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Highlight These 3 “Must Haves” on Your Pharmaceutical Sales Resume

You have the power to impress pharmaceutical sales hiring pros. It’s true. You have the experience, personality, skills, and drive to create a truly successful career.

There’s just one tiny technicality standing in your way of making that first critical impression — your pharmaceutical sales resume. No matter how many times you check the job description and know you’re the right person for this role, it all comes down to the 30 seconds an HR manager spends on that initial resume review.

That’s right, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, nearly one in five HR managers report spending less than 30 seconds looking at a resume for the first time. That means you have just a few seconds to impress pharmaceutical sales hiring pros. So, you must understand how to narrow all your experiences, personality traits, and skills down to a few unmistakable “must haves.”

Here’s what will jump out on your pharmaceutical sales resume and grab the attention of hiring pros in 30 seconds or less:

1. Proof of patience

Patience is the most impactful virtue in pharmaceutical sales. Much of your day consists of waiting to spend time with doctors and finding time to chat with other office staff between the patients they’re serving.

Even more important than the capacity to wait, you need patience to build strong relationships over time. Whether closed-off or more open, all doctors want to ensure your product will best serve their patients’ needs. The most successful pharmaceutical sales reps are willing to keep coming back. They use their high patience threshold to dig deep to the core of customers’ needs and build on relationships.

Use “patience” and “patients” as power words throughout your resume to spark hiring pros’ interest. Most importantly, be sure patience is listed as one of your skills or traits. Then, prove it through your various experiences. For example, when showing off your sales success, note how long you nurtured relationships. Hiring pros will recognize and appreciate that sign of dedication and perseverance.

2. Advanced knowledge of customer base

The majority of pharmaceutical sales companies offer strong onboarding programs. Hiring pros understand there’s a learning curve as new hires become acquainted with their products. This learning curve is exaggerated when reps also require time to get comfortable with a specific customer base.

Unfortunately, doctors don’t have time for sales reps to ask numerous discovery questions. So, hiring pros are looking for talented reps who already know their customers’ needs, are familiar with the industry, and are prepared to directly connect products to improvements in patients’ lives.

Showing knowledge of a company’s customer base doesn’t necessarily have to come from direct pharmaceutical sales experience. Be sure to connect all roles — whether paid or volunteer — to your deep understanding of customers. Whether you interned in a hospital, sold copiers to medical facilities, or served at a restaurant where you connected with various doctors, tie each experience to your expertise on their personalities, patient care concerns, and goals.

3. Outstanding organizational skills

Your ability to prioritize a hectic work life is key to optimizing your sales strategy. Balancing planning out your routes, accomplishing timely administrative work, and regularly following-up with customers is no easy task. But taking a moment to create a structured time management system is worth it.

In fact, according to an Insidesales.com report, reps who follow a structured time management system spent an average of 40.1 percent of their time selling. Those who didn’t, however, spent just 30.4 percent of their time selling.

Use terms like “project management” on your resume to highlight your organizational skills. Project managers are in charge of seeing a project through from the planning stages to the execution. Just like a talented project manager, you plan out your days, strategize sales tactics, and see it through to the close of sales and beyond.


What’s a “must have” you have on your pharmaceutical sales resume? Share it with us!

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