The job search process is full of stressful moments. However, most of them can’t measure up to the awkwardness of drafting a sales cover letter. You must write confidently about yourself, all while tying in how previous accomplishments make you the ultimate fit for an open role.
It’s no easy feat. But it is one of the most important, especially when applying for a medical sales role. In fact, an overwhelming 87% of recruiters agree — even with advanced technology — a candidate’s cover letter and resume are most important when considering qualifications.
To rise to the top of the stack, you must understand the key elements of a medical sales cover letter. And, just as important, you need to know what common errors to avoid.
As you’re writing your next sales cover letter, check off these do’s and don’ts before hitting send:
Do: Research the company
A recruitment professional knows if you haven’t performed the basic and essential application research, such as misspelling the company’s name or not understanding their product.
Read the job description carefully, but then go beyond this one page. Dig deeper into the company’s website to fully grasp the product, the company’s culture, and even the company’s history.
Don’t: Regurgitate your entire resume
Your cover letter should not be a block-text replica of your resume. Recruiters get it. From just the few bullet points on your resume, they already understand the tasks you accomplished in each prior role.
Use your cover letter as an opportunity to highlight and expand on key points in your resume. If you were a top earner, for example, connect the skills and experiences you used to achieve this goal with the steps you’ll take to reach the same accolade at a new company.
Do: Align past accomplishments with the company’s future goals
Sales cover letters are all about hitting those goals. Recruiters don’t just want to know you hit sales quotas at previous companies. They want to understand how those experiences prepared you to help future employers reach their short- and long-term goals.
Discuss key traits and skills mentioned in the job description or on the company’s career site. Focus on how they’ve directly benefited your sales goals in the past, and how you plan to apply them to this role in the future.
Don’t: Focus on flattering the company
Many job seekers mistakenly assume the cover letter is about flattering recruitment professionals. But flattery will get you nowhere.
Don’t waste space telling recruiters what the company has done that impresses you. They’re already aware of their accomplishments. Instead, note how those accomplishments will progress even further with you on their team thanks to your specific skill set, history, experiences, and dedication.
Do: Customize and personalize
Medical sales recruiters can see a cut and paste cover letter from a mile away. Not only is it impossible to hit crucial points, but many job seekers also forget to replace identifying factors (such as job title, company name, and even product notes).
Take time to customize and personalize every cover letter. Pick three to four experiences or skills noted in the job description to focus on throughout.
Don’t: Stray from the instructions
Instructions are there for specific reasons. One of them is to help recruiters keep their processes moving. Another is to see if you pay close attention to details. Stick to the instructions to prove you carefully read the job description and can follow simple directions.
Do: Stay true to your brand
While you should personalize cover letters to align with each company’s job description and mission, don’t forget to stay true to your brand. Everything you’ve written on social media, for example, is part of your identity — and recruiters will be looking at various social channels as part of their assessment.
Writing off-brand in your cover letter could lead to distrust or questions of your character later on in the process.
Everything you write in your cover letter must pertain to the role. If you have a resume gap, sharing what you learned in your time off that makes you right for this specific role is encouraged. However, laying out your entire personal story is an unnecessary use of space and will turn many recruiters off.