“At first glance, my career looks confusing!”
Many of us have held roles that, at first glance, appear unrelated. Others have worked in different industries besides pharma and medical device sales. Still, others hold job titles that just don’t explain exactly what it is you do. These challenges can make writing a resume and LinkedIn profile daunting.
Fortunately, with some strategies to connect the dots, you can write a resume (and a LinkedIn) that is cohesive and that connects the dots to begin your medical sales career.
Roles that Can Confuse
It is not uncommon for people to wish to break into pharma sales after holding roles that, on the surface, don’t scream medical sales.
Let’s use, for example, a client eager to leap into capital equipment sales, with experience as a Senior Loan Officer at a Fortune 500 bank preceded by an Operations Manager role at a well-respected restaurant.
At first glance, the roles seem unrelated and utterly non-suited for a medical sales career. Upon further inspection, however, common themes emerged.
- As a loan officer, he had to build a prospective client pipeline from the ground up, and he chose to target specialty physicians. Through persistence, he got past the front desk to pitch cases before these doctors and gain buy-in to participate in the bank’s loan program. He then guided the client through the entire loan setup process.
- As an operations manager, he upgraded the restaurant’s technology to capture client data, then used it for targeted marketing. Furthermore, his venue became a go-to for hosted special events attended by specialty physicians.
Today, his resume highlights his ability to build sales pipelines from the ground up, capture CRM data to drive sales strategy, his talent for getting past healthcare gatekeepers, and his skill at supporting the client throughout the sales lifecycle.
In other words, his skills are well-aligned with that of a pharma sales rep.
PRO TIP: Dig deep to uncover skills you used to succeed that align with your career aspirations.
Job Titles that Can Confuse
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the truth is that impressions are sometimes made by reviewing a list of career titles. The problem with this is that titles differ from company to company — and sometimes, don’t immediately explain what you do.
My advice? Tweak the title for clarity. We can use the example of the same senior loan officer who wants to transition to pharma sales. We’ve established that his role contains several sales components, but his job title does not reflect it. Here’s what I did to accurately describe the role without completely making up a new title.
- Original Job Title: Senior Loan Officer
- Revised Job Title: Senior Sales/Loan Officer OR Senior Loan (Sales) Officer
PRO TIP: Connect the dots by providing clarity with ambiguous job titles.
Industry History that Can Confuse
Some worry a history of industry jumping outside of a medical sales career will be misinterpreted as a lack of industry expertise. My recommendation? Mitigate this concern by turning it into an advantage.
Include language in your summary/branding paragraph at the top stating that your skills have been successful across diverse industries.
PRO TIP: Connect the dots by calling attention to your talent for industry-spanning success.
Connecting the Dots
These strategies — that provide clarity to seemingly unrelated industries, roles and responsibilities — will ensure your reader connects the dots and is left with a clear understanding of how your career story aligns with your medical sales career aspirations.
# # #
– By Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW
Virginia Franco Resumes | www .virginiafrancoresumes.com | VAFrancoResumes@gmail.com