Think of a resume as a first impression, especially in the medical sales industry. As a hiring manager is looking through hundreds of people, what will make your first impression stand out from the rest?
By utilizing the following advice, you can have a strong resume that not only stands out from other applicants, but aligns with experienced professionals already in the industry.
Medical Sales College has put together 10 fundamental steps to building a strong medical sales resume to help you land that dream job.
1) Basic contact information
2) List all sales achievements
3) Use formatting
4) Use headers and footers
5) Use keywords
6) Leave white space
7) List athletic achievements
8) Include volunteer activities
9) Note if you are open to relocating
10) Pay for a professional
1. Basic contact information
When applying for jobs, be prepared for hiring managers to contact you via email and phone. Your basic contact information should be easy to find on your resume and should include your email address, current phone number and LinkedIn URL.
Your email address should represent your professionalism. If you do not already, try to include your full name in your email address. This doesn’t just keep it professional, but it reinforces your name when the hiring manager is ready to send an email.
Expecting a phone call? This also requires preparation. Your voicemail message needs to be set up in case you miss the call. Record yourself saying your full name, asking for their information and stating that you will get back to them as soon as possible. Creating a specialized voicemail message is uncommon and will help you stand out.
Your LinkedIn URL on your resume should be customized to you. To change your LinkedIn URL, go to the right hand side of your profile to the ‘edit public profile & URL’ tab. Replace the ending of the URL with your full name to make it easy for hiring managers to find you.
Lastly, checking your email, voicemail and LinkedIn profiles frequently is the key to creating a strong connection with employers.
2. List all sales achievements
Don’t be shy! Detailed sales achievements are what hiring managers want to see. Whether direct or transferable experience, sales is all about results. Prospective employers want to see what you are capable of doing for their company. When detailing this information, list as many numbers as you can.
Here are some examples:
- Consistently ranked in the top 10% for regional sales among 110 reps
- Achieved 120% to quota in January 2020
- Received President’s Award in 2018 for the East Bay Area (132% of plan)
- Achieved 191% growth in the territory between 2019 and 2020
3. Use formatting
Oftentimes achievements get lost in an ocean of words on a resume, especially when fitting everything onto a few pages. Through differentiating font formats, you can help make it easier for a hiring manager to read.
Use different font sizes, italics, bold, and underlining styles to separate job titles, dates, and details. As an example, italicize all the dates you worked for each job while bolding the company you worked for. You can also use all capitalized letters when outlining your job title.
QUICK TIP: Don’t use too many different font styles. This can create a visually difficult resume to read, which could lead to the hiring manager skipping your resume completely.
4. Use headers and footers
Sometimes our resumes fall on the longer side. After the first page, it is important for a hiring manager to be reminded as to whose resume they are reading. Using headers and footers is helpful to ensure your contact information is also displayed on all pages of your resume.
5. Use keywords
Using vocabulary relevant to the industry is incredibly important and helps you stand out. We’ve created a list of keywords that will help your resume shine above other applicants, focused specifically on the medical device industry.
Click here to see a list from A-Z of words you can use to bring your resume to life.
6. Leave white space
The amount of white space you have in your resume is actually a representation of you, just like everything else on your resume. Having the perfect amount of white space helps guide the reader’s eyes, making it easier for them to digest the information. The correct amount and location of white space helps the hiring manager focus on what you want them to see.
With too much white space, a resume can feel empty or incomplete. On the other hand, without enough white space, your resume can feel cluttered and chaotic, overwhelming the hiring manager. The perfect amount of white space is dependent on the format of your resume. Play around with the white space and see how much is most reader-friendly.
7. List athletic achievements
The world of sports and sales have a lot in common. Both worlds are competitive environments, goal-focused, and team orientated. As such, listing your athletic achievements, whether collegiate or professional, can be beneficial to you in the application process. It can also help spark conversation and connections between you and the hiring manager.
8. Include volunteer activities
Every resume should have a ‘volunteer activity/community service’ section, especially if you are a recent graduate without sales experience. Hiring managers want to see everything a person has invested themselves in. This section can show that you care about those around you, which is important in a working environment and a career that helps others.
9. Note if you are open to relocating
When writing your resume, create a section that states how open you are to relocation and/or the specific areas you are limited to. This can help you broaden your job search and limit any miscommunications moving forward.
Hiring managers may bring up another job in another location that is a better fit for you if they know you are flexible to relocate. Stating your desired location can help you find more opportunities.
10. Pay for a professional
Finally, resume writing is a skill in itself. It takes practice and a lot of time, which not everyone has. Paying for a professional to write your resume is always an option, and encouraged for those struggling to put together a strong resume.
Don’ts of writing a medical sales resume
Let us dive into the common mistakes made during resume writing.
1. Misspell anything on your resume! Spell check is your friend.
2. Leave gaps in employment time frames, or be prepared to address them if asked.
3. Use more than one page if you have less than 10 years of experience.
4. Use an “Objective.” Opt for “Professional Profile” or “Summary of Qualifications” instead.
5. Include GPAs if they are average or low.
6. List graduation dates (if you are a seasoned professional and don’t want to worry about the potential for age discrimination).