Guide to the Medical Sales Job Search: Medical Sales Resume

Part 2 of 3

Get Noticed with a Strong Medical Sales Resume

No matter where you are in your career, you need a well-written resume that accurately conveys your knowledge, skills, and experience. As you search for a job online, you will come across numerous websites offering free resume advice and paid resume writing services. If you elect to use one of these services, be sure you choose one that specializes in your field.

Your resume should utilize a no-frills format with a standard font and one inch margins. The entire document should be no longer than two pages.

A centered heading should state your name and contact details. A career objective or summary statement is recommended; use it to briefly state your goals and highlight any relevant skills that set you apart.

Employment history
Begin with your present or most recent employment and list the others chronologically backward. State your job title, the name of the company, and the location. Be specific about the dates of employment, including the month and year. Details of each position should emphasize your accomplishments rather than responsibilities. Instead of writing a job description for your former and current positions, explain what you achieved within the roles. Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Begin bullet points with words like increased, developed, created, produced, converted, initiated, earned, and won. Be specific; when possible use exact figures to back up your claims.

Education and Training
Education should follow employment history. State advanced degrees first, followed by undergraduate information. You do not need to disclose the year that you graduated.

Additional Information
Your resume may also include professional affiliations, extracurricular and volunteer experience, continuing education activities, and honors and awards. Your resume is much more than a list of previous employers and job descriptions. It is your two-page opportunity to promote yourself. Use this document to state your strengths and highlight the contributions you have made to previous employers. But no matter how impressive your achievements, a misspelling or grammatical error can ruin your chances of getting the job, so be sure to check, double check, and check again for any careless mistakes.

Optimize your Resume for an Electronic Search
In a competitive market like medical sales, it’s not enough to have experience. Even if you communicate your impressive employment history in a well-written resume, you are likely to be overlooked if your resume is not optimized for an electronic search.

No doubt you’ve heard of search engine optimization – a technique to make a website rank higher on the results page of a search engine like Google or Yahoo. Part of that process involves using keywords – having the right keywords and phrases on a webpage will cause it to rank highly on the Google results page. Likewise, using the right keywords on your resume will increase your chances of landing at the top of the results page when a recruiter or employer performs an electronic search of a resume database.

Many job sites allow jobseekers to upload their resumes into a searchable database, and recruiters often have a database of their own that houses all the resumes they receive from applicants. Just like candidates use keywords to search for jobs on a job site, employers and recruiters use keywords to search for candidates in this resume database.

In order to rank highly on the recruiter’s results page, you will need to have the right keywords included in your profile and/or resume. Keep in mind, the words you use to describe your preferred job may not be the same ones a recruiter would use to search, so be sure to include all words and variations that may apply to the job you seek. For example, if you are a surgical device sales rep, be sure to include the words surgery, surgical, medical, device, sales, rep, and representative in your resume – preferably in the heading, as keywords are generally pulled from the top of the document. Also, if you are not currently living in the state where you are applying for jobs, clearly note that you are willing to relocate in your objective statement at the top of the resume. These methods ensure that you will show up in a search for that state. The more details you provide – on both your profile and your resume – the more likely you are to be found by the right employer or agency.

Personalize your Job Application

Many sites allow you to apply to a job with the click of a mouse. While this certainly eases the application process, your efforts will go further if you attach a personalized message or cover letter to your resume. While it does add an extra step to the job application process, it doesn’t have to be time consuming. Spend a little time up-front writing a brief cover letter to introduce yourself and highlight your accomplishments. Save the document as a Word file and use it – with a few changes – each time you apply to a job.

It shouldn’t take long to customize the letter for the position to which you’re applying. Mention the reasons you’re interested and why you feel you’d be a good
match for that specific opportunity. Copy and paste the customized cover letter into an email along with your resume.

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