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Today is the kickoff for Career Confidential’s “You’re Hired or We’re Fired” Contest on Facebook!
You could win every product offered by Career Confidential (30 products) PLUS a one-on-one personal consultation with Peggy McKee to help you win your dream job!
In addition to this outstanding Grand Prize, there are 45 total 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes available.
Do someone else a huge favor today and pass this info along to them!
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:
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:
If you’re a college senior, you’ll be a jobseeker soon.
Students traditionally use on-campus job interviews as a way to get their first post-college job, but according to one article, less than 1/3 of college students find jobs from companies that hire through career services.
So what’s a bright, enthusiastic, newly educated wannabe wage-earner to do?
Use social media. Recruiters are using connections through Twitter and Facebook to find candidates. More specifically, get a LinkedIn profile. By creating a good profile and joining the right groups and discussions, you set yourself up to be found by recruiters in your desired industry (this bit of advice is from an article about how to get internships, but I totally agree with it). Read up on how to set up a great LinkedIn profile (or get professional help). Using the right keywords for your industry, along with a professional profile and photo, will get you noticed. And do it now, so you can be networking and getting your name out there early–before the last day of school.
For instance, if you’re interested in getting into medical sales, laboratory sales, medical device sales, biotechnology sales, pharmaceutical sales, or other healthcare sales, I want to know about your life science degree (in biology, chemistry, zoology, etc.), your business classes, your internships, your part-time sales jobs, and more. I’m looking for great candidates all the time. For me, LinkedIn is one more place to mine for candidates. You’d be crazy not to be where I can find you.
Need help getting started? Check out this LinkedIn Profile Tutorial.
As a medical sales recruiter, it’s my job to find the perfect candidate for my client companies in medical sales, laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, biotechnology sales, clinical diagnostics sales, imaging sales, pathology sales, hospital equipment sales, medical equipment sales, medical device sales, surgical supply sales, cellular or molecular products sales, or one of the other many niches in healthcare sales, management, and marketing. That’s a lot of looking, and it can get pretty specific, so I often conduct internet searches…through Twitter (and I’m not the only one), Facebook, LinkedIn, and sometimes, just a basic Google.
If you’d like a chance to be contacted by me (although this applies to any job-seeker in any industry), here’s a piece of advice:
Please make sure your online photo is professional.
Not necessarily professionally done, but that you appear to be a professional in it.
I’ve posted before about the necessity of cleaning up your Facebook pages for public consumption, especially if you’re in a job hunt, but this is one step further. Your online pages are often your first opportunity to make a great impression. Use it wisely.
Meg Guiseppi has some nice thoughts on making sure that your online photo sends the right personal branding message. She thinks you should put some put some effort into getting a great photo and then using only that one across all social media, so that it becomes an established part of your brand message.
Speaking of personal branding, Dan Schwabel also has some good tips on using social media to get a job. Click and read. He writes that you should be both proactive and reactive…meaning be active and look, but also position yourself online where people can find you, and make yourself a candidate that recruiters want to call.
Cheezhead ran an article recently by bestselling author and speaker Lindsey Pollak on What Millennials Really Want to Know, where she lists the 3 most common questions asked by entry-level job seekers, AKA: Generation Y. It’s a great article, and I’d like to add my two cents in support, from a medical sales perspective:
1. Will you really remember meeting me at a job fair or campus recruiting event? Lindsey says that (1) most students are completely stressed out about these events, and (2) they are often uneducated about acceptable professional etiquette. It’s true that they often haven’t learned the rules of the game yet. I have some information in a video on How to Work a Tradeshow that could easily be applied to job fairs. One thing to remember: if you are looking for work in the specific areas of medical sales (laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, capital equipment sales to hospitals or laboratories or biotech research facilities), know about the companies who will be at the event before you get there. Any candidate who shows up having done their homework and prepared is going to make a better impression than one who just shows up.
2. Should I follow up if I don’t hear from you? Lindsey says to follow up by an e-mail (instead of a phone call) within a couple of weeks of sending your resume, that mentions the specific job they’re looking for and a very brief mention of why they’d be a good fit, and I totally agree. Speaking as a medical sales recruiter, I would be much more receptive to someone who’s respectful of my time.
3. Are you really checking my Facebook profile? YES!!! I have several previous posts on the importance of cleaning up your Facebook or MySpace page, especially while you’re searching for a job. I want to know about the person I’m recommending to my client and putting my reputation on the line for…and not be embarrassed by Too Much Information.
If I told you there was a very good way to DECREASE your chances of getting a job in medical sales (laboratory sales, pharmaceutical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, imaging sales, DNA products sales, hospital equipment sales, medical device sales, surgical supplies sales, or any healthcare sales) BY OVER 30%, you’d want to know what it was so you could avoid that at all costs, right? Here it is: it’s your Facebook page. Or your MySpace page, or other social networking site page.
Steven Rothberg, from CollegeRecruiter.com, believes that as many as 75% of employers check social networking sites on all job candidates (I always check), and wondered how many are influenced by what they see. He found a survey from Career Builder that says that 34% of employers admit to dismissing a candidate from consideration because of what they posted on social networking sites.
I am amazed at the raunchy stuff people put out there for anyone to see. I always look, and I won’t back a candidate who “exhibits” such unprofessional behavior. Don’t let Facebook keep you from getting that new job.
What’s your opinion?
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a network and keep in contact with the people in it, but many people don’t know how to do this well. So, today’s video post is on networking. Not how to meet and talk to people one-on-one (that’s later), but how to have a pool of resources. Here are 4 major points to keep in mind for medical sales, pharmaceutical sales, clinical diagnostics sales, biotech sales, laboratory sales, DNA products sales, cellular and molecular products sales, imaging sales, medical supplies sales, surgical supplies sales, hospital equipment sales, although it applies to everyone.
- You do have current contacts. Make sure you have current e-mail addresses. These don’t have to be close relationships–acquaintances are fine. It should be people who you have something in common with: you used to work with them, your spouse works with them, you went to school with them, you were/are in some kind of a group with them, you get the idea. Every 3-6 months, send an e-mail to those contacts. It should say something like, “Hi, this is Peggy. It’s been a long time since we’ve talked. I’m still at ____________________, still doing _____________. If you need anything, please give me a call. Here are my phone numbers if you need to get in touch with me or give someone else my contact information if I can assist them. If your personal e-mail has changed, please let me know.” If you can (but you don’t have to), offer them something. This will keep you in their minds so that when an opportunity DOES come up, they are likely to think of you. You haven’t asked anything of them, you’ve just said “Hello.”
- Get more contacts. You can do that by signing up for LinkedIn, FaceBook, or other social networks. You can join specific groups, where you can get posted on current blog postings, or join conference calls where you can give or get information. You need to be on those so that you can be found by recruiters who might have the perfect job for you. (We do look online for candidates.) As you add contacts, add them to your e-mail routine.
- Big Tip: When you leave a company, ask your boss if he will give you a positive reference. If he will, get a personal e-mail address. If he leaves the company, you won’t be able to get in touch with him when you need the reference.
- Be honest with your network. Everyone has problems–we all know that. I’m not saying we need to hear all the sordid details, but being honest about issues you have or situations you’re dealing with just might lead to an opportunity you wouldn’t otherwise have. We don’t always think of someone who tells us “everything’s fine,” but we all like to help someone if we can.
I have a lot of opinions and ideas about networking…some are on the video, some not. (Here’s some stuff I’ve posted before.) Do you have any networking tips or tricks to share?
I get a lot of great comments from my readers, which I love. One of these was a response to MySpace Killed the Candidate…critical job interview tip, in which I told the cautionary tale of one of my candidates leaving too much information on her MySpace page and losing a job opportunity: avoid such issues by “setting your social networks to private.” I agree that it is best to set your social network sites to private, and be careful who you accept as a friend.
Still, there are things to keep in mind: like, how much of your stuff automatically gets shared when you interact with a new application? And…even if you are vigilant about keeping up with your privacy settings, your friends can inadvertently share your private information with third parties very easily. Mary Madden has a great discussion of issues like these in Securing Private Data from Internet ‘Zombies.’ There’s also a great stream of comments to go with it. I highly suggest you read it.
Online social networks can be great for boosting your career and job search, so I’m not saying “don’t use them,” I’m just saying “use them wisely”. Aside from the biggies like FaceBook and MySpace, LinkedIn is tailored for career networks and job-searching applications. Tech Crunch’s article Nine Ways to Build Your Own Social Network offers a list of nine up-and-coming “white label” social networking platforms and explains what each of them does. They could prove very useful.
Critical advice: you should Google yourself (with all the possible versions of your name) once in a while to see what’s out there about you. Is your online identity sabotaging your executive job search? explains that employers and executive recruiters will Google you, and you need to know what they will find. What kind of online presence do you have? Ideally, you should have a positive one, with the number of search results correlating with your years of experience. (It’s a personal branding issue.)
(This information applies to everyone in medical sales, laboratory sales, clinical diagnostics sales, pathology sales, imaging sales, medical device sales, medical supplies sales, pharmaceutical sales, DNA products sales, molecular products sales, cellular products sales, biotechnology products sales, or any area of healthcare sales, marketing, and management.)