I believe that manners matter. And while common courtesy may not be so common anymore, it is still important to be polite as you carry out your pharmacy job search. There are certain things you should and shouldn’t do. While these rules may not be written in stone, I would nonetheless say that you ignore them to your own peril. As Clarence Thomas once said, “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.” Simple civility may be more important than your degree when it comes to finding your next job.
The following 5 tips are not intended to be exhaustive. And this article is not about strategies to finding a pharmacy job, but more about the appropriate behaviors that should accompany that search. Some may seem obvious. But in 25 years of management and hiring, I can tell you that all of them have been broken by pharmacists I have known. Some I may have done myself early in my career. I hope to save others from making the same mistakes.
1) Let your search be silent. By this I mean that you shouldn’t ordinarily talk about it at work or with your co-workers (if you are currently employed). It is not appropriate to distract those with whom you are working with the reality that you feel the need to move on. It is important for all of us to remain engaged in our jobs, and talking about interviews, prospects, or other openings is bad form. Don’t do it.
2) Be honest and professional with potential employers and recruiters. Are you unwilling to relocate? Then don’t say that you are. Don’t exaggerate your qualifications. The job-search process is about finding a good match between an opportunity and a candidate. It is unfair to lead a potential employer along if you are not what you claim to be, or you have no intention to quit your present job at all. And remember that recruiters do not ultimately work for you. Don’t be disappointed if they can’t find you a good match or have to deliver you the news that the client is continuing to search for other more qualified individuals.
3) Show some courtesy to all those you interact with in the interviewing process. I believe your attire is an act of courtesy. Dress like you are taking the process seriously, because I assure you that the employer is. Show up on time. Speak politely, especially about former employers and companies. Refrain from foul language. If the interview is on the phone, find a quiet place to talk without annoying background noise. Try to remember to names of those you are talking with and use their names, as it shows respect for those you are with. And if possible, follow up your interview with a thank-you email or card. Someone once said “when you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect to others.”
4) When a recruiter introduces you to a potential position with a client, work only with that recruiter to apply for that job. This is a courtesy that some may not appreciate, but your recruiter only gets paid by presenting a great candidate to the employer. If you are introduced to an opportunity and then subvert the recruiting or staffing company by going directly to them, you effectively cut the recruiter out. Don’t do it. It is very unprofessional and unethical.
5) Lastly, when and if the time comes to leave your current job, do it with class. It is appropriate to first tell your immediate supervisor about your decision before telling others in the organization. If possible, this should be done in person. If that is impossible, a phone call is appropriate. An email or text message is usually not. Follow up your communication with a formal letter of resignation. Tell your co-workers after informing your boss. It is generally considered appropriate to give at least 2 weeks’ notice. Leave gracefully, and not with a list of complaints and unresolved problems.
Emily Post, whose name is almost synonymous with etiquette, said “Good manners reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self.” Your search for your next pharmacy job can expose what is going on inside you. Make sure you make the right impression.