June 29th, 2018

Writing a Resume for Pharma

No matter how technically astute you are, if you can’t sell your strengths during your job search, your job search can run much longer than you like.

Here are some tips from Fatemah Mirza, professional resume writer at CareerTuners on writing a resume for pharma or biotech resume:

1) Use the visual center strategically

The beginning of your resume must engage the reader quickly so they spend more than just a couple seconds looking at your career trajectory. The visual center, the top 1/3 part of your resume, needs to host job specific keywords like assembly skills, production acumen, team building, and management expertise. Follow each keyword with “proof” – an impressive accomplishment from your history – to create a summary section like the one below.

  • Business Expansion: Launched a $26M product, boosting sales to $50M, in collaboration with the sales team. Developed special reporting tools targeting industry specialists by gaining data market access.
  • Market Sizing: Partnered with management to extend a mass invite to client partners and sales teams for an internal technology summit at COMPANY 2. Achieved audience goal and promoted new product, exceeding launch goals by 87%.
  • Global Route-to-Market: Managed a cross-functional team of 7 and directed the product development team to create and execute globally successful GTM strategies at COMPANY 3.

2) Technical Lingo – Add it or leave it?

Adding terms like Statistical Process Control (SPC), Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), and Monitor Critical-to-Quality (CTQs), for example, might be useful to rank your resume higher in the application tracking system. However, you may find that these lengthy technical keywords add a lot of bulk to your resume, especially if you’ve used each multiple times throughout your career. Using a technical skills box like the one below within the visual center will tie up your resume neatly and will allow you to be a bit more accomplishment-oriented and succinct in your experience section.

Key Professional Skills: Spartan, Gaussian, ACD/NMR Processor, SciFinder, Reaxys, NMR (Multinuclear, Multidimensional and Dynamic Techiques), UV-vis, IR Spectroscopies, MPLC, GS/MS, HPLC, DSC, GPC (SEC), MALDI-TOF, ESI-TOF Mass Spectometries.

You can learn more about different sections of the resume in CareerTuners free resume editing tutorial.

When you are writing a resume for pharma or biotech, try to strategically add as many keywords as possible which are mentioned in the job listing and generally used in the pharma manufacturing industry. You shouldn’t lie about your previous experiences or expertise, of course, but the number of these terms is directly proportional to your chances of being called for an interview.

3) Highlight your Achievements

The summary section should be followed by your employment, which should ideally be related to the pharmaceutical or biotech manufacturing industry. If you are a career changer, you will need to emphasize your soft and transferable skills. Take a look at this career changer resume cheat sheet for inspiration. Don’t fill your resume with mundane tasks; focus on how you were beneficial to your past organizations in terms of growth, efficiency, and productivity.

The main focus of your resume should be achievements. Your resume should present you as a problem solver, and someone who can inspire true change. The best way to depict this is by adding contextualized numbers and figures related your responsibilities, like we did in this bullet:

  • Business Expansion: Launched a $26M product, boosting sales to $50M, in collaboration with the sales team. Developed special reporting tools targeting industry specialists by gaining data market access.

Had the bullet simply mentioned being responsible for launches, this would have been yet another generic resume point. But adding context to the achievement with the mention of special reporting tools and then rounding it off with a quantified proof makes it stand out.

Fatemah Mirza writes resumes for CareerTuners, a Certified Executive Resume Master resume writing firm in California. If you need help writing a resume for pharma or biotech career, she can be contacted via email at fatemah@careertuners.com or through https://careertuners.com/contact 

What would you like to do next?

  1. Submit my resume to a MEIRxRS Talent Manager
  2. Learn about the Biotech Apprenticeship Program