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10 Tips for Working With Medical Sales Recruiters

Medical Sales Recruiting & Job Search Websites

In your search for medical sales jobs, you are certain to come across jobs posted by 3rd party recruiters on behalf of hiring companies. These pharmaceutical and medical sales recruiters are not employed by the companies for which they are posting jobs. Rather, they (or the staffing agencies they work for) are contracted to conduct the medical sales recruiting for that company.

What does this mean for you, the job seeker? Well, before your resume is seen by the hiring company, you must convince the recruiter that you are a good fit for the job. If they decide you are a superior candidate, they will then present you to the hiring company for consideration. More than just a “middle man,” medical sales recruiters have considerable power in the hiring process. If you make the right impression, the recruiter may even act as an advocate for you with the hiring company.

In an effort to help you in your dealings with the recruiters you’ll find on, we’ve provided a list of do’s and don’ts for working with medical sales recruiters.

1. Understand the role of the recruiter – The medical sales recruiter is paid by the hiring company when they place a candidate in a job. That means the goal of the medical sales recruiting process is to find people for jobs, not to find jobs for people. Show the recruiter how you are a good fit for the job they are seeking to fill. And if they’re not convinced, ask them to keep you on file so you may be considered for a position in the future.

2. Submit a keyword-rich resume – Even if you are not a good match for the job they posted, most recruiters will happily accept your resume to build up their candidate database. When they have a new job to fill, one of the first things they’ll do is a keyword search of that database. Make sure your resume includes plenty of keywords so you will turn up in that recruiter’s search. You can find more information by reading our article on how to Optimize your Medical sales Resume.

3. Don’t get out your checkbook – A recruiter should never ask you to pay them for their services; they are compensated by the hiring company. Now, if you’re looking for a career coach or a job counselor, you should expect to pay for their assistance, but legitimate medical sales recruiters do not charge candidates. And none of these professionals should guarantee that they can find you a job.

4. Don’t sign an exclusivity agreement – Don’t agree to work with one recruiter exclusively. This will only limit your opportunities. That being said, if you are working with multiple recruiters, make sure they are not presenting you for the same job. This kind of overlap will cast both you and the recruiters in a negative light and could prevent you from being considered for the job. Additionally, never go directly to the hiring company to apply for a job that you found out about through a recruiter. This is unethical and will create conflict should you progress in the hiring process.

5. Be professional – This should go without saying, but always act professionally in your dealings with medical sales recruiters. Be courteous and respectful and keep personal matters to a minimum. The recruiter will assume how you act in front of them is how you will act in front of hiring managers, so show them that you are a professional and know how to behave in an interview.

6. Be honest –Tell the medical sales recruiter what you are looking for in a job and be clear about what terms you are willing to accept in a job offer. You also need to be upfront about anything in your history that may hinder your ability to get the job so that you can develop a strategy to overcome it.

7. Establish communication expectations – Find out how the recruiter prefers to communicate (phone, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and make a note of it. You should also establish how often you can expect to hear from them and they from you. Additionally, make sure to request that the recruiter contact you before submitting your resume to a company.

8. Take direction and advice – Medical sales recruiters have inside information about what the hiring company is looking for, so if they advise you to re-write your resume or ditch the business plan, you should do it. You can do it your way with other jobs and companies, but take the recruiter’s advice on how you can make the best impression on their client.

9. Update the recruiter – In the beginning, you anxiously wait for the recruiters to call, but after the interview, it’s the recruiter that is eager to hear from you! Call the recruiter after your job interview (and any other interaction you have with the hiring company) to let them know how it went. They will do their best to move the medical sales recruiting process forward.

10. Don’t stalk the recruiter – While there is something to be said for persistence, you do not want to irritate the medical sales recruiter by bombarding them with phone calls and emails. It’s fair to check in with the recruiter periodically to gently remind them of your marketable skills, but keep a record of your communication and be sure your efforts at communication aren’t bordering on stalking.

Medical and pharmaceutical sales recruiters are a great addition to any job search strategy, but job seekers shouldn’t hang all of their hopes on the medical sales recruiting process. The job market is still flooded with talent, and recruiters are currently inundated with resumes and phone calls from candidates seeking help with their job search. You may be a great fit for a particular job and yet weeks go by with no call. That doesn’t mean you aren’t right for the job or that the job was “fake.” It is likely the recruiter found enough qualified candidates before they ever got to your resume. (For this reason, it’s critical that you respond to newly posted jobs quickly!)

Whatever the reason, try not to get frustrated if you don’t hear back from recruiters. Do your best to follow up with them (without becoming a stalker) but if you’re not getting anywhere, move on. If you are a qualified applicant, there are plenty of other medical sales recruiters who will be eager to work with you.