LinkedIn is an amazing professional career tool and perhaps an even more amazing job search tool for medical sales, health care sales, medical device sales, laboratory sales, surgical sales, or pharmaceutical sales. With over 70,000,000 members (and adding thousands of new members daily), this social networking service is your ticket to a world of career connections that would have been possible to achieve in years past. LinkedIn sets you up to unbelievably leverage your experience, your skills, and your time during the job search.
Are you aware of LinkedIn has to offer? Are you a member?
If not, sign up for LinkedIn now! That’s right. Open a spare window while you are reading this article. Go to the LinkedIn site – www.LinkedIn.com. You’ll see the box to sign up now. You don’t need much. Have your name, email, title, and company ready to go. Submit your new membership. Confirm from your email inbox. There–you are a member.
But don’t stop there. Your LinkedIn profile is a critical component of your job search. It’s going to be the first impression that your new contacts will have of you. After your membership is confirmed, begin building a complete profile, with a professional picture, that showcases your experience and includes a fantastic summary that will compel readers to find out more about you. Much more than a resume, you should build a very complete profile. Professional information, interests, books you find most useful, your website, your blog, recommendations from key contacts and much more can all be added here. If you’re not sure that your profile will attract the hiring managers and recruiters you need, invest in the Career Confidential LinkedIn Profile Tutorial. It will walk you through, step-by-step, how to create a profile that rocks.
Once you’ve gotten your profile set, LinkedIn offers a number of good tools for getting your job search kicked to a higher gear including:
- Join professional groups related to your field and / or your industry. Also, you can join alumni groups, past employer groups, and interest groups. Keep in mind, to some extent you are what you pick. If you are involved in a job search and if you value your professional reputation, make choices that support that concept. Joining the “tree hugger haters group” might not be a wise idea.
- Q&A – Q&A offers you an opportunity to find out important information about specific concepts, ideas, etc. that may turn out to be important to your search. Also, you can work at making a reputation for yourself by participating in Q&A that may be of interest to folks in your career field.
- Discussions – After you join the groups, you’ll be able to start and participate in business area or career field with other professionals in your industry. This is a great opportunity to build your reputation, meet other active industry folks, and find leads on positions, etc.
- LinkedIn offers a jobs area too! Look for positions that fit. See if you can’t find opportunities that are a good fit now. Get introduced to the hiring authorities directly–and so much more. One of the most exciting opportunities for you is the chance to use LinkedIn to contact hiring managers directly. Making those kinds of connections opens up a “hidden” job market that increases your odds of landing a great job.
This is just scratching the surface. As you can see, LinkedIn is a window into a whole new universe of job finding tools, activities, and connections.
Good luck and good hunting!
Today is Part 4 of our series, The Secret to Standing Out in Your Medical Sales Job Search. To recap,
Part 1 was Rethink Your Job Search
Part 2 was Use Social Media
Tip #4 is:
Try Job Shadowing
Job shadowing is not just a “try out” for your new health care sales career (although it’s great for that). Job shadowing gives you
- keywords that get your resume noticed in HR computer systems,
- material for your 30-60-90-day plan, and
- more informed answers to interview questions.
Not only does it supply you with a more substantial base for your job search, it also sets you apart as someone who’s willing to go the extra mile (literally). You will have demonstrated that you have energy, enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, and a drive to be successful–must-have qualities in medical sales, surgical sales, medical device sales, laboratory sales, imaging sales, or pharmaceutical sales.
So what’s your first step?
Find someone to shadow (most people are flattered to be asked). You can ask your local doctor’s office or laboratory for contacts. (Assure them that you’re not after their job or interested in working for the company they are with–you’re not the competition.) The day of, find out what a typical day is like, and ask the person you’re shadowing how to be more competitive in the job search and on the job. Have a list of questions ready to go, but be observant and come up with new ones as you go through the day. Be sure to ask your mentor for their advice (and maybe treat them to lunch). Absolutely send a thank you note.
A job shadowing experience increases your odds of landing the job dramatically. It sets you apart as a “go-getter” and shows that you can make contacts, and it’s another way to help the hiring manager see you in the job.
Bonus Info: Check out these free one-hour webinars for additional tips on landing a job in medical sales:
Are you going to interviews, but not getting the offer? Or not even getting called back for a second interview?
Maybe there’s some issue you don’t have a great explanation for: a gap in your employment history, why you’re willing to take a pay cut in a new job, why you’ve been out of a job for so long, or something.
Maybe you don’t even know why–you think you’re doing a great job, but you’re not getting the call back.
It’s time for you to invest in interview coaching. Great interview coaching can help you with confidence, communication, presence, wording, emphasis, and other areas that are stopping you from getting the job offer you want and deserve. It focuses on your particular situation and your individual personality and style to give you the boost you need.
In this video, I’ll give you some examples of how I helped real candidates with roadblocks in their job searches that gave them a breakthrough and got them job offers. And we did it in less than an hour.
Welcome to part 3 of my 6-part series on how to stand out in your medical sales job search. Medical sales has always been a competitive sales arena, but it’s even more so these days with an influx of candidates from harder-hit areas of sales. So, you really have to bring your game to stand out when competing for jobs in health care sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, pharmaceutical sales, surgical sales, and more, which led to this series. I started off with Tip #1, Rethink Your Job Search, and Tip #2, Using Social Media Effectively. Today, we’re at Tip #3:
Learn to Use Interview Tools That Impress Hiring Managers
The single most important interview tool you can use is the 30/60/90-Day Plan. It’s an outline for the specific tasks you’ll perform in the first 30 days, the first 60 days, and the first 90 days on the job. Those are usually focused on training, getting to know your customers and market, and penetrating new territory and gaining new business. The more detailed you can be by doing things like naming the training you’ll need or knowing the names of their top accounts and competition, the better.
Having a written plan like this for how you’ll attack the job in the first 90 days is guaranteed to make a powerful impression on the hiring manager. It shows that you understand the job (or you never would have been able to create the plan), that you want the job (it takes some effort to put one together and requires significant research), and that you can do the job (you know what it’s going to take to be successful). It’s especially useful for when you’re new to the business and have no experience because it helps the hiring manager “see” you in the job.
Another effective tool is the brag book. While a 30/60/90-day plan is a forward look at what you can do for your employer, a brag book is a historical look at what you’ve been able to accomplish in your career. Organized into a binder, it would include things like project summaries, brochures you’ve created, any complimentary letters from customers or rewards letters from supervisors, performance statistics, reference letters, or similar things. One candidate of mine created a massive brag book and then highlighted several things to point out to the interviewer. It was a good move for her and contributed to her getting the offer. But any past “evidence” of what you’ve done contributes to the hiring manager’s comfort level in hiring you.
These tools go beyond the expected resume and interview preparation that are the basics for all candidates–which is exactly why they’re impressive. The fact that you are willing to put this kind of effort into the job before you even get the offer says volumes about your dedication, your work ethic, and the likelihood of your success. It takes the risk out of the hiring decision for the manager and makes you seem like a safe bet and a desirable component of the team.
Get a proven 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan here: 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan
A 30/60/90-day plan is a very powerful interview tool for medical sales jobs. Why?
- It’s a demonstration of your go-getter attitude, and it shows that you are someone who will go above and beyond to get the job done. Most other health care sales candidates won’t have done this plan (if they even know about it) because it takes some effort to do it–before you even know if you’ve got the job. It’s a tangible demonstration of your energy and enthusiasm for THIS job.
- It helps you to have a targeted interview, focused not just on what you’ve done before, but on what you can offer for this job, at this company. And it allows you to have a conversation between professionals, rather than a ping-pong style Q&A session.
- It helps the hiring manager “see” you in the job, because the whole plan is focused on what you will do in it for the first 90 days, and that’s what you’ll be talking about.
Watch the video and I’ll show you what you should say and how you can use the 90-day plan to tip the interview in your favor by helping the hiring manager see you in the job. And then, get a proven 30/60/90-Day Sales Plan here.
Although times are tough for job seekers all over, it’s not as bad for medical sales candidates (with the exception of pharmaceutical sales reps) because of the largely “recession-proof” nature of the business. But, having said that, medical sales job seekers are still feeling the pinch. Because it’s such an attractive career area, many candidates are transitioning in and the overflow of displaced pharma reps are adding to it. All in all, it’s an employer’s market here, too. When there are thousands of applicants for jobs posted online, it’s virtually impossible to get noticed. But there are proven strategies you can use to take control and land the job. We started with Tip #1, Rethink Your Job Search, and today’s tip is:
Tip #2: Turn Social Media into Your Job Search’s Best Friend (not its worst enemy)
Online social networks are both underrated and often misused as a job search tool. Facebook and Twitter can be amazing avenues to network or follow job leads, but it’s easy to forget that socializing with your friends can lead to comments or pictures that will kill your chances when the hiring manager sees it. Sanitize your pages—you will be Googled.
But the Big Daddy of online networks, and the place you need to spend most of your time, is LinkedIn. You must be on LinkedIn, with a high-quality profile that includes a business-appropriate photo. (Career Confidential offers a LinkedIn Profile Tutorial for this.) There are over 70 million professionals on LinkedIn—that’s a lot of job leads. And, at least 80% of employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to look for potential hires. You can’t afford to miss this.
You can join LinkedIn groups specific to your field and learn tremendous amounts of vital information, make connections to grow your network, and make a name for yourself by joining discussions and contributing useful comments. Companies maintain pages that are invaluable when researching for your interview. Perhaps most importantly, you can get ahead of the job-searching crowd and find “hidden jobs” by contacting hiring managers directly on LinkedIn.
Here’s another tip for you to make the most of LinkedIn:
It doesn’t matter if your job has nothing to do with sales. There are many support roles in the medical and health care arena that aren’t sales related: technical support, IT, field service engineers, and the like. But if you’re going after a job in medical device sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics, imaging, pathology, or any other medical sales area, then this applies even more! Your job search is the biggest sales process of your life. YOU are the product, and you’re trying to get someone (a potential employer) to buy you (agree to pay you for your time and talent).
Your resume is a vital step in your marketing process to convince someone to give you the job. It’s your brochure that tells about the product (you). It’s important that it’s clear, easy to understand, not too busy, and it should describe those key pieces about the product that make it interesting. Watch the video and I’ll tell you how to accomplish that, and what your resume should look like. I’ll even give you ideas to get you started.
I’m starting a new 6-part series on how to stand out in your medical sales job search. Medical sales jobs are very competitive, top-tier sales jobs that require a lot from candidates–whether you’re in medical devices, laboratory sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, surgical sales, pharmaceutical sales, or any health care sales arena. The economic upheaval in general and the shakeups in the pharmaceutical industry in particular haven’t helped matters at all. You’ve really got to bring your game in order to be successful and land the job.
So what’s your first step?
Tip #1: Rethink Your Job Search
Most job seekers don’t understand that the job search is a sales process, even if your job has nothing to do with sales: you want an employer to hire you, which essentially means to buy your product (that would be you). So here are the questions you must ask yourself:
- Why should he buy your skills and talents over someone else’s?
- What benefits can you offer?
- What makes you different from other products?
- Where do you “fit” in the marketplace?
- With this in mind, is your resume acting as the marketing brochure that it should be?
Strategically analyzing these issues and constructing compelling answers to these questions is the first big step toward your goal.
Watch this short video for more insight:
See what I mean?
Here’s another couple of links you should find helpful:
- A free, one-hour webinar on How to Land a Medical Sales Job.
- An exclusive kit packed with over 15 years of experience in medical sales designed to give you the edge in every aspect of your medical sales job search: How to Get Into Medical Sales.
OK–you’ve written a killer resume, prepared to within an inch of your life for the interview, practiced your answers, and even written your 30/60/90-day plan. Now you’re in the interview, and it comes down to the end. What are you going to do? You need to ask for the job.
This is where many candidates stumble, even in medical and health care sales. Let me teach you critical tips about what to say, how to say it, why it’s important, and what it demonstrates to the hiring manager. It’s hard to try to close the deal and ask for the job, but it’s vital to the success of your medical sales or health care sales interview.
There are many, many social networks available online: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, niche networks, and many more. Are some better than others? Do they have different purposes? Which ones are worth your time? Watch the video to see what an expert in the job search thinks about the different social networks, and which one is critical for you to be in: