One of the most important things in your job-hunting armoury, along with your sales patter and your brimming brag file, but one that is quite often overlooked, is your CV.
This is the first point of contact between you and your potential new manager, so you need it to highlight your experience and successes, be truthful, accurate, and most important of all… sell you.
Quite often a candidate will come to us asking why they don’t seem to be converting their CV submissions into interviews, and more often than not it can be down to the following:
Just because YOU know what you do, never assume that the person reading your CV will know. As a Medical Sales Representative applying for roles, the key areas that should always be mentioned are: territory, products and customers and achievements. Also, just copying and pasting your official job description isn’t enough (they’re usually so generic to be meaningless).
The summary or profile is the dreaded section at the start where you have to sell yourself, yet we find that it has become the home of the cliché. I guarantee that the majority of summaries will include the following…good communicator, dynamic, team-player, reliable, professional, driven etc, etc. Whilst these might be true, most employers will assume that as a Medical Sales Representative you will be all those things as a given. Instead why not give a brief overview of your career, including your key achievement in each role. Your aim should be to stand out from all the other CVs
You would be surprised by how many CVs we receive that are not up to date. “I just thought I’d send through what I’ve got and talk through what I’ve been doing recently”. At a push you could get away with that with your recruitment consultant, but if you send your CV directly to a Manager, not only will an out of date CV look unprofessional, but you will give the impression of being lazy and inattentive to detail.
This leads on to another point about how an out of date CV will not get you interview… it’s a simple thing, but so infuriating… attention to detail on the tense of past jobs (my role involves…) and achievements (e.g. “currently at 104% target” for a role two jobs back).
There’s the adage about judging a book by its cover, but a poorly laid out CV with different fonts and tenses will damage your chances of getting an interview.
Try and be as precise and succinct as possible. Try and keep paragraphs short, or use bullet points instead. It can be quite daunting being faced with pages and pages of block text. There could be some really interesting and relevant points, but they can get lost amidst huge paragraphs of waffle. Again, you are competing against several other candidates – if they have nicely presented, relevant bullet points – which CV do you think has got the better chance?
(By the way, a CV all in capitals? Nooooooo!)
As much as you love your family, it’s not necessary to include the names of your wife and children (plus their hobbies and schools they attend). A list of hobbies and interests can be important as they can be used to find a common interest with the recruiting Manager, but this section of your CV shouldn’t be longer than your employment history.
We cannot stress how important this section is on your CV. You are a Medical Sales Representative, so a Manager will want to see how successful you are – how many accounts you have won, how many times you have hit or exceeded your targets, awards won etc. Can you blame an employer looking through several CVs, for choosing the ones that have extensive achievements over ones that have little or none. Medical sales is extremely competitive and one of main reasons your CV isn’t getting you interviews could be the lack of achievements.
Job sales types in the medical sector:
Sales roles in the medical sector by area: