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What are medical sales recruiters looking for?

Is now a good time to look for a job in the pharmaceutical market?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the pharmaceutical market has expanded at an annual rate of 5.8% since 2017. And most markets around the globe saw a spike in 2021, despite the challenges that Covid-19 presented.

The industry has proven itself to be resilient and will only continue to create more job opportunities as a result of automation, a growing pharmacovigilance market and unprecedented levels of competition.

Charting a successful career within this busy workspace, especially in medical sales, is all about being innovative, productive, and able to stand your ground in an environment where there can be fierce competition for the best jobs and the best clients.

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

An optimised CV

It's often cited that recruiters spend on average 5-7 seconds looking at your CV. While we know first-hand that many hiring managers will take more consideration when reviewing applications, the key message here is that you need to make your CV attention-grabbing. Apart from weeding out the basic errors - such as spelling and grammar mistakes, a generic personal statement or clunky formatting - you need to make sure that you've fine-tuned your Medical Sales CV so it's easy to read and clear that you're qualified.

Recruiters and hiring managers are increasingly using CV-scanning software, meaning you need to make yours ATS-friendly. But what do we actually mean by this? It means you need to follow some SEO best practices:

  • Use relevant keywords such as medical sales, representative, medical device, and pharmaceutical
  • Avoid specialist templates as these get scrambled
  • Avoid graphics that will be unreadable
  • Don't put your information in the header as this can cause it to get lost
  • Include as many skills listed on job descriptions that are relevant to you

Dedication

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.

Whether you’re just starting out, or switching up your career path, gaining work experience with a Medical Sales Representative, or in a sales job, can be a valuable way of showing a recruiter or employer how serious you are. Plus, you'll get an understanding of what the work is really like and which medical sales career path is right for you.

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 extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. Given that 80% of any sales output will only be generated by 20% of the workforce, you can be sure that the hiring team will be assessing whether you're in that top percentile. To stand out, get some additional experience, whether it’s by shadowing sales representatives or attending a sales course in your spare time. It'll go a long way in helping you get noticed and hired.

An active approach

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

Since around 86% of people use social media for job searching, it's vital to make the most of social platforms and nurture your network. Follow industry-leading experts and establish yourself as a thought leader, engage with content that companies are posting and reach out to recruiters to let them know you're exploring your options.

Grow your Medical Sales career with IQVIA

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 distinguish yourself from the crowd and convince recruiters and employers alike that you’re the ideal candidate.

At IQVIA, we take the time to support our Medical Sales Reps and match them to the best jobs in the field. Have a look at our Medical Sales Representative careers here , or if you’re curious to find out more about forging a career in medical sales, then why not check out our advice on how you can improve your medical sales skills.

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