Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

3 Secret Ways to Secure a Pharmacy Residency

DECEMBER 09, 2014

1. Rock Your CV

Remember that document you made 3 years ago that hasn’t been updated since your last interview? Yeah, it’s your CV.

Your CV must be in perfect condition to convince any residency director to interview you.
 
The best advice I have for your CV is to recruit multiple reviewers, but not at all the same time. I made the mistake of handing my CV out to many people. Each person provided feedback on different days.
 
When I received my first feedback, I revised my CV immediately. Then, I received another person’s feedback. His feedback wasn’t helpful because I had already revised my entire CV. It was awkward when I foolishly asked if he would review my newest CV version. Of course, he said no.
 
I can help you get started with your CV. If you enter your email here, you’ll receive my CV from pharmacy school. You can use it as a template for ideas, although I don’t recommend that you follow everything I did.
 
Also, check out this guide on how to win interviews with your CV, which has more than 30 simple tips.

2. Interview a Pharmacy Resident
 
A pharmacy resident is the second best person to talk to about how to land a residency (the first being the residency director). Residents usually like to help students, because they were students less than a year ago.

Ask the resident a few basic questions:
 
·         Why do you think your residency director chose you from the other candidates?
·         What steps did you take in pharmacy school to set yourself up for a residency?
·         What do you recommend I do right now to increase my chances of matching?
·         What is the 1 thing that you regret doing well in pharmacy school?
·         If you could do the whole residency application process over again, what would you do differently?
 
Their answers could shape the beginning of your career.
 
3. Join the “Future Resident” Facebook group
 
I created a Facebook group with Tim O'Shea, a fellow Pharmacy Times contributor and P4 student, to gather resources and provide encouragement to those seeking a pharmacy residency.
 
The goal is to collaborate. As a mentor of mine always says, "The rising tide raises all ships."
 
When we help each other, we all get a piece of the pie. This is true for residencies, careers, nonprofits, and businesses. Another wise guy called Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Tim and I just started the group, but as it grows, we know that you will benefit from becoming a pharmacy resident. You also don't have to be a P4 student to join.
 
The group is a place to ask questions about residencies. Tim and I will try to help you as best as we can.



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