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The First Impression On A Job Application

Aside from making a first impression in person, your first opportunity to ‘meet’ someone online will typically present itself in the form of your application, and more specifically your curriculum vitae or resume. Most job applications are only going to require one of these two documents, and not both.

Decision makers often have very little time (the average time spent is 6-9 seconds) to review your materials, so spending time to ensure you stand out is vitally important.

What are the major differences between a curriculum vitae and a resume?

Curriculum Vitae
Does not include objective/summary
Focus on credentials
Lengthy, comprehensive
Focus on describing research, scholarly work and teaching experience
Lead with education
May include objective/summary statement
Focus on competencies
Brief, summary
Focus on describing skills, work experience
Lead with work experience

For both the curriculum vitae and resume, there are a few important similarities. Your contact information should be up to date and professional in nature. You may consider adding in a LinkedIn URL to direct employers right to your profile. Also, formatting your curriculum vitae and resume in a way that is professional and visually-appealing is beneficial; use a sans serif or serif font whenever possible. Be sure to review your documents on a regular schedule and update them as needed. Something that works for me is setting calendar reminders with dedicated time each month to update my resume. Other colleagues update their materials on an ongoing basis and add new entries right after they occur.

Pro-tip: Make sure to match up your curriculum vitae or resume as best as you can to the job description (without falsifying anything, of course!). Doing this will help to ensure that the Applicant Tracking System will filter your application to the employer instead of automatically discarding your application.

Even though your next job application might not need either a curriculum vitae or a resume, we’d recommend creating both. It is much easier to update each over time instead of creating them under the stressful time of the job search process.

Lastly, take time to create connections in the area of your profession that you are interested in. The power of your network cannot be underestimated in relation to how you will navigate your career.

The First Impression On A Job Application
Jackie Boyle

Jackie is a full-time pharmacist and career coach at TheHappyPharmD, where she helps pharmacists live life by design. She loves her family, changing the world and the profession of pharmacy.