Are you a Pharm.D, PhD, Medical Doctor, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant looking to break into the pharmaceutical industry but unsure of where to start? Don’t worry – it’s definitely doable! In this blog post, we’ll discuss five essential tips to help you make a successful career transition to the pharma industry.

Tip 1: Don’t be apologetic

When applying for a job, there’s no need to draw attention to your lack of industry experience. Instead, focus on the valuable skills and knowledge you’ve gained in your healthcare career. Emphasize your strengths and transferable skills, rather than highlighting what you don’t know. Remember, you’re a valuable candidate with relevant experience to offer.

Tip 2: Prioritize relevant items on your CV or resume

Ensure that your CV or resume is tailored for an industry position. Often, healthcare professionals submit resumes that seem more suited for clinical roles, leading to confusion. Your CV should clearly communicate your interest in the pharmaceutical industry and highlight your relevant skills and experiences. Also, don’t forget to include a well-written cover letter that explains why you’re a good fit for the specific industry role.

Tip 3: Highlight steps taken to make the career change

Showcase any courses, certifications, or additional training you’ve completed to prepare yourself for a career in the pharmaceutical industry. This demonstrates your commitment to meeting industry standards and your dedication to making the career transition.

Tip 4: Focus on transferable skills

Draw attention to transferable skills from your previous work experience that can be relevant in the pharmaceutical industry, such as relationship building, communication, teamwork, and attention to detail. Even if your previous job duties don’t seem directly related to the industry role you’re applying for, there are always transferable skills that can be highlighted to showcase your adaptability and potential.

Tip 5: Tailor your resume for every application

Customize your resume for each position you apply for, whether it’s in oncology, cardiology, medical information, or a medical science liaison role. Using the same resume for every job application might make it seem like you’re not genuinely interested in the specific position. Tailoring your resume demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to research and understand the job requirements.

Bonus: The two steps to landing a job in pharma

1. Securing the interview: Make sure your education, resume, and cover letter are polished and tailored to land the interview. If you’re not getting interviews, consider seeking additional credentials or improving your resume and cover letter.

2. Acing the interview: If you’re landing interviews but not receiving job offers, there may be an issue with your interviewing skills. Consider working with a coach or seeking resources to help you improve your interview performance.


Breaking into the pharmaceutical industry as a healthcare professional is achievable with the right approach. By focusing on your strengths and transferable skills, tailoring your resume, and taking steps to prepare for a career in the industry, you can successfully transition to a rewarding and fulfilling role in pharma. Remember, you bring valuable experience and knowledge to the table – don’t be afraid to showcase it!