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In hopes of casting a wide net, many pharma and device sales job seekers resist the notion to create a targeted list of companies.

While this inclination is natural, I’m a firm believer that by identifying your current company’s unique pain points, you can address them and position yourself as a candidate ideally suited to solve similar issues.

Furthermore, while researching companies to add to your targeted list you can weed out those that aren’t the greatest fit for your skills, values, and goals. Equally important, you can use the list you’ve developed to figure out who you know, who you need to know, and who can give you an inside scoop regarding roles of interest within the company.

Follow these six steps to create and use your list to its fullest potential:

1. Narrow your focus.  

If you’re experienced in medical sales, chances are you feel capable to sell across different disease states and call on various specialty physicians. You may even be open to relocating for the right job opportunity.

To create a list of targeted companies, however, it helps to whittle down the scope. Narrow it down to one or two locations and one or two disease states or medical specialties.

Medical sales employees who are already at the top recognize that jumping specialties is exceptionally challenging and tend to stay within their niche when looking for a new job. For this reason, their focus is already perfectly honed.

2. Identify companies.  

Locate “Best Of” or “Top 100” lists readily available through internet searches and popular publications like MedReps. For those already established in medical sales, be sure to consider your company’s competitors when making your list.

3. Get some intel.

Learn as much as you can about a company’s history and financial status. When getting a handle on the company’s offered products, learn as much as you can about their flagship products as well as those that are controversial.

When possible, set up informational interviews to chat with current employees at these companies. Ask questions to understand the culture and find out if the company aligns with your goals and passions.  

Additionally, check out reviews on websites like Glassdoor. However, keep in mind that people don’t usually write a review unless they feel strongly, which means many will likely come from disgruntled employees.  

Most companies have “About Us” sections on their websites that convey their corporate values and mission. Read them to see if their statements resonate with you, and then dig further to see if those who work there really live it.

4. Utilize your connections.  

Connections can range from a close friend to an acquaintance of an acquaintance, or even someone who went to your alma mater. Approach all of them individually to learn more about a company and decide if it should be part of your target list.

I also recommend checking out company pages on LinkedIn to identify if you have connections that work there.

5. Grow your contacts.

Once you’ve established your list of medical sales connections, identify those who can help get your foot in the door — even if you don’t know them yet.

While this is often the toughest stage for job seekers, it’s an extension of medical sales pros’ natural skillsets — building networks from the ground up.

Beyond LinkedIn, consider sleuthing on other social media sites. Facebook, for instance, is home to several groups of people who work or have worked at major companies. Twitter can also be a great source of info, as many accounts list their employer into in their bio.

University alumni databases can also offer a treasure trove of information. To tap into this resource, contact your career services or alumni office and perform a quick search on LinkedIn of fellow alum grads.

6. Make the ask

Be direct about what you’re asking and looking for in a company and leaders. If you’re debating whether a company should or shouldn’t be on your list, it’s OK to share that you’re trying to get a real feel for the company’s culture and atmosphere.

Once you’ve created a list of companies and are targeting roles, make direct requests. Vague suggestions, like “let me know if anything comes your way” probably won’t yield a high ROI. Instead, consider these three approaches:

  • Ask if they can connect you with a hiring manager.
  • Ask them to provide you with the names of three influential people.
  • Ask them to submit your resume via their company’s internal referral mechanism.

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– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW, the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, offering customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.

VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com | http://www.virginiafrancoresumes.com | Call/text 704-771-8572

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