As I was thinking of topics for my next blog post, I began to ask myself how to make grammar more interesting. Unless you are an utter geek like me, you probably couldn’t care less about the intricacies of weaving words together to create syntactical grammar perfection.
The biggest question we receive from clients is "do I need to use a CV or a resume?"
The question is not always an easy one to answer. The answer is, it depends.
Generally speaking, curricula vitae (CVs) are reserved for use by professional's holding PhD's and/or those in academia. CVs are documents that include the entire career and educational history of a professional. They can be incredibly lengthy and may include presentations, professional posters, publications, specialized trainings, organizational involvement, and many other relevant categories. Resumes are typically concise 1-2 page documents that highlight achievements in the professional setting. Resumes also contain education and specialized training, but tend to be shorter.
Most pharmacists have doctorate degrees, so it is never wrong to use a CV because we hold advanced degrees. It just might be overkill for some pharmacists to use. All pharmacists are clinical, but some pharmacists are more clinical than others. For the pharmacists in a traditional dispensing, staffing, or managerial role; we recommend using a resume. For those in a hospital, industry, academic, or research-based role; we always recommend a CV. But this is not black and white.
The other thing that can make it more confusing is the preference of the hiring manager. There are many pharmacists as hiring managers that want CVs no matter the position, and likewise, there are many who will think it's overkill and would have preferred a resume. That makes it incredibly difficult and more confusing to decide which you should submit. If the position makes it unclear and you have a point of contact, it may be easier to ask which they prefer. Don't let the bias of the hiring manager discredit your resume or CV based on a technicality.
Have I made it any more clear when to use which? Still have more questions than answers?
Answer these short questions to yourself to assist you in deciding which one you need:
- Did you complete a residency or have board certification?
- Are you in academia or have teaching experience?
- Do you conduct research and/or have publications outside of your degree education?
- Is most of your job clinical in nature with minimal traditional dispensing responsibilities?
- Are you trying to transition into one of the above roles?
If you answered yes to any or all of these, we recommend a CV.
- Are you in the retail, outpatient, or community setting?
- Are you in operational management?
- Are you a staff pharmacist at a hospital?
- Are you a compounding pharmacist?
- Are you in long term care or a mail order facility?
- Are you trying to transition into one of the above roles?
If you answered yes to any or all of these, a resume is more than likely more appropriate.
This is only designed to be a guide to assist you with your decision. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further or to help you decide which is most appropriate to use in your specific case.
Ashley Gulyas, PharmD
Founder and Pharmacy Editor
Grammar has always been a talent of mine, even dating back to high school. As a senior and a peer leader in my high school, our PE coach would come to me to proofread his tests to make sure that snotty students like me wouldn’t call him out for his grammatical errors. I was naturally talented at writing and linking together beautiful sentences without knowing how I did it. I attribute this to my love of reading and mimicking what the masters have done. It wasn’t until I started teaching grammar, though, that I really understood the rules.
When I was in college pursuing my degree in English Education and learning the ridiculous rules behind our crazy language, I had a smattering of jobs in both retail and the food-service industry. I started out as a lovely sales associate at a shoe store and ended up as a server at a slightly upscale Italian restaurant in Athens, GA- which by the way, I still believe is one of the best restaurants in Athens and fostered my love of expensive red wine and food cooked the right way. It was at this restaurant that I realized the importance of grammar in the working world.
Starting out as a hostess and moving up to both server and bartender, I suppose I had proven myself as a valuable and competent member of the staff. If you’ve ever worked in the food industry, you understand that there is a complicated relationship between front of house and back of house, and as a representative of the front of house, the fact that the kitchen staff actually liked me and would pull special favors for my customers (like rushing special orders or whipping up a special side sauce) spoke volumes. I was in. My manager, one day during a slow day shift that I was bartending, handed me a stack of applications and asked me to look through them. These may not have been his exact words, but it was something along the lines of “Weed out the idiots.” As I looked through the applications, they were riddled with grammatical errors, colloquialisms, and punctuation errors. I understood what he meant by his statements. If you do not take the time to make sure you are presenting your best self, even on something silly like a restaurant application, then what are the hiring managers going to think? I made two piles- the maybes and the absolutely nos. My manager didn’t even look at the nos.
Now that I am a part of Academy and Apothecary with my cousin and best friend, I have realized so many important factors about resume grammar. It is so much more than spelling words correctly and making sure commas are in the right places. Of course that is important, but it is about using your words to reflect who you are as a professional. Using active voice and action verbs subliminally reflects your active role as an employee. It shows that you are active and not passive. Using parallel structure throughout your resume can show your attention to detail and organizational skills. Taking the time to tailor your resume through your diction to the position in which you are applying shows that you are serious about getting “this” job, and you are dedicated to your new venture. Grammar matters! This is one of the important services that we offer with Academy and Apothecary. We will make sure that you are presenting your best self in order to prove to your future employer that you belong in the yes pile. What are you presenting to your future employer?
Academy & Apothecary was an idea I have had for years and years. I have always enjoyed working on resumes ever since I worked for a recruiter during my undergraduate course work. I really love formatting. I recognize it's a geeky thing to love, but I LOVE it. I love the aesthetic spacing and styling of a resume. Yes, resumes can have style!
While in pharmacy school, I would offer to assist my colleagues with resumes and their CV's, and of course, we were poor, so no money was exchanged. Well, fast-forward, and I still enjoy it, and after friends and colleagues kept telling me that I should get paid for this, I figured it was time. What really pushed me over the edge was being involved in the Facebook Pharmacist Mom Group of 11,000 (and growing daily) members who were asking almost daily for help with their resumes.
I knew I needed a partner, so I asked my best friend and first cousin, Stephanie, if she wanted to do this with me. She has a Master's in English Education and is a whiz for all things grammar. She agreed, and Academy & Apothecary was born. We write resumes for pharmacists and educators because those are our areas of expertise.
The first few things that we found out as a small resume business catering to pharmacists were:
- Not all pharmacists are good at resumes. It's not really something they teach in pharmacy school. Resume writing is a special technical form of writing that takes a ton of time to learn and perfect.
- Pharmacists are busy. Writing and constructing a resume takes time. From start to scratch, it would probably take someone 6 hours to make a solid resume with formatting and concise content. Pharmacists work long hours and need someone to help them save precious time so they can get back to what's important- their patients and their family.
- There is currently an over supply of pharmacists looking for jobs and a shortage of pharmacy jobs available. Long gone are the days of sign-on bonuses and being recruited for a job as a pharmacist. Pharmacists need to have their resume or CV ready to go when the potential job presents itself.
I truly love helping pharmacists achieve their goals and potentials. I love teaching, precepting, and showing future pharmacists how they can make their career their very own. I have had some very influential pharmacists in my life inspire me to follow my dreams and aim high. I will do everything I can to repay my profession and give back to current and future pharmacists. I know it's part of my career journey and calling. It's why most of us became pharmacists- to help people. Therefore, I am helping people. It truly makes a huge difference when you believe in yourself and have confidence when applying for a position; we make that happen for pharmacists every week.
Stephanie and I are a rockstar team together. I do the pharmacy writing, content, and formatting; and she does the grammar, punctuation, verb tense agreement, word choice, and what I just like to refer to as "magic." We complement each other well and we are completely dedicated to making an amazing resume that really showcases our client's achievements without any common resume error distractions.
We love it.
Ashley Gulyas, PharmD
Founder and Pharmacy Resume Editor