievements highlighted in bold stands out the most to me.”

A concise and honest personal opening statement that grabs the attention of the reader for all the right reasons is essential. Daniel Everitt, Recruitment Partner at Star, says: “To reflect aspirations, an opening statement which is well articulated and relevant for the role applied for is a good idea; but be realistic that it matches experience and qualifications gained so far.”

It’s likely that the recruiter will have many applications to consider, so it’s vital to not just list what you’ve done. You need to demonstrate to the recruiter exactly what impact your work has had, and what specific benefits you will bring to the new role.

“To make your CV really stand out; ensure you include relevant measurable achievements and responsibilities in similar roles to which you are applying,” advises Sam Scarfe, Recruitment Consultant at Evolve. “Don’t overcomplicate things and try to list these as bullet points to make it easily digestible. Having a recent successes section towards the top of your CV will allow you to sell yourself early on when being reviewed by a recruiter or recruiting manager.”

Hannah advises highlighting your career goals by specifically aligning them to the job you’re applying for: “Show your career aspirations through your key achievements under each role; for example if you are an aspirational manager you can highlight any coaching, training or leadership experience you’ve had in your previous roles,” she says. “It’s important that a CV is well written, clear and strikes the right balance between being detailed enough to capture relevant qualifications and experience, while at the same time concise enough to stand out and draw the viewer’s attention,” adds Daniel. “Achievements should be bullet-pointed, ideally backed up by a tangible outcome. For example, a sales-based achievement listing sales figures achieved or a clear outcome of a project.”

Top tips for CV success

Keep it simple

“It’s essential to easily explain your track record and give a clear insight into your career history. It’s best to avoid providing more general information that does not highlight what really matters to a recruiting manager,” adds Sam. “Providing specific and relevant information will better your chances and will avoid complicating the key facts.”

Daniel advises keeping it to the point, and remember to check and double check the document for any errors: “Definite no-nos include waffle (be clear and concise), spelling mistakes, or fonts or margins that are out of sync.”

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