GUIDE on FINDING A Pharmacy Technician JOB for Pre-Pharmers (for dummies)

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The Recoverer

Poppin' Bottles
10+ Year Member
Jan 19, 2012
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Depending on the area you live in, finding a pharm tech job may be easy or close to impossible. A few years ago when I decided on pharmacy, I remember the drive I had to find a job in a pharmacy as a tech, heck even as a volunteer or a shadower.

Bottom line, many applicants overlook the importance of pharmacy experience on an application. Many programs LOVE to see experience and that the applicant knows what she/he is getting themselves into before beginning pharmacy school. Have experience in a pharmacy DEFINITELY will strengthen your pharmacy school application and will also help you in interviews.

Here is my quick guide on the best way to find a job inside a pharmacy whether it be retail, community, or hospital.

Why you should trust me:
Walmart pharmacy : 1 year
Walgreens : 8 months
Kmart Pharmacy : 1 year
Davidsons Pharmacy (community) : 6 months
PALRX (mail order pharmacy): 7 months
CVS Pharmacy : 1 year and 8 months

Before you begin looking
Analyze the area you reside in. Is it close to a university? Is there a large elderly population? How many pharmacies are in your area? By having a general understanding of your area, you are able to figure out what strengths you can bring to the table. Maybe if you live in a college town, the pharmacists in your area would be more open to hiring students.

You want to make sure you have a strong CV/cover letter/resume. Have multiple copies printed out. Your CV should be focused on pharmacy and your strengths should correlate with the goals of the pharmacy you plan on working for. For example, if you are interested in getting experience in retail pharmacy you can include strengths such as "strong multitasking ability" or "time management". Basically just put yourself in the shoes of a PIC and read over your resume. Would you want to hire this person? If yes, then you are set.

After you apply!
Next, you need to be proactive!!! This doesn't just apply to pharmacy jobs but all jobs in general. Don't apply to a job and just wait around for them to get back to you. Instead what I did that really worked out well was after you apply to say, 3 or 4 different pharmacies (make sure you apply online first, most pharmacists will tell applicants "you need to go online and apply first), GO THERE IN PERSON. Some people cannot wrap there heads around this concept. Physically enter the building and go up the pharmacy and ask them if you can speak to the pharmacist in charge or whoever is in charge of hiring. If they are not there, ask the staff when they will be at work so you can talk to them. You cannot be afraid to do this. This is literally the only way that will draw there attention and land you that job. Don't even call, go in person and really talk to the person in charge. Show them that you are passionate about working there.

You can say something along the lines of:
"Hi my name is Bobby Legend, I applied online to the position you have open. I am really interested in working with you guys. I would like to know if there is anything else I need to do or just wait for a response". You can throw in some strengths in there too if you want.

Tell them you are applying to pharmacy school, they are pharmacists and they were in your shoes at some point too! They will understand where you are coming from. Plus, by taking the time to go to the pharmacy and talk to them, they know you are passionate and committed and it will show them that you will have this same commitment if you are hired.

Be crazy passionate
At every pharmacy you stop at, make sure to drop off a copy of your CV and copies of your tech/tech trainee licence. Even if they don't ask you for anything, STILL drop that off and give them a copy. Again, this is where being proactive pays off. It shows the PIC that you are REALLY wanting the job.

Don't shy away
Don't be afraid to talk to the PIC and explain to them your situation. They may seem really busy and they may deter most applicants from pushing on or actually talking to the PIC. Don't worry about that, it will pay off. Just be honest and tell them "hey, I'm thinking about pharmacy school and I want really want some experience and to help out in the pharmacy. I am good at blah blah blah" Don't be afraid to ask them if you can even volunteer for a few days/weeks or even shadow (most corporate pharmacies will not allow shadowing due to liability issues but its worth a shot).

If all else fails
If you are really having a hard time finding a pharmacy job, don't give up. Try applying to another position in the same company. This strategy mostly works for retail. For example, when I left my mail order pharmacy job I wanted to work at Walgreens. They did not have openings so I applied and got a job at their photo center and slowly built a strong relationship with their pharmacy staff there. A few months later, when a spot opened up the PIC didn't even open up an application, he just pulled me from the photo center to work at the pharmacy.

Finally, a Protip PLEASE READ

Pharmacy is a SMALL world. In most cases, all the pharmacists in one area (district) know each other. Say if you have multiple CVSs in your area, most likely all the pharmacists at those CVSs work under the same district manager. They even know pharmacists at other companies. Basically what I am telling you is if you ask for a job and they tell you they have no openings, don't leave it at that. Ask the pharmacist there if they know of any other place that is hiring!!! That's how I got my walmart pharmacy job. The pharmacist told me:
"Sorry I am currently not looking for anyone but I know the Walmart on so and so street is looking for 2 techs right now" So guess what? I drove my butt to that other walmart and was hired immediately.

Interviewing Skills
I'm not going through how to interview, come on man, you know what to do in an interview.

Some people say, "well most pharmacies want prior experience and how am I suppose to get that if they never give me a chance.." well that is very true but let me ask you. Just how much effort are you willing to put into the job search and networking.


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Good post. A good rule to apply to many things in life is that doing 10% more than is expected can double the perception of your work. How many people have typed up a quick one page resume, walked into the pharmacy in jeans, and handed us a resume with about 2 sentences of conversation. They probably dedicated 2 hours to typing up the resume and driving to the pharmacy, why not spend the extra 10-20 minutes to do it right?
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I just want to bump this thread for anyone who is searching for jobs as pharmacy technician. This post really helped me find a couple of places interested in hiring in a very short time.
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Also, serious techs need to be nationally certified, in my opinion. If you plan on working as a tech throughout undergrad, having CPhT at the end of your name is a big plus when applying to places.