You’ve searched on industry job boards, submitted countless resumes, and have even interviewed with a few companies. But you still can’t find a medical sales job. Something is wrong. But what?
Here are some of the most common mistakes job seekers make looking for medical sales jobs and how to avoid them:
Looking for medical sales jobs in the wrong places
If you’re having a tough time finding medical sales jobs, you could be limiting your own search by your location. In fact, our Job Search Tactics and Frustrations survey found that 35 percent of professionals surveyed said there aren’t enough medical sales jobs in their location.
If at all possible, don’t limit your job search to your current location — medical sales jobs are available in cities around the country. Open up your search to the cities with the most jobs and the least amount of competition. San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., and Seattle are promising locations to expand your search, if the opportunities in your area are few and far between.
Formatting resumes for humans
When you create your resume, you imagine it will be read by human eyes, but that’s not always the case. Before your resume reaches a person, it is usually scanned and screened by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). And an ATS reads your resume differently than a human does.
ATS software can only read plain or rich-text versions of resumes converted from MS word documents, and they’re scanning for specific keywords,company names, and the dates and locations of employment. Change the format of your resume for the system to pick up these details.
ATS software can’t read headers, tables, or borders, so remove them from your resume. Instead, use basic headlines and simple fonts. Format company names and employment dates in the same column, so the system can easily read and group the information together.
Embellishing on your medical sales resume
Medical sales jobs require a very specific set of skills, and if you don’t have all of them, you may be tempted to stretch the truth on your resume.
But lying on your resume is a risky and unnecessary move. Among hiring professionals surveyed by CareerBuilder in May and June, 56 percent said they have caught a lie on a resume. Although these candidates may be lying to appear more qualified for the job, 42 percent of employers said they would consider a candidate who only met three out of five qualifications for the role.
Candidates most often embellished their skills and responsibilities on their resumes, so accurately represent your experiences when drafting your medical sales resume.
Forgetting a business plan
The 30-60-90 day plan is an important part of the medical sales hiring process. They require a lot of time and effort to create, but if the employer doesn’t ask you to bring one to the interview, don’t think you’re off the hook — bring one anyway.
Your 30-60-90 day plan shows the hiring manager that you take initiative, understand the responsibilities for the job, and are prepared to do it well, especially if you weren’t asked to create one. Bringing in a business plan to your interview sets you apart from other candidates, and indicates that you will be a valuable hire and won’t drain resources during the onboarding stage.
You can expect an employer to ask certain questions in a medical sales job interview. Questions about numbers will always be asked, so don’t show up to the interview unprepared.
Before the interview, review your sales history, quota, and what you brought in the last quarter. Be ready to show the proof behind your numbers by bringing your brag book. This should not only document your past rankings and quotas, but it should also showcase your top achievements in past positions.
Securing a medical sales job can be a long and difficult process, but avoiding simple mistakes can help you stand out from the crowd and find the best opportunities.
What other mistakes should be avoided when interviewing for a medical sales position?