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What should a Medical Sales CV include?

Finding your dream medical sales job can be hard work. Though the global pharmaceutical industry has experienced significant growth over the last two decades, thanks to skyrocketing demand for innovative new medical treatments and devices and a $88 billion surge in drug spending due to Covid-19, medical sales remains a competitive industry to break into.

For good reason. Medical sales representatives help to push the frontiers of medicine, in a role where they're afforded a huge amount of independence, a varied day job and the ability to climb the ranks relatively quickly. As a result, both graduates and established members need to put their best foot forward when it comes to attracting the attention of recruiters and employers.

This starts with an excellent medical sales CV, and here’s what you need to include to gain the edge over the competition. 

Start by branding yourself

As a medical sales rep, you’re expected to sell yourself, and that applies to your CV too. Before you start writing, take the time to write a quick elevator pitch- for instance, one that you could use in a medical sales interview or at a professional networking event. 

Writing a quick introduction where you can brand yourself is a great opportunity for you to put down your background, your core skills, career goals and professional experience, which you can then flesh out when the time comes to writing your actual CV. Crafting a statement like this, which conveys your strengths and goals, means you have to think clearly about what they are- which then helps you when it comes to getting it down on paper.

The layout

When it comes to writing your CV, you need to underline your experience within medical sales alongside your success as a salesperson. Start with a quick statement introducing yourself, before moving onto a section that highlights your core medical sales rep skills and strengths. 

After that, back up your claims with information on your work history. If you’ve previously worked in sales, then include demonstrable achievements, and how they make you qualified for the exact role you're applying for. Also, mention sales vs. target percentage breakdowns, and a list of your responsibilities and customer base, to give the reader concrete evidence that you can do what you say you can. Don't forget to highlight all the experience that you have within a certain therapy area, such as diabetes, respiratory devices, or similar, as that experience is most likely what will land you the job.

If you’re just starting out in the industry, don’t be disheartened. You can still become a medical sales rep with no experience. The key is to focus on what will make you a good candidate for the role. Reference any involvement with clubs at university that showcase your leadership skills, or sales experience from volunteering or part-time work. If you have any scientific experience, make this information clearly visible. Finally, include your education history at the bottom: your degree, and your A-Levels that are relevant to the role. 

Format it correctly

Your CV should be clear and easy to read if you want to stand a chance of impressing your reader. You'll likely have heard that recruiters and employers decide within seconds whether a CV is worth reading or not. So if it looks messy, or hard to read, chances are that they’ll pass it over in favour of another person’s.

Your CV shouldn’t be more than two pages long, maybe three if you have an extensive work history. Important points should be broken down into bullet points that make the information easy to digest, and allow plenty of white space to break up the text. It might sound simple, but make sure to use just one font.

Once this is done, you need to make sure that your document has been thoroughly proofread for errors. It might be one of the most common CV mistakes, but it's an unforgivable one. When you're happy, save it as a PDF. That way, the formatting won't change when recruiters and employers open it up.

Tailor it to the job

Like any pharma CV, you need to make sure the information you include is tailored to the role you're applying for. It only takes a few minutes, but it’s really important if you want to stand a chance of standing out from your competition. If you’re applying for a role selling medical devices, then include experience that is directly relevant to medical devices rather than simply a list of your accomplishments. Make sure that your key skills, past responsibilities and career goals line up with the job description: it’ll only be a case of small tweaks, but it’ll make a huge difference.

Know it inside and out

Every bit of medical sales or sales knowledge that you include in your CV needs to be something that you can talk about at length in your interview. So don’t include statistics that you can’t back up, or topics or therapy areas that you can’t cover in-depth. After all, any employer or recruiter will be using the CV as a starting point for their interview questions, so you need to make sure that this presents the best- and most accurate- image of yourself.

Write your own future with IQVIA

At IQVIA, we take pride in connecting the best talent to the best medical sales jobs from around the industry. If you’re thinking about taking the next step in your medical sales career, why not explore our current medical sales representative roles? If you can't find the role you're looking for, sign up to job alerts and be the first to hear about our latest medical sales vacancies.

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