Medical Sales Recruiter – Best of 2007

Here’s a recap of the our most popular blog posts of 2007, based on comments, e-mails, and phone calls:

  1. Business plans for medical sales:  This was a multi-part workshop on how showing up at your interview with a 30-day business plan, a 60-day business plan, and a 90-day business plan would put you way ahead of the competition.  The most basic way to explain the business plan is that it is a list of what you want to accomplish during your first few months and exactly what steps you need to take to get there.  I got more requests than I could count for a sample business plan, but all of these posts have samples or links to samples that will give you all the information you need. 
  2. Laboratory Sales vs. Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Sales:  Even though the required skill sets are the same for all medical sales jobs, there are differences in environment, work load, and job stability.
  3. Pharmaceutical Sales vs. Medical Device Sales:  This one printed very informative excerpts from NonSterile that explained the differences between pharma sales and medical device sales, but proved to be a little controversial.  Here’s a link to a great interview with a medical device salesperson
  4. Read all about it…how to be a great salesperson:  There are some fantastic books about how to sell and be successful at sales.  Educating yourself and sharpening your skills is key.  My favorites continue to be Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling and Harvey MacKay’s books.
  5. As you go through life (and your job)…write it down!:  This one was about a great post on Blue Sky Resumes about keeping track of your career accomplishments and successes in writing so that when you need them for your resume (and chances are, you will), you’ll have an accurate, detailed record.  You’ll even be able to pick and choose which accomplishments to highlight that will benefit you the most for each particular job.
  6. What have you done for me lately?:  This one was also about keeping a record of your accomplishments…problems and how you solved them, that sort of thing (Bulls Eye Resumes calls it a “Kudos Folder“)…but with the additional fabulous idea of contacting people who are familiar with your work and asking for a quick e-mail about your work with them.  Those e-mails become an informal reference letter, a memory jogger, and a confidence booster.  Anita Bruzzese posted a nice comment.  This Kudos File idea is also recommended by Kim Issacs at ResumePower, which was tapped as a great idea in a post on reference letters at JibberJobber

I sincerely hope that all my posts are helpful to you in your search for a job in medical sales. 

Happy 2008!


Focus, Dedication, and Discipline – Live Life Like Kit DesLauriers – guest blog by Liz Handlin….

January 22, 2008 · Posted in For Sales Managers, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Focus, Dedication, and Discipline – Live Life Like Kit DesLauriers – guest blog by Liz Handlin…. 

Thank you Liz! Love this article….Check out – Liz Handlin’s Ultimate Resumes Blog

One of my favorite quotes is “No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. “ by Harry Emerson Fosdick. In fact when I was applying to graduate school and, later, when I was getting my MBA I kept that quote taped to my computer monitor to motivate me and to help me to focus on my goals. This quote came to mind once again when I recently read an article that truly moved me. When I was done reading the article I had one of those, “Why haven’t I accomplished more with my life?” feelings that I get when I hear stories about some of the amazing achievers with whom I share the planet.

The subject of the article that got me so inspired is a woman named Kit DesLauriers, the first person in the world to ski from the summits of the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. She made history at 11 a.m. Oct. 18, just 37 days before her 37th birthday. That article made me think of all the things in my own life that I either accomplished or didn’t depending on my level of focus.

Think about that for a minute. She climbed to the tops of the 7 tallest mountains (also known as the Seven Summits) in the world (Mount Everest, Mount McKinley,
Kilimanjaro, and Visson Massif to name a few) and then skied down them. The first thought that came to my mind was: crazy. But as I read the article about DesLauriers it occurred to me that she didn’t sound crazy at all.

She didn’t initially set out to climb all 7 peaks and ski down them but once she got started the adventure sort of grew. She was fortunate, as a model and professional skier, to have the financial backing of some corporate sponsors. Once the sponsors found out about her quest they agreed to pay for her to journey to each of the 7 peaks.

Following is an excerpt from a USA Today article in which Kit describes skiing down Mount Everest which offers a vivid and powerful example of true focus:

What they faced the next morning was the Lhotse Face, 5,000 vertical feet of wind-scoured, shimmering white-and-blue ice at a 45- to 50-degree pitch, which is 15 to 20 degrees steeper than a standard stair step or a typical black diamond slope at a ski resort. An earlier avalanche had wiped away several feet of snow. At 9 a.m. Oct. 19, Kit, Rob and Jimmy stepped into their ski bindings and started down the Lhotse Face.

“As we went down the mountain, we would look down the fall line and try to read our line,” Kit recalls. “Everybody was totally focused and our senses were so alert. There were times when you didn’t see your other two partners. Each of us had to find our own best way down, and we were living our own experience. We would check in with each other along the way. It was so icy that at times the ice ax would barely penetrate an inch. Your skis weren’t even leaving a mark.”

They picked their way down by linking up patches of snow. Kit latched on to a mantra while skiing the Lhotse Face: “Like your life depended on it.” And with each turn she uttered those words. Sometimes out loud.

“It was one of the few times in my ski career when it was, ‘If you fall, you die,’ ” Rob says.”

One time Rob asked me how I was doing, and I said, ‘I’m scared and I don’t want to die,’ ” Kit recalls. “He said, ‘Good, let’s get a plan and get out of here.’ It was said almost in a carefree manner at the seeming absurdity of our undertaking.”

Kit makes a strong distinction between being scared and being grasped by fear.

“I have no room for fear in my life,” she says. “Fear is paralyzing. It’s one thing to be scared, but once you allow fear in your life, it is debilitating.

“I don’t make any claims to not being scared. It’s important and it’s healthy. I’ve been scared enough that I’m comfortable with it. When you experience fear, the next thing out of people’s minds is ‘I can’t.’ We are in control of our minds. As much as our minds try to control us, it is important to not let your mind run too far.”

This mind-set has allowed her to set goals and attain them. It isn’t the spotlight that motivates her, she says, though she’s has had more than 20 media interviews since her accomplishment, including a feature in the current issue of Outside magazine.

Are you focused on your goals? If you aren’t ask yourself why not? If a woman can ski down a mountain that is 29,000 feet high by focusing on her goal what could you accomplish by focusing on your goals?

Article courtesy of the a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for an internship and recent graduates and other career opportunities.

Interview attitude

I came across a great article that will help you with your demeanor and attitude when you interview for a clinical diagnostics or research laboratory sales job, a pharmaceutical sales job, or a medical device sales job.  It’s called Interviews Are A Great Place to Network, by Liz Handlin.  She says that if you go into an interview with the attitude that you are making new friends and learning things that will help you, you’ll do better.  It’s very difficult to go into an interview without feeling like you’re being judged, but you have to keep in mind that you’re interviewing them, too.  You’ll be more relaxed, and ultimately more successful.

Comcast users —-may be missing something…

January 17, 2008 · Posted in Medical Sales Recruiting · Comments Off on Comcast users —-may be missing something… 

Just a quick note to let you know that if your email address is a comcast address, you may be missing important emails. Our firm sends out emails to our database of candidates regularly and the candidates with comcast don’t receive them. I understand that you want to cut down on spam but there may be messages that you aren’t getting…..but would like to receive.


Video Interviews – has anyone you know been hired?

Do you know anyone who has been hired for medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, pathology sales, laboratory or clinical diagnostics sales, or medical device sales after completing a video interview? Or maybe it’s you?  I really am interested in your answer. But more importantly, I am going to tell you that if you don’t know someone who has been hired using a video interview (NOT a video resume) as part of the hiring process, you will soon enough.

Organizations are always looking for a way to compress a process or to reduce the human element of time.

*  Video interviews allow managers to see candidates they would normally not be able to see (at least not without using a lot of company resources – $$$).

*  Candidates who are moving across country can have companies order a video interview. They can start interviewing even before they move. 

*  Managers who need to hire but don’t have much time can order video interviews and review the interviews on their laptops in between flights. Wow!

The possiblities are amazing.  Video interviewing is a convenient, affordable, efficient way for managers to learn about candidates so that they can make smarter, faster hiring decisions.  What have you heard about it?

I offer every one of my candidates the opportunity to complete a video interview to present to our client companies.  Would you like to take a video interview? 


Tips for a successful job interview

Every so often, I want to draw everyone’s attention to basic rules and guidelines for a successful job interview.  (This mostly happens when I come across a candidate who I think will be fine, but manages to forget a thing or two in the interview.)  When I prep medical sales, laboratory and clinical diagnostics sales, pharmaceutical sales, pathology sales, or medical device sales candidates for interviews, I cover some of this stuff, but here’s a few great articles for you to go to, also:

How to Prepare for an InterviewPractice!  (Also from YourHRGuy, Know When to Shut Your Mouth.)

50 Common Interview Questions:  practice your answers to these, and it greatly reduces your chance of getting flustered in the interview. 

Keys to a Successful Job Interview:  Avoid rambling, inappropriate language, or bad-mouthing people (like former co-workers and employers).  Definitely do your homework, even if you’ve been in the business a while.  Technology changes, buzzwords come and go….keep up. 

10 Tips for the Perfect Job Interview:  Be confident, but not over-confident.  Pay attention to the interviewer’s demeanor (formal, informal) and match that.  Listen to the question being asked rather than completely focusing on what you are going to say next.  Always have a question at the end.  There are great tips here.



Are you ready to relocate?

January 15, 2008 · Posted in Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales, Which job offer should I take? · Comments Off on Are you ready to relocate? 

I have written before about issues involved in relocating (Should you relocate?  There are some great opportunities for those willing to relocate – and you can always move back later), but I found a great article (Ready to Relo?  I don’t think so) that lists specific questions employers need to ask to determine if a candidate is actually in a position/mindset to move if you give them an offer.  For instance:  Is the family involved and on board?  Have they done any preliminary research on real estate or schools?  Do they realize they’ll have to pay back company-paid expenses if they quit before a year? 

In the current lousy housing market, relocating candidates has become even more difficult than before.  Some candidates won’t be willing to go if they are going to lose too much money on their house, assuming they can even sell it. 

As a medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, and research and laboratory sales recruiter, I am uniquely qualified to help employers iron out those sticky situations with candidates, helping find candidates who are willing to relocate, and tell candidates the cold hard truth about what’s going to happen and what issues they need to consider…above and beyond the actual job description.

Make sure your candidate shows up for the job

January 11, 2008 · Posted in Clinical Diagnostics, Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on Make sure your candidate shows up for the job 

Are recruiting and dating the same?  They can be…the HR Capitalist points out that hiring managers need to touch base with the candidates they’ve hired between the offer and the employee actually coming to work because of the threat of counteroffers

If the pharmaceutical sales or clinical diagnostics sales candidate doesn’t keep that warm fuzzy feeling about coming to work for your company, it could be really easy for their current company to talk them into staying…and you’ll lose out on your great candidate and have to start all over.  Pay attention to your candidate…


Stupid interview questions…

January 9, 2008 · Posted in Laboratory Sales, Medical Sales Recruiting, Pharmaceutical Sales · Comments Off on Stupid interview questions… 

As a research and laboratory sales and pharmaceutical sales recruiter, I have heard from many, many candidates about some crazy interview question besides even “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?”  (Although I would love to hear them ask that to Miss America candidates…then maybe we could hear something more interesting than “I would work for world peace.”)  How about, “How do you eat an ice cream cone?”  (That could veer off into directions I do not want to know about.)  Or, “if you had to get rid of one state, which one would it be?”  These are supposed to be telling the interviewer something about your creativity,  I know, but they really say more about the interviewer’s lack of creativity.

They’re all supposed to have some logic behind them, like “Imagine you had to paint a Boeing 747.  Estimate the cost of the paint and how much you would need.”  This would demonstrate how your thought processes work for the interviewer, and how well you think on your feet.  Although I love this guy’s answer to “How would you move Mount Fuji 1/2 a kilometer to the South?”  You’ll just have to click and see. 

Seriously, though, if you google “stupid interview questions,” you end up with some pretty good critiques of basic interview questions, like “tell me your greatest weakness.”  (The only answer an interviewer is ever going to get is some workaholic strength described as a weakness…as in, “I work so hard I can’t leave until the project is done.”  Unless the candidate is stupid.)  Another good one is “Are you a team player?”  Again, only a stupid candidate would answer “no,” even if it’s true.  Both of these articles point out that some of these questions are so common, the only answer you’re ever going to get is a canned, prepared answer that doesn’t tell the interviewer much about the candidate’s ability to do that particular job.

That’s one reason behavioral-based interview questions are gaining so much ground.  For instance,

Tell me about a time when you were required to work with a team on an important project and you weren’t pleased with the speed at which it progressed. How did you deal with the situation?

There’s a question that will give you some good information on a candidate…work ethic, ability to be a team player, leadership ability, etc.


What can a recruiter do for you?

A lot, actually. 

Recruiters in any industry (not just in health care sales or laboratory sales) are invaluable in your job search process.  However, there are things you need to understand. 

Carl Chapman recently wrote a detailed article on Recruiting Myths that explains how, exactly, recruiters work:  Many people are under the impression that a recruiter will take their resume and then start trolling the job boards looking for the perfect fit for them.  In reality, we work with companies who hire us to fill specific jobs, and if you’re a good match for one of those, you’re in luck.  Even though you’re a “product” we provide to fill a need for the company, you are still going to benefit from this relationship (especially if you get the job).  Carl does point out that recruiters offer valuable services like resume critiques, interview prep, salary negotiation, and inside information about the company that you can use to tailor your pitch so that you can put yourself in the best light possible.  Recruiters do want one of “their” products to fill the job, after all. 

Having said that, here are some good tips from recruiters to help you get some attention: 

  • send an electronic version of your resume (it fits my system better)
  • remember that your resume is a marketing document…sell what you can do for a company, not what you need.

Finally, when should you call your recruiter to check on your job search status? Call if you have changes in your resume or contact information, or if you have some new relevant information like winning an award or a major accomplishment. If we talked in the past and you weren’t serious about a job change, and that has changed. Please let me know. I would not want to skip over you as a candidate (because I thought you weren’t up for a change).





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