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Thinking of applying for a job in Medical Sales? Here's what recruiters are looking for!

Posted on: 20 Nov

The Pharmaceutical industry is growing - by 8.6% month to month last year, to be precise. Making a success of yourself within this busy work space, especially in Medical Sales, is all about being innovative, being productive, and being able to stand your ground in an environment where there can be fierce competition for the best jobs and the best clients. 

For somebody who is looking for their next big break within the Pharmaceutical industry,  whether starting out or looking for a new job opportunity, finding a Medical Sales role that suits you can be a daunting prospect. In order to secure your big break, you need to ensure that you present recruiters and employers with great professionalism which will impress and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Here’s what Medical Sales recruiters are looking for and what you should be doing to catch their attention.

An optimised CV

A recruiter spends on average 5-7 seconds looking at your CV, so you need to ensure that your resume is great. Apart from weeding out any basic CV related errors - such as spelling and grammar mistakes, a generic Personal Statement or clunky formatting - you need to make sure that your CV is telling a Medical Sales recruiter that you’re qualified for the role. It should list all of your Medical Sales experience, as well as skills that are relevant to the role’s requirements. You should also clarify which area you’ve specialised in, if you already have experience in the Medical Sales sector. 

Many people also upload their CVs to a job engine search database when they’re looking for jobs. To make sure that yours pops up for relevant vacancies, include Medical Sales related keywords such as Medical, Sales, Representative, or Medical Device in your resume, as well as using a basic format to ensure it’s easy to read once it has been uploaded. 


Have you put the effort into showing that you’re serious about a role in Medical Sales? You need to show that you have skills that relate to the job you’re applying for, as well as relevant experience. List any qualifications in areas related to the job - for instance, an undergraduate degree in Pharmacology is definitely important, you also need to build-up a skill set that will allow you to thrive in the diverse world of Medical Sales. 

If you want to work in Pharmaceuticals, for instance, getting to know how different kinds of drugs work, and the effect they have on the body, as well as a good knowledge of the market, will be invaluable in convincing a doctor to sign a prescription order; however, if you want to thrive in selling Medical Devices then you need to work more on your sales experience

Whether you’re just starting out, or wanting to make the change from a different career path, taking the time to get some work experience with a Medical Sales Representative, or in a sales job, can also be invaluable in showing a recruiter or employer how serious you are as well as letting you experience what it’s really like and which area you’d like to specialise in.

Sales skills

Essentially, applying for a job in Medical Sales involves being able to sell your products, in addition to knowing how to handle the paperwork and having an extensive knowledge of the Pharmaceutical industry. Given that 80% of any sales output will only be generated by 20% of the workforce, you need to be good at what you do to make a success of your career in sales and stand out from your co-workers: it’s time to get some experience, whether it’s by shadowing sales representatives or attending a sales course in your spare time, it’ll improve your chances of being noticed and hired.

An active approach

One of the defining traits of a salesperson is the ability to be proactive and track down leads or clients by themselves. This applies to job hunting, too: go and find job opportunities. Get in touch with recruiters or employers, by email, and ask if they have any vacancies available not or expected to open up in the near future. Even if they don’t, it’s likely they’ll remember you later, when one does come up.

Start networking: given that 14.4 million job seekers have used social networks to find a job, it’s important to make the most of the many advantages a social media platform offers its users: from networking with industry professionals to hunting down vacancies, recruiters will likely appreciate your effort all the more for it. After all, selling yourself to a recruiter implies you’ll be good at selling products to clients. 

To conclude

Getting a job in the Medical Sales industry can prove challenging, but with the right approach, and by investing time into the right areas, you’ll be able to stand out from the crowd and convince recruiters and employers alike that you’re the ideal candidate for them.

At IQVIA we take the time to support our Medical Sales representatives and match them to the best jobs in the field. Have a look at our jobs here, or if you’re curious to find out more about a life in Medical Sales then why not have a look at our interview with Therapy Account Specalist David Upton?