How to camouflage time off and position yourself strongly for the next medical sales job
Whether you left the job market by choice or not, are returning to work after a period of unemployment or looking to camouflage leave from earlier . . . overcoming a gap in employment can be overwhelming but not insurmountable.
The key to minimizing a resume gap involves a thorough examination of the time spent unemployed, carefully-chosen wording and strategic formatting.
Resume Tip #1: Include Volunteer Work
Fundraising, coaching and leading – these are the hallmarks of many volunteer roles and align well with the world of medical sales.
If you raised $2,000 for your child’s school – highlight the strategy behind it, calculate if you raised more than the year prior and note it. You may be surprised to learn you leveraged skills creating and executing a sales strategy from your time in your medical sales job.
Coached a team or led a scout troop? Chances are you’ve created collateral, a plan or a curriculum designed to appeal to your audience. Not unlike the presentations you made to gain buy-in for a pharma or medical device product critical to closing a sale!
Tip #2: Highlight Networking Achievements
When hunting for a new medical sales job has been your main focus during your employment gap, it is critical to have something to show for it on your sales resume.
Participating in LinkedIn groups or on Twitter, initiating conversations and authoring or sharing thought-provoking posts can help position you as a pharma or medical device sales industry thought leader.
Include in your resume stats related to the number of people that have followed, read, liked or commented on your posts to quantify your impact
Tip #3: Include Pro Bono Acts of Kindness
It’s not uncommon to use the unemployed time helping friends in need. Reflect back on this time and ask yourself if you shared your skills with others and asked nothing in return.
If the answer is yes, dress these acts of kindness up to read like job experience. If you helped a home-based business put together a marketing plan or shared ideas on generating sales leads, be sure to note it!
Using myself as an example, when my twins were babies I helped friends engaged in fundraising efforts to write or edit press releases and brochures. While not resume work per se it fell into the writing category and helped minimize my gap!
Tip #4: Adjust Resume Formatting
If you are trying to camouflage short breaks in your sales resume, eliminate months of employment and include only the years for a seamless career presentation. See for yourself the difference it can make:
Sales Manager, XYZ Pharma Company July 2012 – Feb 2013
Territory Manager, 123 Pharma Company Nov 2013 – Present
Sales Manager, XYZ Pharma 2012 – 2013
Territory Manager, 123 Pharma 2013 – Present
All Experience Counts – Paid or Unpaid
By strategically formatting your medical sales resume and including language aligned with the world of sales, you will likely discover the large career gap doesn’t seem nearly as daunting and positions you strongly for your next pharma or medical device sales role.
– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW