Medical Sales Job Search Report — July 2020

Medical Sales Job Search Report _ Feature
As we begin the third quarter of 2020, the global pandemic continues to impact every industry to some degree. Healthcare has felt the effects in extremes. While some hospitals and clinics have been overrun with Covid-19 patients, other facilities and practices sat empty while elective procedures were canceled and appointments rescheduled. Manufacturers of PPE, ventilators, and certain drugs have seen increased demand, while others saw delayed approvals and slowed production. 
Now, as the economy reopens in stages, the healthcare industry attempts to adjust to the new normal. What does this mean for medical sales professionals, and more specifically, what does it mean for the medical sales job search? 
According to our job search research, medical sales job seekers have reason to feel hope. Surprisingly, the answers to the following questions remain remarkably stable.

How long does it take to find a medical sales job?

How many job applications?

How many interviews? 

The job search research began during the summer of 2019, with the first reports published in October 2019 and January 2020. The April report covered the first quarter of 2020, which wrapped up just as the country was locking down due to the global pandemic. This fourth edition, with data collected from April through June, is remarkably consistent with prior reports, despite the shifting economic circumstances. While the rate of response and response times to job applications is not quite as good as in previous reports, the reported length of time to find a job is considerably shorter. This news suggests that while some companies may have put medical sales hiring on hold, others sped up the process to meet demand. This fits with the two “extremes” experienced by the industry as a whole. 

What does a successful medical sales job search look like?  

  • Found a job
  • Still looking

21% of respondents recently found a job.

The average length of their job search was 87 days or just under 3 months. This is a full month less than the reported average time to find a job in the first quarter of 2020. These respondents had an average of 9 phone interviews and went on face-to-face interviews with an average of 8 different companies. 33% received multiple job offers.  

Successful Job Search Averages

  • October 2019
  • January 2020
  • April 2020
  • July 2020

Length of Job Search

These graphs show the averages reported by users who found jobs since we began publishing the data. Across the board, the numbers have been similar in all reporting periods, suggesting a period of stability in the medical sales job search.

Response Time


How many jobs should I apply to?  

The number of jobs applied to per month by those who recently found a job was 35. Those who are employed and looking (who tend to be less proactive in their searching) applied to an average of 14 per month while those unemployed and looking for work applied to 27. The takeaway? To increase your chances of getting a job, increase the number of jobs you are applying to.

How many of my applications will get a personalized response? 

In the age of automated replies, how many applications received a personalized response? The response rate for all groups ranges between 15% and 17%— with those who found a job reporting a response rate of 16%. This is slightly down from prior reports, in which the reported response rate averaged 20%, or 1 in 5.  

How long does it take to get a response?

Those who recently found a job reported a slightly shorter waiting time to receive a response–12 days. The “employed but looking group” reported waiting 13 days and the unemployed group said it took 21 days to hear from a job poster. This quarter’s research shows a small increase in the overall average time it takes to hear back — up from 15 days in the first quarter.  

What are my odds of being contacted?

Down from 70% in the first quarter, 60% of respondents reported being contacted by someone who found their profile in a resume database. This increase suggests recruiters may have been slightly less proactive than in prior periods.  

Where should I look for jobs?

In addition to MedReps (which all survey respondents used), LinkedIn and Indeed continue to be the most popular job search tools.

Who took this survey?

When looking at the different types of respondents, it’s interesting to note that those who recently found a job were more likely to have experience than the employed group. However, the successful job seekers reported fewer years of experience and lower salaries than the other groups. This suggests that those earlier in their careers may have an easier time finding a job right now.  

The Takeaway

While we see slight shifts in the research, overall, the medical sales job search data is stable. We know from the job counts on MedReps that medical and pharmaceutical companies are still, in fact, hiring. The hiring process may look a little different, but it continues to move forward at many companies. Job seekers must stay informed about what is happening in the industry and remain flexible as circumstances change.

Be proactive in applying to jobs and
flexible in the unusual hiring process.

While much about the job search may be out of your control, stay focused on the things you can control–uploading a resume to the database, applying to jobs, and following up with recruiters where possible. After all, the most notable difference between the group who found jobs and those that are still looking is the number of jobs applied to. If medical sales job seekers are proactive in applying to jobs and flexible in the unusual hiring process, they are likely to find success.  

Data from July 2020 Report was collected April-June 2020
Data from April 2020 Report was collected January-March 2020
Data from January 2020 Report was collected September-December of 2019
Data from October 2019 Report was collected June-September of 2019