Medical Sales Job Search Report — April 2021

Medical Sales Job Search Report _ Feature
The beginning of 2021 marks a positive turn for the medical sales job search. The time it took job seekers to find a job shrunk and recruiters are more responsive. The stats on job search activity such as phone interviews and face-to-face interviews also saw increases.
While things appear to be looking up, the long-lasting effects of the pandemic remain to be seen. This may be why the data suggests fewer employed medical sales professionals are seeking a job change right now. For recruiters, this could mean fewer job applications. For active job seekers, this means less competition for the jobs that are available. 
In an effort to measure the ongoing impact of current events on the medical sales job search, MedReps continues to ask our members the following questions to gauge the status of the average medical sales job search.

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

How many job applications?

How many interviews? 

Our job search research began during the summer of 2019, with the first report published in October of that year. In the year and a half since we began asking these questions, some of the indicators have shifted slightly but overall have remained remarkably stable and shown slight improvements in recent months.

What does a successful medical sales job search look like?  

  • Found a job
  • Still looking

26% of respondents recently found a job.

The average length of their job search was 97 days, or just over 3 months. This is 20% less time than the average reported in the fourth quarter of 2020. Job search activity was higher than usual for these respondents. They reported an average of 14 phone interviews and went on face-to-face interviews with an average of 11 different companies. 50% received multiple job offers.  

Successful Job Search Averages

  • April 2020
  • July 2020
  • October 2020
  • January 2021
  • April 2021

Response Time


Length of Job Search

These graphs show the averages reported by users who found jobs in the past year. The time it takes to find a job has remained relatively steady–between 3 and 4 months. However, the number of job applications submitted by job seekers varies, hitting an all-time high this past quarter. Historically, the number peaks in the first quarter (recorded in the April report) then declines as the year progresses, then climbs again in the last months of the year (recorded in the January report). The number of phone and face-to-face interviews has remained steady up to this point, but this past quarter saw heightened activity all around.

How long does it take to hear back from the job poster?

9 Days

After submitting an application, successful job seekers
waited an average of 9 days to get a response.

How many jobs should I apply to?  

50 jobs per month

Those who reported successfully finding a job reported applying to significantly more jobs than the other groups.

The number of jobs applied to per month by those who recently found a job hit an all-time high of 50. The employed group applied to an average of just 7 jobs per month — a notable decrease from the prior quarter which also marked a decline. This supports the idea that employed sales professionals are not currently motivated to seek a job change. 

The takeaway? The latest numbers reinforce the prior conclusion that if you want to increase your chances of getting a job, you should increase the number of applications you submit. The low number of applications reported by employed job seekers also suggests that there is less competition from passive candidates at the moment, so the odds of getting a call are better than ever.

4.21 avg jobs per month

How many of my applications will get a personalized response? 

Nearly 1 in 4 applications received
a non-automated response.

On average, job seekers reported receiving a non-automated, personalized response to 23% of their job applications.

In the age of automated replies, how many applications received a personalized response? The response rate for all respondents averaged 25%, however, the rates reported by the 3 groups ranged from 22% to 30%, with the group that found a job reporting the highest response rate. 

The takeaway? Expect to hear back from 1 in 4 jobs you apply to. And remember, focusing your efforts on the most relevant jobs will increase your response rate.

How long does it take to get a response?

12 days to receive a response
after submitting an application.

The average waiting period ranged from 9 days for the group that found a job and 14 for the unemployed group.

Those who recently found a job reported a shorter waiting time to receive a response–9 days. The “employed but looking” group reported waiting 13 days and the unemployed group said it took 14 days to hear from a job poster. This quarter’s research shows the shortest wait time since our research began. The average for the first quarter of 2020 was 15 days.

The takeaway? Candidates should not feel discouraged if it takes close to two weeks to hear from the job poster. Two weeks may feel like forever, but this is standard and even slightly better than the average in 2020. 

What are my odds of being contacted?

70% were contacted as a result
of a resume database.

The number of people reporting that they had been contacted as a result of a resume database increased from 65% in the previous quarter.

A majority of job seekers upload their resume to a database so that recruiters and hiring managers may see their resume and reach out about an opportunity. For those that upload, an average of 70% reported being contacted by someone as a result. The average for those who successfully found a job was 75%.

The takeaway: While the average contacted is not quite at the high we saw in the 3rd quarter of 2020 (85%) it has increased from the decline we saw in 4th quarter. The fact remains that you will significantly increase your odds of connecting with recruiters and hiring managers by uploading your resume to a well-regarded database. 

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.
MedReps 100%
LinkedIn 85%
Indeed 61%

Who took this survey?

When looking at the different types of respondents, the group that successfully found a job was slightly less likely to have medical sales experience. However, 64% had other types of business-to-business sales experience. This suggests medical sales companies may be hiring more salespeople from other industries at this time. This could be in response to the fact that employed medical salespeople are not actively seeking to change jobs in the current market. 

The Takeaway

While the climate of uncertainty created by the events of 2020 will likely continue for some time, our ongoing research suggests that the medical sales job search is still relatively stable. We know from the number of medical sales jobs on MedReps that medical sales companies and pharmaceutical companies are still hiring, and active job seekers are finding and accepting new opportunities. Job seekers, both active and passive, must stay informed about what is happening in the industry and take steps to advance their medical sales career.

It is a great time to be an active job seeker in medical sales. Competition is low and recruiters are eager to see your resume.

While much about the job search may feel 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. 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 April 2021 Report was collected January-March 2021
Data from January 2020 Report was collected October-December 2020
Data from October 2020 Report was collected July-September 2020
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