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3 Storytelling Rules for Job-Hunting Medical Sales Executives Struggling to Convey Value


When it comes to preparing career marketing materials for medical sales leaders from resumes to LinkedIn profiles the goal to keep in mind is, did you answer the decision maker’s key question: “How can he/she help me?”

This can be accomplished by explaining the challenge or the pain point and then articulating the strategy, leadership, and execution involved in solving the problem.

For instance, as an SVP of Sales, did you turn around a struggling territory? Did you launch a product against steep pricing competition? Did your team’s rankings increase?

My clients, hired into VP, Director and SVP pharma and medical device roles, successfully convey to decision makers that they solved these pains and others. Their experience ticks off these 4 boxes:

☑ They are leaders. They have shouldered the burden for major challenges and initiatives.

☑ They think strategically. They understand the impact of their efforts beyond a specific product, territory or region.

☑ They partner across business organizations. They show that their efforts did not occur in a silo, but rather are the result of collaboration with others or through the strength of their sales network.

☑ They produce results. They have tangible, measurable proof that their efforts made an impact.

Use these three executive storytelling rules to help you convey your unique career story in medical sales:

RULE #1: Tell them what THEY WANT to know, not what YOU think they NEED to know

LinkedIn profiles and resumes should always start with a summary section at the top. Don’t use this section to describe yourself with adjectives, or talk about the role you are seeking.

Instead, provide information that directly correlates to what they’ve asked for. If you’re unclear, review executive medical sales job postings. You’ll find that even though the language differs slightly, the overarching themes are similar.

RULE #2: Don’t just tell them, show them

In the experience section of your resume and LinkedIn profile, you must support the points outlined in your summary section with hard-hitting examples featuring quantifiable results. In other words, elaborate.

Weak: Managed team.

OK: Led team that increased regional sales revenues 11%.

Better: Led team that increased regional sales revenues 11% in 18 months.

Best: Led team that increased revenues 11% in 18 months, catapulting sales organization from bottom of the pack to a top-ranked region.

See the difference? Unlike the first, this last sentence not only shows the achievement, it explains how it occurred with context and quantifiable results.

RULE #3: Format Wisely

Your resume and LinkedIn should be easily skimmable regardless of screen size — important to note, given that more than half of all LinkedIn reading, and close to that when it comes to resume reading, occurs via mobile device.  

Formatting tips:

Don’t be afraid to use targeted color, bolding, and shading to help key points stand out.

  • Keep your paragraphs to 2 or 3 lines
  • Add a bit of white space by hitting the enter bar between each bullet or paragraph.
  • Read your resume and LinkedIn on your phone. Or ask a friend to do the same. Can you easily discern the key points in 10-15 seconds (the latter is what you can expect when your documents are read by a referral, the former by a stranger)


These strategies for answering the pressing concerns of decision makers, showing value and context, and doing so through well-formatted documents, will help the reader connect the dots.

The outcome? There will be little room for doubt that your experience aligns perfectly with their situation and their PAIN, and you will be seen as an ideal candidate to fill their sales executive shoes.

– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW Virginia Franco Resumes | www |