It has been said that around 70 percent of all jobs are not advertised publicly. There are a couple of great ways to deal with this. Cultivating your very own network is an effective way to tap into the “hidden” job market and is an extremely important component of your job search. Your network should include people you can receive advice, information, and suggestions from. Use online networking like LinkedIn and Jigsaw. Form a group of like people and start meeting once a ….(you decide month? quarter? ) Or maybe just commit to forwarding all job emails to the group. And, you can use a recruiter. As a medical sales recruiter, I can verify that this statistic is my reality. You should send your resume to me now–even though I might not have the “perfect” medical sales job in the “perfect” location on my website for you right now, you can bet I’ll have something similar, maybe in your location, in the future (unless you live in North Dakota).
I had a great discussion with a medical sales candidate last week. Very sharp, but her resume had a spelling error in the first sentence. In the era of spell-check, this is unacceptable. Rock Your Career has a great article on how to make your resume stand out that points out that “63% of HR managers report that spelling errors are the most annoying mistakes they see on resumes”. What kind of impression will that make? Remember, though, even spell-check doesn’t catch everything. Proofread it yourself, and then proofread it again before you turn it in. It is worth the extra time! Good Luck!!
In my previous post, I mentioned how important it is to go through a recruiter to find the job you want. The question that seems to be coming up is: How do I find a medical sales recruiter who represents the company I want to work for? Well, there are several ways:
1. Ask Human Resources at the company you’re interested in which recruiters they work with.
2. If Human Resources won’t tell you the recruiters that they work for, cold call a sales manager and explain that you are looking for an opportunity similar to their positions and would like to know which recruiting firms they use!
3. Look for job lists online and call the recruiters who have open positions that look similar to the positions of your desired company? Also, don’t be afraid to ask if they know what recruiter works with the company that you have targeted. They may know, they may tell – they may not. No harm.
Of course, now that you’re here, PHC Consulting offers excellent representation to help you find a laboratory sales position, or technical support or marketing in the biotech and laboratory products industry.
If you sent your resume in 6 months ago to a great laboratory products company as technical support, a regional sales manager, an account executive, a field service engineer, or a sales specialist and you didn’t get the job, don’t assume that since you’ve applied once, your resume is “on file” and they will call you if a great opportunity comes up. Even though they might have a sophisticated ATS (Applicant Tracking System), they might not use it. Companies don’t usually go back through their database of candidates (for a lot of reasons–see this hotgigs article) and instead count on you to actively pursue a newly posted job. But be aware: A recruiter representing you to a company will ALWAYS be more successful than you can be applying directly to that company on your own. A recruiter can follow up and ask the tough questions that might be awkward for an applicant, and keep the process flowing for you.
Many companies are very excited right now about buzzwords like “talent management,” “career management,” and “human capital.” Understanding what these cutting-edge terms mean will help you when you interview for a mangement-level position in the laboratory products industry, within your own company or at another. Donald H. Taylor says that “Talent Management is making capability match commitments”. At PHC Consulting, we’re one piece of talent management. We attract and identify appropriate candidates for the client company to help them hire the right talent to meet their goals.
All job seekers need to make sure they are using RSO–resume search optimization! If I am searching the internet for the perfect candidate for a medical sales job, make sure I can find you–sprinkle your posted resume with keywords like laboratory sales, biotech sales, or pharmaceutical sales. Some candidates even put a key word list in their resume! Certainly ATS (applicant tracking systems) are looking for keywords and if the keyword isn’t in your resume – no joy – your resume won’t come up. So if you aren’t in sales and have sales in your resume and the company is looking for a sales person – you are not going to be considered!
Do you know what Behavioral Interviewing is? Basically, interview questions go like this: How did you deal with a ____________ situation in the past? In medical sales, one might be: give an example of how you handled a specific customer problem. It’s very effective for interviewers and becoming more popular, so the chances are good you’ll need to know how to deal with it. The www.emurse.com blog has a complete list of behavioral interview questions you need to check out.
Now that you’ve got the job, how do you make yourself stand out and get ahead? Jason Goldberg has some classic advice for the young and hungry that really applies to employees everywhere. He says that if you want to move ahead and rise in the ranks, you have to take responsibility for yourself and make it happen. Show your passion for your work, and concentrate on doing a great job where you are instead of focusing on where you want to be eventually. Know your facts and over-deliver on assignments, but be careful to always make your boss and your team look good. Go above and beyond your employer’s expectations of you, and your excellence will be rewarded. A side benefit: it makes your recruiter look good, too!
We all know (hopefully) the basics on how to get a job–do your homework, be professional, write thank you notes–but what about those pesky (and potentially fatal to your job search) slip-ups that all candidates can make? Carl Chapman has a really helpful article called Top 10 Ways to Blow Getting the Job. Briefly, with a little paraphrasing, here they are:
- Inappropriate dress: You need to look the part. Dress for the job you want. PHC Consulting recommends suits for men and suits with either skirts or pants for women.
- Not Showing desire: You want this job, right? Let that show. Enthusiasm is contagious.
- Not exhibiting a “Can-Do” attitude: Short of walking across hot coals (and maybe that, too) you need to cheerfully do whatever it takes to land this job, even if it seems inconvenient or unnecessary.
- Talking badly about your former/current employer: Not even a negative tone, please.
- Discussing your personal life: Be focused on the job and what the company needs, not on yourself, except for relating it to how you are perfect for this job.
- Asking for too much money: Don’t go beyond the reasonable limits you’ve already discussed with your recruiter. At PHC Consulting, we recommend that you avoid discussing money until you have an offer.
- Inflexibility with regard to location: You may need to move, or commute longer than you would like.
- History of job-hopping: Moving from job to job at the same level can make you look unstable.
- Lack of knowledge: Do your homework. Know the industry facts and trends, as well as the strengths and challenges of the particular company you’re interviewing with.
- Poor language skills: Communicating ineffectively, or using improper English, curse words or slang can all cause a potential employer to see you in a negative light. Candidates for medical sales jobs (or any sales jobs) are held to an even higher standard than you might expect.
Carl has great information about these 10 things, and even though he doesn’t relate them directly to pharmaceutical sales, the info is well worth the read for job-seekers in any customer-oriented industry.