Medical Sales Resumes by the Numbers — What You Need to Know Today

Your resume is the one shot you have to make a positive first impression with recruiters. No pressure, right?

Struggling with writing a medical sales resume, and feeling confident about the end result is a major challenge. This is especially true in medical sales where there are many variables impacting whether or not you get a call from a recruiter. From years of experiences to sales goals, awards, titles, and job history there’s too much to fit on one page.

In our highly technological world, some candidates are even worried about the relevance of medical sales resumes. To understand exactly what medical sales recruiters want to see, we reached out to 500 medical sales recruiters in a recent In With the Old and In With the New: Here’s What Medical Sales Recruiters Want.

The verdict? A whopping 87 percent of respondents agree that even with advanced technology, a candidate’s resume and cover letter are most important when considering qualifications.

To help you conquer the almighty medical sales resume we’re breaking it down by the numbers. Here’s how you can create a resume that will stand out to medical sales recruiters and help you land your dream job:  

1: Page length

Recruiters have less and less time to sit and read over your resume. If you can’t catch their attention in 30 seconds or less, chances are they won’t continue reading. But it’s hard to keep your resume to one page when your experiences alone take up two pages.  

So, if you have extensive experience, only note the most relevant and impressive to each specific role on your resume. Give recruiters the opportunity to take a closer look at your achievements by adding links to your online portfolios.

2: Columns

Our eyes are attracted to space. Large, chunky blocks of text make our minds wander — something you don’t want recruiters doing while reading your resume. Even though most resumes are often considered a bit boring, you can easily give reviewers something interesting to look at by adding columns.

Think of your main page as one large column. Then, add a side column and highlight them it in a light color. Add bold subheads, such as skills, awards, sales numbers, and even hobbies to keep recruiters’ attention.

2-3: Lines

When you’re writing your resume, you should be excited about the bright future ahead of you. However, often times this excitement leads to written rambling. Medical sales recruiters are interested in your story but you don’t want to overwhelm them with an extensive story about your career history in a giant block of text.

These lengthy paragraphs will cause recruiters to scan over your resume, rather than reading it fully. Unfortunately, this leaves them glancing over some of your most important assets.

Keep blocks of text limited to two to three lines. The black spaces between gives recruiters’ eyes breaks and draws them to the next impressive line.

Consider, for example, if in this guide I didn’t break up the paragraphs by three to four lines. Do you think you’d be able to focus on what I’m saying and understand it enough to apply it immediately after? Chances are, your mind would start wandering or you’d even lose your place.

Giving recruiters the same courtesy will help make you even more memorable.

4-5: Bulleted experiences

If you’ve been in the industry for 10 years or more, you could have over five bullets of important experiences and/or job history titles. More than four to five listed bullets, however, isn’t easy for recruiters to digest.

At first, it may feel like this rule is limiting you. But it’s doing just the opposite. Writing just four to five bullets of experiences will make you think critically about the open role and each of your previous experiences. Recruiters will be immediately impressed by the experiences you have listed, rather than needing to scan through a long list to search for your previous roles.

Use each bullet point to highlight the number of years you were at each position. Layout the years to the left-hand side, allowing them to stand alone. Take a look at how breaking up your bullets gives your eyes room to scan over the page while also digesting all of the information:

While you have critical information listed here, it’s a quick and easy read. Recruiters will appreciate you giving them necessary information in a simple format that they can read through and make a fast decision on whether or not you’re a fit for proceeding to the next step of the interview process.

5-6: Bold subheaders

Along with white space, bold print gives readers’ eyes a break and draws their attention. It’s important to understand recruiters and hiring managers know exactly what they’re looking for in a role. Some will want to immediately see your experiences while others are drawn to skills or awards.

Create five to six bold subheaders that are larger than your emboldened job titles and educational institutes.  Here’s an example:


Each larger bold subheader directs medical sales recruiters’ eyes to the qualification they find most important and interesting. Limiting yourself to five to six bold subheaders totals ensures they don’t become overwhelmed by the options. Include skills, interests, work experiences, education, awards, and any additional experiences.

10: Focus on relevant experiences

No matter what skills you learned 15 years ago at your first job, recruiters want to know what you’re doing now. Don’t waste space on your resume by adding job histories that aren’t relevant to today’s medical sales market.

To ensure your added skills are updated and relevant for a current opening, look into a company’s research and development process, awards, and products on the market. Then, align each of your skills to those categories.