How to Get a Job as a Pharmacy Technician with No Previous Experience

I often get asked, “How do I get a job without experience?” I started my young working career as a cashier at a grocery store. At a very young age, I became a front-end manager in charge of hiring, training, and scheduling. Why does this matter? Well, keep reading. When I looked at applications for any position, I looked for two things: education and/or experience. Since experience in this case is not a factor, what else would I look for? The following few paragraphs will address just that.

If I was an employer and considering an applicant without experience, I would look for other ways for that individual to prove to me that he or she was serious about what he or she wanted. Two things I would look at are his or her cover letter and resume. How is the presentation? Are there gaps in employment? Does he or she seem to jump from one place to another? Is it put together well? Does it make sense? Is it free of grammatical and/or spelling errors? Why does that matter? Well, if a person could not present a well-put-together resume and cover letter, what are the chances that a person will be a detail oriented employee?

Second, I would look at what certifications or further training that person has that deal specifically with the area for which he or she is applying. If he or she has certifications, it is at least somewhat convincing that the potential employee is committed for a short while. It also helps to distinguish him or herself from the rest of the pack.

Third, I would check to see if he or she is a member of any professional organizations that help promote the area for which he or she is applying. If so, how many? Does he or she volunteer? Does he or she attend conferences? What does the field mean to him or her?

Finally, is the person qualified to work in the area for which he or she is applying? For example, in Nebraska, technicians are required to be registered with the state. If a person is not registered but yet applies for a job knowing full well that registration is mandatory, I would say that person has not done his or her homework. Another example involves testing requirements. In other states, a passing score on a national exam is required to work in a pharmacy. If a person cannot pass the exam, he or she would not get hired.

I do not think I am going on the limb when I say that an employer would hire any person who meets all of the things mentioned above. The key is to make yourself stand out from the rest. If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to market yourself and be your own promoter. The more you can showcase, the better off you will be. Everyone does the bare minimum. The goal is to do as much as you can to show others how serious you are about the job that you are applying for.

Elina works full-time at Southeast Community College, running an ASHP-accredited pharmacy technician program, and works part-time for the Arts and Sciences division.

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