How to Write a Pharmacist Cover Letter

How to Write a Pharmacist Cover Letter

How to Write a Pharmacist Cover Letter

In this article, we will be looking at how to write a great cover letter when applying for a job as a pharmacist.

Pharmacists dispense prescriptions and advise customers, and may work in a retail pharmacy, be based in a hospital, or work in education or research.

There are a range of pharmacist roles available, from internships to managerial positions, and it is a highly competitive market. Employers recruiting pharmacists may receive hundreds of applications for one position, and those that come with a strong cover letter are most likely to impress.

So it is crucial to get this part of your application right.

We will show you how!

A cover letter is a one-page document that is addressed to your potential employer or the person who will be interviewing you and acts as a formal introduction.

As well as containing basic information, such as the pharmacist role you are applying for and your contact details, it should also provide additional information to that set out in your resume .

The purpose of a pharmacist cover letter is to highlight specific skills and experience that make you particularly well suited to this role.

The letter should demonstrate that you have researched the job and the company thoroughly and are enthusiastic about joining the team, as well as illustrating the contribution you can make.

What Should a Great Pharmacist Cover Letter Include?

As mentioned above, the core purpose of a pharmacist cover letter is to tell the hiring manager why you are the right person for this role.

You need to show why you are excited about taking on the responsibilities that come with the job, and what attracted you to the company. And you should explicitly connect your key skills, competencies and qualifications with the job requirements as set out in the job description and person specification.

Although every job description will be different, there are some key skills that are needed by all pharmacists.

So, whether you are writing a hospital pharmacist cover letter, a clinical pharmacist cover letter or applying for any other pharmacist position, the hiring manager is likely to be looking for evidence of the following competencies :

Although they may be worded differently, these competencies are likely to be included somewhere in the job description, so you should try to find ways to highlight these with examples from your previous experience.

Aside from the core competencies, roles and responsibilities will vary depending on the type and level of pharmacist job you are applying for, so the information you choose to include in your cover letter should vary accordingly:

Entry-Level Pharmacy Internships

Here no experience is required, but you will need to attend pharmacy school.

In this role, you would be working under the supervision of licensed pharmacists, either in a hospital or a retail store, and gaining the practical skills and experience needed to become a qualified pharmacist.

Duties might include serving customers, verifying prescriptions, completing insurance forms and keeping records of every prescription brought in.

You would not be expected to have much, if any, experience of these responsibilities in a pharmacy setting, so the examples you select to illustrate your skills may come instead from academia, previous work placements, extra-curricular activities or part-time work.

Read our article on internships for more general advice.

Pharmacist Assistant

This role involves assisting a licensed pharmacist in preparing and dispensing medicinal drugs and pharmaceuticals. You could be dispensing drugs to other healthcare providers, inpatients and outpatients, or to customers.

Many of the day-to-day duties will be similar to those of an intern but you will need a higher degree of knowledge and experience that you should take care to set out in your cover letter.

An associate’s degree is usually preferred for this role and you may also need certification as a pharmacy technician.

Alongside this, you should use examples from your work history to demonstrate knowledge of relevant terminology and drug regulation, as well as experience of using the procedures and systems associated with dispensing medication.

Remember the STAR technique when structuring your examples.

Pharmacy Manager

In this role, along with the usual responsibilities of a pharmacist, you will be overseeing a pharmacy’s day-to-day business operations, including managing staff, taking responsibility for stock inventory and ensuring that all prescription drugs and controlled substances are stored properly and safely.

You will need a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, as well as a state-approved license to practice.

Your cover letter should demonstrate your experience of taking on management responsibilities at a pharmacy, alongside in-depth knowledge of the uses and side-effects of pharmaceutical products and the protocols and regulations surrounding them.

How to Write Your Pharmacist Cover Letter

Your pharmacist cover letter should be tailored very specifically to the role you are applying for. However, there are some general rules and a standard framework that will help you to structure your letter to best effect.

In this section, we will take you through how to approach your letter paragraph by paragraph.

First Paragraph

You should make every effort to address your reader by name. If the name of the person who will be reviewing your cover letter is not mentioned in the job listing, call the company to find out.

Immediately after your initial address, you should set out the purpose of your letter, explicitly referring to the job you are applying for.

Then move on to describe where you are in your career at the moment and why you want the position, referencing some of the research you have done into the company.

For example:

Dear Ms Jones,

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to apply for the role of pharmacy manager at Good Health Pharmacy, as advertised on the Pharmacists Jobs Board. I have held my New York State pharmacist license for six years and for the past two years have managed a busy pharmacy in Rochester. With excellent customer service skills and expertise in the latest operating and management systems, I would be an asset to your team. I know Good Health Pharmacy has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of healthcare and my passion for staying up to date with the newest pharmaceutical products would help to further this mission.

Second Paragraph

Here you should set out in more detail why you are a good fit for the role, describing your key skills and experience and giving examples to back these up.

Be sure to mention the keywords included in the job description and person specification when highlighting the qualities that make you the right person for this position.

Choose a handful of the best examples from your professional journey so far, and use these to tell a story that illustrates your aptitude. You should also demonstrate that you understand the background of the company and its core values.

For example:

In my current managerial role, I have introduced a computerized system for tracking repeat prescriptions and automatically placing orders for customers when needed. This has increased our store efficiency by 20% and our latest feedback forms also record that it has led to greater customer satisfaction.

You should also refer to your pharmaceutical qualifications and key achievements , moving on to a third paragraph if necessary.

If you have a strong range of qualifications and/or achievements it may best to set these out in a bullet list.

For example:

Other highlights of my career to date include:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy degree
  • Two years of experience working in a hospital and setting and four in a retail environment
  • Successfully managing a team of five
  • Advanced knowledge of protocols around storing prescription drugs and controlled substances
How to Write a Pharmacist Cover Letter
How to Write a Pharmacist Cover Letter

Third Paragraph

In this paragraph, you should talk about the contribution you will make to the company as a whole.

Employers are usually attracted to candidates who can help them improve their bottom line, so describe how you can save them money, increase profits or improve their efficiency.

Again, refer to keywords from the job description wherever possible and use examples to illustrate your point.

For example:

I know that one of Good Health Pharmacy’s core values is personal development and, as a manager, I am committed to ensuring all my staff achieve their potential. In my current role, I have implemented a coaching program that has been rolled out to stores across the state. This has led to happier and more fulfilled staff, which in turn leads to greater efficiency. I would be excited to develop a similar program with Good Health.

Final Paragraph

You should finish your letter by thanking your reader for taking the time to read your cover letter and summarising why you are the ideal candidate for the role.

End with a call to action that politely but confidently asks them to offer you an interview.

For example:

I look forward to the opportunity to meet in person and discuss the contribution I could make to Good Health Pharmacy in more detail.

Don’t forget to sign off professionally, using ‘Yours sincerely’ if you have addressed the reader by name or ‘Yours faithfully’ if not.

Pharmacist Cover Letter Top Tips

  • Check and double-check your cover letter, paying close attention to spelling, grammar and formatting. Make sure you have spelled any names correctly, particularly the name of the company you are applying to, and look out for any typos. The strongest application can be let down by basic mistakes.

  • If you are applying by email, put your cover letter in the main body of the message and add your resume as an attachment.

  • Choose a professional, well-known font, such as Times New Roman, Verdana or Ariel, and keep it to between 10 and 12pt in size.

  • Use facts and figures to quantify your achievements wherever possible.

  • Include strong, active verbs where you can; for example, lead, manage, organize.

  • Don’t just talk about yourself – keep referring back to the job description and make sure you spell out how the traits and qualifications you are describing would benefit the company.

Example Cover Letter

[Applicant Name]

[Applicant Address]

[Contact Number]

[Date]

Dear Ms Jones,

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to apply for the role of pharmacy manager at Good Health Pharmacy, as advertised on the Pharmacists Jobs Board. I have held my New York State pharmacist license for six years and for the past two years have managed a busy pharmacy in Rochester. With excellent customer service skills and expertise in the latest operating and management systems, I would be an asset to your team. I know Good Health Pharmacy has a reputation for being at the cutting edge of healthcare and my passion for staying up to date with the newest pharmaceutical products would help to further this mission.

In my current managerial role, I have introduced a computerized system for tracking repeat prescriptions and automatically placing orders for customers when needed. This has increased our store efficiency by 20% and our latest feedback forms also record that it has led to greater customer satisfaction. Alongside this I have overseen the implementation of a new diabetes screening program, ensuring that all members of staff have the appropriate training and creating a marketing strategy to encourage customers to participate. As our pharmacy is popular with families, I have also greatly broadened my knowledge of childhood illnesses and the relevant medicines available.

Other highlights of my career to date include:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy degree
  • Two years experience working in a hospital and setting and four in a retail environment
  • Successfully managing a team of five
  • Advanced knowledge of protocols around storing prescription drugs and controlled substances

I know that one of Good Health Pharmacy’s core values is personal development and, as a manager, I am committed to ensuring all my staff achieve their potential. In my current role, I have implemented a coaching program that has been rolled out to stores across the state. This has led to happier and more fulfilled staff, which in turn, leads to greater efficiency. I would be excited to develop a similar program with Good Health. I am also always working on developing my own skills and knowledge and putting these into practice to make the pharmacy run more effectively. I know mistakes can be costly, so I am scrupulous about paying close attention to every detail, even when working under pressure. I also pride myself on my excellent communication skills, working hard to make sure every customer feels their concerns or queries have been fully answered.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I am also attaching my resume for your review. With my advanced pharmacist skills and management experience, I know I would be a perfect candidate for this position, improving the services the pharmacy offers and finding new ways to increase efficiency. I look forward to the opportunity to meet in person and discuss the contribution I could make to Good Health Pharmacy in more detail.

Yours sincerely,

Amy Pill

Final Thoughts

A cover letter acts as your first introduction to the hiring manager, and is your first opportunity to make an impression.

They could be reviewing hundreds of other applications for the same job, so you need to make yours stand out.

Using the framework and tips above will help to ensure that you include all the most relevant and important information, focusing on your key skills and experience as a pharmacist while avoiding empty buzzwords .

Remember that every cover letter you write must be tailored to the particular pharmacist position you are applying for. Never be tempted to copy and paste a generic letter and fire it off to lots of different hiring managers.

Your letter should show that you understand exactly what this pharmacist job entails, and demonstrate your ability to take on the responsibilities involved, your enthusiasm for joining the company and your passion for working in a pharmacy.

An excellent cover letter takes time and effort, but it will put you in the best position to secure the job you want.


Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

Or explore the Application Advice / Job Applications sections.