Anyone that’s ever applied for a job understands the importance of having a well-crafted resume. What to include is the easy part. But what about what not to include? That can be a bit tricky. There are quite a few things to look out for when constructing a medical sales resume and below are 21 things that you definitely want to avoid when writing yours.
1) Broad, vague examples of work experience
Hiring managers and medical sales recruiters don’t care what you “kind of” or “sort of” did. They want to know exactly what you achieved and your level of success. Use specific numbers and facts to back up your claim. Be precise with your information and to-the-point.
2) Duties instead of actual accomplishments
Having a title doesn’t mean anything if you can’t do the work. Ok, so you were the boss of four people. What were you responsible for? Why were you the best shift manager? What exactly did you do that made the company successful?
3) A watered-down, general objective
As a rule, the “objective” portion of a resume is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Many professional resume writers prefer to not even include these statements. If you must include an objective, the best way to go about it is to make it clear and concise, and have something to do with the position you are applying for. Overall, it should be attractive to read.
4) A one-size fits all resume
A cookie-cutter approach to submitting your resume to potential jobs isn’t effective. It’s always best to tailor your resume to the specific job you are applying for. Highlight your experience and skills desirable for that specific position while minimizing unimportant information.
5) Incorrect contact information
How can a potential employer learn more about you or even schedule you for an interview if your phone number, email address, or address of residence are incorrect? Double check, triple check, and quadruple check to make sure that this important information is correct.
6) Too much creativity/imagination
Crazy fonts or colors or even perfumed paper will most likely tell an employer that you need to resort to far-reaching tactics and that you may not be the best-qualified applicant for the position.
7) Typos and grammatical errors
Heaven help you if you’re applying for a writing or editing position. We all make mistakes, but spell check and grammar check software rarely do. Errors like typos and grammatical mistakes may show that you are lazy and careless, or even worse, a bad communicator.
8) Too much emphasis on irrelevant previous positions
If you are applying for a graphic designer position, for instance, your vast experience working as a cashier in a fast food restaurant might be a bit out of place. Sure, you can mention it, but there’s no need to go into detail about how you know all of the secret menu items. (Not sure which ones to cut? Read more here)
9) Excessive personal information
Revealing too much information about yourself including your personal likes and political affiliations, for instance, can be off-putting. Besides that, you never know if what you wrote could potentially be considered controversial or even offensive.
10) “References available upon request”
In all honesty, they’d better be. That’s a given. If you didn’t have any references, you would have no business applying for a job. Save it for the cover letter.
11) Salary history and/or salary requirements
If salary history or requirements are requested, they should be included in the cover letter of the job application. There’s no need to waste valuable space in your resume that could be used to demonstrate your accomplishments and experience.
12) “Resume” as the title
Anyone who has ever seen a resume knows exactly what one is and what one looks like. HR managers and hiring officials probably have piles of them on their desks from applicants of the same job you’re applying for. So, there’s basically no need to tell anyone what you’ve just sent them; they know.
13) Your present employer’s email address, company envelope, or official letterhead along with your resume
This should just be common sense. It’s pretty tacky, really. It can also get you fired from your current job without ever being considered for the one you’re applying for.
14) More than 2 pages
Hiring officials don’t have that much time to research your resume in-depth at first glance. Keep it simple and short. If you are lucky enough to make it to the next round, they will spend more time and can dive into it. When it comes time for the interview, that’s when you can really expand upon the content of your resume.
15) Hand-written notes or corrections
Resumes should always be completely typed. This maintains a look of professionalism and uniformity. You’ll also want to show that the position you’re applying for is worth editing for a minute or two and re-printing.
16) Job-related skills and experience at the bottom
If your individual skill set and experience is ideal for the job you are applying for, it should be the focus and mentioned first. Keep relevant information like that on or near the top of your resume instead of buried in a long paragraph or on the second page.
17) Non-specific keywords
Most companies have begun to rely on keywords to find qualified candidates for their open positions. They are able to search databases of job sites (Monster.com, Indeed.com, Jobing.com, etc.) using these keywords. It’s very important that if you are actively seeking employment, that you use target keywords and that you have a resume posted on at least a couple of job-seeking websites.
18) Old or outdated skills and experience
Simply put, an outdated resume will make you look obsolete. You should update yours often and for every job you apply for. Make sure to update your skills as well as work history and check to ensure that what you list is current.
19) Selfies or pictures of yourself
We’re all a little vain but unless you’re applying for a modeling gig, you should let your experience and qualifications speak for themselves. It’s never a good idea to describe your physical appearance or other physical characteristics, either.
20) Achievements that aren’t really achievements
A good rule of thumb is to stick to mentioning community service or scholarly awards. Steer clear of any mention of being your high school’s prom queen or the many eating contests you may have won.
21) Reasons why you left a company or position
Your resume is not the place to address why you left a job and it’s also quite irrelevant information. If a hiring manager really wants to know why, they will ask you in the medical sales interview.