Generally speaking, Fall is second only to January and February as the best time of year for those in the pharma and medical device industry to job hunt. With unemployment at record lows, competition will be steep, and you will, of course, need a strong resume.
While it’s critical to use social media (LinkedIn for most in the world of medical sales) to connect with your network and tap into opportunities, your resume remains THE DOCUMENT that forms the foundation of a well-planned and executed job search.
Here’s are three things you can do to give your resume a competitive edge.
#1 Articulate Your Value From the Top – Concisely
Medical device and pharma recruiters usually have a lot on their plates, which makes for skim rather than in-depth reads…especially during the first few rounds. Your summary or branding statement at the top must quickly inform the reader:
- The types of roles you are targeting
- How you are a perfect fit
It should also include just enough details so that your statement stands out from the crowd – especially the hundreds of others describing themselves using the same adjective-rich language.
Here’s a before and after sample from a specialty pharma sales rep. See for yourself the potential contained within a brief, powerful summary.
#2 Brochure v. Blueprint
People in a rush (and let’s be honest, people are always in a hurry when it comes to resume reading) have difficulty skimming and absorbing dense blocks of text. This is the case whether your resume contains five one-line bullets bunched together or a five-line paragraph.
When someone is in a rush, and something is hard to read, there’s a good chance it will be skipped over. You can avert this by keeping bullets or paragraph short and sweet (2-3 lines max) and inserting additional white space in between each bullet/paragraph.
Here’s another before and after from a capital equipment sales executive resume that illustrates my point.
As you can see, the “AFTER” is easier to read, especially on mobile.
#3 Images Speak Louder than Words
While graphics and pictures can’t be read by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems, they absolutely can be read by human beings. In my opinion, they are often more effective!
While you’ll always come across some folks that are more old school and who love your standard black and white resume, the majority of readers in my experience welcome points illustrated graphically.
Here’s what I mean:
To ensure your language can be read by ATS software as well as human beings, make sure that what you insert in the graph, chart or image is also contained in text within your document.
Medical sales professionals looking to take advantage of this exciting but competitive job market will benefit from a resume that tells their story in a succinct, compelling and engaging manner.
This can be accomplished by embracing graphics (and color!) and articulating value starting at the top!
– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW
Virginia Franco Resumes | www .virginiafrancoresumes.com | VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com