General Resume Dos and Don’ts

PharmaFinders recently partnered with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Dallas Fort Worth Chapter to discuss the best strategies for optimizing your resume and LinkedIn profile. Overall, the event was insightful and engaging! We love being able to network and help local DFW professionals polish their professional profiles. We didn’t get to cover all the questions and resumes are always a hot topic. Therefore, we wanted to summarize some key points.

The reason we picked this topic is because it’s extremely important to update your resume and profile often for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons being that you don’t want to forget what you’ve done! From promotions to projects, team lead accomplishments and so forth. You can sometimes forget how much you’ve done in a role and if you wait until you’re actively looking, you may forget all those important pieces.

Now you can update your resume all you want but you need to make sure it’s formatted correctly. The goal is to make it appealing to the eye all while staying professional. Keep in mind that your resume should include 5 key sections:

  1. Contact information: First name, last name, degree. Complete Address and Contact information that includes both a personal email and phone number.
  2. Professional Summary/Expertise: Where you tell a story of your background.
  3. Professional Experiences: Official title of your job from your job description, company, dates of employment, and bullet pointed information.
  4. Education and Licensing
  5. Skills: (Special projects, presentations, publications, awards and/or professional organizations)

If you are looking to rework your resume over, we have created a General Resume Template for you to utilize. But please do keep in mind the following dos and don’ts as you update your resume:

DO Include a professional summary that is personalized and geared towards that particular job you’re applying for. You should change this or review it before you apply to any job. DON’T make it too wordy. If someone skims your resumes, it may be the one thing HR reads. Categorize things in certain ways that makes it easy to quickly scan, but also compelling so people want to go forth and read and get to know you better. 

DO Include specifics for each role (including special projects, achievements, examples of relationship building, communication, teamwork, and time management skills) but DONT copy and paste word for word from a job description. 

DO mention buzzwords or keywords within your role. DON’T Make general claims though without backing them up with examples (“Good communication skills”). 

DON’T bold or underline unnecessary text. Everything listed on your resume should be important to highlight, you shouldn’t have to select anything additionally.

DO Check for spelling, grammar, and consistent formatting of your resume. Get a second set of eyes on your resume. Have a few other people review your resume and check for any errors or misspellings you may have missed. Since we recommend you update your resume often, you’re going to start to gloss over simple mistakes. 

DON’T Be stuck on needing a 1- or 2-page resume. Especially if you are someone looking to break into your first role, you want to be able to showcase all that you have done to set you up for success. 

DON’T use AI. If you would like it as a reference, fine. But do not count on AI to complete your entire resume.  If you are putting words in your resume that you would never use, an interviewer could pick up on this when they chat with you. The resume is a reflection of you and you only. 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to rework your resume, especially if you are not seeing success with it! Are there any big “Dos or Don’ts” that I may not have included that you think are relevant?! Share them in the comments below!

We want to sincerely thank Sonali Pandhe, PhD, and the entire HBA DFW Chapter for allowing us to have the opportunity to your members and network! To find more information on your local HBA chapter, follow this link: https://hbanet.org/who-we-are/find-your-chapter

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