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Making the career leap: how to tailor your CV for Medical Sales

Today’s professionals have much more freedom to do what they want in their careers. People are working more flexibly than ever before, switching from previous jobs to whole new avenues of work with relative ease, and making the most of their transferrable skills to do so. With an increasing number of professionals making the change to completely different lines of work, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing the same.

With that in mind, many are turning their attention to a career in the booming industry of pharmaceuticals - specifically, that of medical ales.

With the global medicine market projected to grow at 3–6% CAGR through 2025, reaching a value of $1.6 trillion, there is an increased demand for medical products and devices- as well as the people to sell them. And for good reason: with a whole stack of job benefits, including a great salary, relative independence, and the chance to forge a successful career, many people are thinking of making the switch.


If you’re one of them, here are some pointers for crafting a CV that stands out and ensures you get the job you’ve always wanted.

Find out what people are looking for

The world of medical sales is constantly changing. With new drugs being brought onto the market all the time, new technologies pushing the boundaries of patient care and treatment, and evolving regulations, sometimes having great business acumen isn’t enough. Today’s medical sales representatives need to know how to sell, but they also need to provide the client with the insights and information, drawing on high levels of clinical knowledge and knowledge of the market, especially as many medical products often require sales representatives to provide a hands-on demonstration. 

If you have any experience of working in a clinical background, then use this experience and emphasise it in your job application. Do your research, and find out what companies are looking for before you choose the company you want to apply to - how much do they value clinical experience, and how much do they value sales skills? Once you know this, you can make an informed choice about where to apply.

Bring your skills to the forefront

It’s not just clinical experience that’s important, though: many companies value employees who have made the switch to medical sales from different areas simply for the transferrable skills that they possess, that their counterparts might not have picked up from their time in the pharmaceuticals industry. 

Make the most of this: use your CV to show off all the skills that you’ve picked up over the course of your previous career that show just how suitable you are for the role. Whether it’s leadership, communication skills, knowing how to sell well or experience in client support, don’t be afraid to highlight common themes between life as a medical sales representative and job responsibilities in your current role. After all, it’ll be these skills that will get you the job. If you’re worried, you can even include a summary at the top of your CV, explaining how your skillset has been useful across a diverse range of industries.


Simplify your previous roles

The main problem that comes with making the leap from a different profession is that your potential employers don’t have any experience of working within that industry. As a result, they might not understand what you did in your previous role- or even what your job title involves, as titles can often change between companies. This could act as a potential turn-off, especially if they have a huge variety of CVs to look though.

Make the effort to simplify your job titles for clarity. If your role contains several sales components, but this isn’t reflected in your job title, then why not insert it, even if it’s just in brackets? Your CV should be built to sell you to any recruiter or employer, and if tweaking your job title- and including a thorough, skills-specific breakdown of your roles and responsibilities- do that, then so much the better.


Show off your success 

You’re applying to be a salesperson. Sell yourself: any aspiring rep should be enthusiastic, driven and a passionate self-starter, so make sure that what you include in your CV backs that up, whether you’re emphasising your transferrable skills or explaining previous roles, and how they’ve equipped you for a career in medical sales. Don’t be afraid to show off your achievements and successes.


Kick-start your new career with IQVIA

Want to start fresh as a medical sales representative? Hear first-hand how IQVIA’s Therapy Account Specialist David Upton made the switch to medical sales.

At IQVIA, we're interested in hearing from people from all backgrounds. So whether you've got experience in medical sales, have the transferrable skills needed to succeed, or you're still working out what direction to take your career in, you might just find the perfect opportunity with us. Browse our current medical sales representative jobs and learn more about a career with IQVIA.


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