Interview Job Search

THE LINE not to Use with a Recruiter

Are you ready for some straight talk? Be warned, medical sales recruiter Linda Hertz does not sugarcoat the truth! Keep reading to find out what you could be saying that is driving recruiters crazy and costing you the chance at an interview.


Written by Linda Hertz, medical sales recruiter, career blogger, and founder of the Linda Hertz Group

frustrated medical sales recruiter


I heard THE LINE 5 times today from job seekers. If that wasn’t enough, I opened 6 job candidate emails with THE LINE used in the opening paragraph! Job seekers obviously must feel using THE LINE will work with recruiters. Simply put; It doesn’t. In fact, it usually reflects the desperation of the job seeker trying to snare an interview!

Do you know what THE LINE is that will send the wrong message to a recruiter? You may have used it yourself in the past (I hope not). Here it is:


Just get me in front of your Hiring Manager, if I can just get in front of them they will see how good I am! I get every job that I have ever interviewed for!

Usually these candidates are seeking a professional job that they are not qualified for yet, in their mind, they are! Yes the mind is a beautiful place, where all makes sense and all data points lead to a true and correct meaning to the creator. So in THEIR heads, they are a perfect candidate — Not because of what they do or who they are in terms of work experience, but because of the fine shreds of “related work experiences” combined with their incredible personal attributes (great looks, charisma, intelligence, drive or etc.) make them feel qualified, again in their minds, for a position they are not qualified or even sometimes note remotely qualified.

Heady stuff indeed! To put it simply, they want to be hired for a job due to their great potential and ability to learn the new job. THEY FEEL that due to their unique blend of experiences, education or personal attributes they are the perfect fit for the job opportunity. They are talented people who feel they can learn quickly and what they don’t know (like the skills sets required by the open job), they can easily acquire. So, they don’t know what they don’t know, but guess who does? The recruiter who is working directly with the Hiring Manager to match HIS or HER NEEDS for the open position.

The recruiter was given a Job Order with a HR job description tied to MUST HAVE JOB EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS. Guess who takes the Job Order away from the recruiter not sending qualified candidates? Yep, the Hiring Manager or HR Manager. If Recruiters do not send in what the job order requests, namely people who fit the job requirements, we get fired or our contracts eliminated for non-performance.

Human Resources and Hiring Managers are our clients, they have hired a recruiter to find people with not only the right work experience but ALSO have a persona that is the right culture fit for their company. A double whammy. So no, just getting someone in front of the hiring manager without the required background will not get you the job, in fact, it may lose the recruiter (me) the job and future job openings with the company!

Back to my industry expertise: If you are applying to a Medical Device Sales job that is specifically requiring, no exceptions, MUST have previous medical device sales background selling into Acute Care (hospitals). You are NOT Qualified if you have:

  • A lab sales or pharmaceutical sales background. These are people selling test kits or prescription drugs calling upon a hospital or doctor office. These people do call upon the doctors offices and sometimes within the hospital setting, yet they do not understand how to sell medical devices. Pharma people do not have experience getting a PO (that’s Purchase Order) cut within the hospital environment, nor the selling experience and political activity needed to work and leverage a formal Medical Evaluation Committee within GPO or IDN guidelines to push for evaluations that lead to a conversion win against competitors.
  • The classic “Business to Business” Sales background. These are people who feel that they know how to sell consumer products or business services to retail stores and won Presidents Awards. They are an aggressive lot (which I love) and they feel they should be able to snare an interview for a Medical Device Sales job based on their supreme persuasive selling skills; EVEN WHEN the Job Posting clearly states prior medical sales experience required.
  • I almost forgot another group, the doctor who does not want to be a doctor anymore or is halfway through medical school and decides they would be perfect for sales given their clinical experience and the fact (in their mind) that selling any type of medical product to people like them is very easy! (OK stop the laughter for those experienced medical device sales, lab sales or pharmaceutical sales people reading this!). Now these doctor folks are usually very smart people and they think that selling is not a skill or if it is, it is sort of a dumb skill they would learn very easily. I usually just use this line with them: “I am sorry, they want medical sales background.” Poof! They say, “Thank you” very politely, and then quickly go away. Just that easy! Let’s not tell these unhappy doctors about the skill needed to sell and close the deal! It will be our secret! You know, the how to handle rejection secret!

In summary, look hard and long at the minimum required job experience that a job post has outlined; recruiters have been hired to find THAT person with THAT type of experience and usually the minimum experience is not the high bar for qualifying for a position. The minimum qualifiers is the floor of experience that is minimally acceptable for our hiring clients. We (recruiters) have been hired to find people that are at the high bar of their requirements!

So next time you are tempted to use “THE LINE” with your recruiter or HR manager; “Just get me in front of your Hiring Manager, if I can just get in front of them they will see how good I am! I get every job that I have ever interviewed for!” Make sure you are bringing at least the minimum goods to the table as it relates to the required work experience required.

You see, just having a pretty face or dynamic personality alone will NOT get you the job. Work experience matters!

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