No Hard and Fast Rules for Having a Perfect Resume
Typically, when someone tells me they’re updating their resume soon and they ask me if I have any tips for them, the short answer is “just put the important info in there and make it look nice!” While those two aspects of a resume are key, here is a bit more of a comprehensive list of things to remember the next time you update your resume.
The more info, the better
We see plenty of resumes that try to keep job details concise to avoid having too long of a resume. However, this could prove costly. Keep in mind that you may not know who is going to get the first look at your resume at any company. Yes, it could be someone with plenty of industry experience that simply needs to see your job titles and employers to understand what experience you bring, but it could also be someone less experienced that won’t quite know if you are qualified or not without a few additional details. Info such as therapeutic area, primary products supported, KOL audience, and even territory covered could be helpful to ensure your resume doesn’t get overlooked.
Put your address on it
While it’s a no-brainer to put your phone number and email address on your resume, make sure to remember your mailing address, too. First of all, it verifies that you live within the territory of the position you’re applying for. Secondly, a mailing address is oftentimes required when submitting the resume to the company’s online job portal. And lastly, it gives your new employer an address to send your offer letter to! You can avoid additional questions or delays in the process by having your address on the resume from the get-go.
Include the months in your dates of employment
The first thing a prospective employer thinks when they see a resume that lists only years for the dates of employment (i.e. “2012-2016” rather than “March 2012-April 2016”) is that the applicant must be hiding gaps in their work history. Whether this is true or not, it is best that a decision maker’s first impression of you not be that you must be hiding something. Even if there was some time that elapsed in between jobs, put both the months and years on your resume and just come prepared to explain any gaps in work history that a company may ask about.
Don’t leave out work history
While it may be tempting to leave off an MSL job you only held for a few months, or while the retail pharmacy job you’ve been working in while searching for your next MSL position may seem irrelevant, it’s best to include it on your resume. A resume is viewed as an official document and leaving off work history could be viewed as falsifying said document, which would come with consequences. While it may be easy to assume that no one will ever know that you left something off of the resume, you should keep in mind that the MSL world is a small one, and you never know when your secret may inadvertently be found out.
As for choosing to leave off a non-MSL that doesn’t seem relevant, remember that showing that you’ve been doing something at all is better than having a gap in your work history.
Lastly, make it look nice! Be consistent with the fonts that you use, use proper grammar, and be strategic and conservative with the use of bold or italicized words. Additionally, allow there to be some white space in the document. A lack of white space will give the resume a cluttered, disorganized feel to it.