If you’re interested in leveraging your communication and relationship-building skills to improve the medical field, then a medical sales internship might be the right next step for you. Medical sales internships are typically 3-12 months long, and they allow students or those new to the medical sales field the opportunity to work alongside talented medical sales professionals.
An internship in medical sales can help you confirm your interest in a medical sales position, practice the skills needed to secure a full-time position in the future, and expand your network within the field. And as an added bonus, according to ZipRecruiter, the average medical sales intern earns $36 an hour.
Steps to Get a Medical Sales Internship
Follow these steps to secure your medical sales internship:
1. Do your research
It’s important to make sure the internships you apply for are going to be a good fit for you. Before you start applying, do your research on all of the available positions to ensure you find a challenging and rewarding position that will help you grow as a new professional.
Use resources and job boards like MedReps to research job and internship opportunities. Tuide your research, make a list of what you’re looking for in an internship. For example, the right location, compensation, training opportunities, company size and mission are all important qualities of an internship that will determine your experience. This will help you filter out positions that aren’t a good fit so you can target your efforts on the right positions.
Cultivating and leveraging a network is a key step in your internship search process. Having strong connections with people in the medical sales industry will help you learn about opportunities and get your foot in the door with a company that you’re interested in.
To build your network, search for medical sales representatives on LinkedIn and send them a personalized message to connect. In addition, work on building relationships with your medical sales professors and other people you know in the field. And finally, if you are in college, get involved with the career center at your university. These offices have connections to opportunities in all industries and can help you with each step of the application process.
3. Apply for a sales internship
Once you’ve found the medical sales internships that you want to apply for, read over the application instructions carefully as the process might vary from company to company. In general, you’ll need to prepare a resume capturing all of your current and past experiences, education, and skills in order to submit an application.
A cover letter may also be required, and even if it isn’t, including a cover letter with your application can significantly improve your chances of receiving an interview. According to CareerBuilder, only 55% of applicants submit cover letters, so if you take the time to include one, your application will stand out even more.
Internship applications will most likely ask you to submit a list of professional references along with your application. References will play a major role in confirming your skills as they relate to a medical sales position, so make sure to choose people who can speak to your abilities in depth. These people can be past or current professors, mentors, supervisors, or coworkers.
4. Follow up
Don’t be afraid to follow up with employers after you apply for a position. The number of applications can be overwhelming for employers, so following up can help you stand out from the competition.
Following up reminds the employer that you’re a strong candidate for the position and show that you’re truly interested in the opportunity. It also gets you an answer on whether or not you’re still in the running for a position so you can pivot your focus to other opportunities if necessary.
Wait about 2 weeks after applying before following up so employers have a chance to review applications and so you don’t appear too pushy. Then send a short, polite email to check in.
Follow-up Email Example:
I recently applied for [position] with [company] and I wanted to check in on the status of my application. Let me know if I can provide any additional information and thank you in advance for your time.
5. Be persistent
Internship searching often comes with a few rejections and setbacks, but be persistent. The right position is out there for you, but you have to stick with the search and application process to find and secure it.
One way to stay on top of your medical sales internship search is to create a job search tracking system using a spreadsheet or written chart. Keep track of the position title, company, application requirements, deadlines, contacts, and next steps for each position you’re interested in. This will help you persist through your search by staying organized and having a clear picture of what your next step should be.
6. Keep learning and growing
When you have those occasional setbacks and failures during your internship search, use them as learning opportunities to increase your chances of being selected for the next position you apply for.
Maybe you didn’t submit a cover letter with a position and then you weren’t offered an interview. Now you know to submit one next time. Or maybe an employer mentioned that you didn’t have the skills they’re looking for. Now you can work on cultivating those skills and communicating them on a resume and in interviews for the next position.
Whatever the setback, learn from it, grow as a professional, and keep moving forward.
Medical sales internships are fantastic opportunities to prepare for a full-time position in the field. To make the most of these opportunities, put in the time before applying for positions by researching, building your network, and preparing strong application materials. Then, improve your chances of securing an interview and a position by following up with employers and staying persistent throughout your entire search.
Your efforts will be rewarded when you come out on the other side of your internship ready to tackle and positively impact the field of medical sales.