Not getting the responses you’d like to your medical sales job applications? Before you start grumbling about rude recruiters and a tough job market, you might want to take a good hard look at your resume. Every medical sales recruiter and hiring manager will tell you the same thing – if your resume doesn’t instantly impress them, you won’t be getting a call.
Of course, you’ve likely already spent hours crafting and perfecting your current resume. It’s become your “baby” and as a result, you may not be able to see its flaws. So here comes the tough love. We’ve compiled 5 common reasons your resume might not be as good as you think it is. Be honest with yourself and see if your resume is getting overlooked for any of the reasons listed below.
|1. It’s ugly
Looks matter – at least when it comes to the overall presentation of your resume. At first glance, it should look clean, legible, and professional. No fancy formatting required, and don’t get too creative with your font. Of course, just as bad as overdoing the resume is underdoing it. If at first glance, it looks like you’re still using a typewriter, someone may not even take the time to review the content. So keep it simple and professional. And if you’re not sure, have a professional resume writer take a look at it.
|2. No numbers
Someone once said, “People are 65% more likely to believe a statement that references numbers, 80% of the time.” Whether or not you believe those particular numbers is up to you. But the point is, numbers help to prove your case. Quantifying results on a resume is key for any job seeker, but especially for professionals seeking sales jobs. And fortunately for sales professionals, their numbers are pretty straightforward. Recruiters and hiring managers want to know that you consistently make or exceed your quota. They’d also like to see your ranking or if you were in the top 10% or 20%. So know your stats and include them on your resume.
|3. You have numbers, but they’re no good
Of course, not everyone can be in the top 10% of the sales force, and not every product or territory makes it easy to blow the top off your quota. There are a number of reasons you may not have great numbers, but this is a tough obstacle to overcome. Try and find a way of presenting whatever numbers you have in a more impressive light. Maybe you didn’t make your quota, but your numbers improved by x% from Q1 to Q2. Focus on that growth. If nothing else, cite the number of calls you made each week or the dollar amount you sold last quarter to indicate the breadth of your responsibility. It’s tough to overcome bad numbers on a resume, but if you can find a way to look good enough on paper for a recruiter to call you, you may be able to make your case better over the phone.
This is another tough one to overcome, but the best way to address gaps on a resume is to, well, address them. Include a line on your resume stating what you were doing during the absence of employment. “Took time off to take care of family,” or “Took time off for health reasons that are now resolved.” Maybe the time was not taken off at your request, but hopefully you have something constructive to cite for what you were doing during that period. “Spent time volunteering for X,” or “Spent time taking classes to expand my knowledge in X. Received X certification.” Now, if you spent a year laying on the couch watching Price is Right…well, maybe best to just leave that space blank.
|5. It reads like a job posting
You know how boring it is to read through a bunch of job postings? You skip over the ones that go on and on listing responsibilities and vague corporate values. Well, if your resume reads like one of those job postings, you can be certain it will also be skipped over. Your resume shouldn’t be a list of duties and responsibilities detailing everything you did on a given day. Rather it should read like an ad in a popular magazine – pleasant to look at and easy to scan with bullet points conveying just enough information to make the reader want to know more.
If any of these reasons apply to your resume, it’s time to take action. Download the MedReps.com Resume Kit for step-by-step assistance, or enlist a professional resume writer (who also happens to be a medical sales recruiter) to review and rewrite it for you.