MSL and medical sales coach

Real strategies for landing MSL and Medical Sales jobs


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Trying to land a medical sales job? The details matter.

How effective is your resume?Competition for medical sales jobs is fierce. If you are trying to land a medical / pharmaceutical sales job, it is important to start by building a strong foundation. This includes creating a job search strategy. Your resume is the foundation for your job search. The strategy is how you approach the job search. When it comes to your job search, details matter!
When was the last time you updated your resume? How confident are you that it is professional in appearance and contains relevant information. Remember, things change. What companies look for in sales reps today is not the same as what they looked for five years ago. The industry has changed dramatically and as a sales rep you should be evolving with it. Take the time to email your resume to yourself. Open it. How does it look on your computer screen? Now print it. If you are using a border around the entire page it most likely won’t print well. Remove the border. Is there shading or boxes that don’t show up well when printed? Change them.

Once your resume is opened, evaluate what you see at a glance – it will be viewed for approximately 10 seconds before a reader moves on. Is the hiring manager going to see the information that is most important in that 10 seconds or are you over whelming them with details that won’t be read?
Double check all of your information. I have found phone numbers and email addresses incorrect on a person’s resume. Is your email address professional? Are you still using your college Hotmail or AOL account? These not only date you, but are often routed directly to spam folders. When you set up your email, be sure the “outgoing name” (which is what a hiring manager will see) reflects your name professionally. Simple addresses like jane.doe@yahoo.com work best.
Define a strategy. The more proactive you are the more likely your resume will be seen by a hiring manager. Less than 10 of every 500 resumes submitted online make it to a hiring manager’s desk. Set yourself apart by focusing on marketing yourself to companies and not just submitting to job postings. Over 40% of all jobs filled are never posted anywhere. Don’t be afraid to market yourself to a high level decision maker in a company. By doing so, you have just demonstrated your ability to get past the gatekeeper. That gets a hiring managers attention!

Questions about the medical / pharmaceutical role or your job search challenges? Ask Elizabeth, the medical sales job search specialist, resume writer, and interview coach. Elizabeth@clinicalstrategist.com, co-author of Breaking into Medical Sales – Your Guide to Success. http://www.clinicalstrategist.com/breaking-into-medical-sales.html

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What is standing between you and your MSL career? Hint – it is not lack of MSL experience.

picture for resume submission on computerHow long have you been searching for a MSL job? You know the jobs are out there, but how do you land one if you have no MSL experience? For most MSL candidates, their biggest obstacle is not lack of experience, but the job search process they are using. In June alone, I had six MSL coaching clients accept jobs. None of these clients had previous MSL experience. The group consisted of three Ph.D. Postdoc Associates, one M.D., and two Ph.D.’s working in the industry as research scientist. July is turning out to be equally active with interviewing and hiring.

Some facts to help you understand the process and what you can do differently to get interviews and job offers.

  • All companies that hire MSLs will hire a MSL with no previous experience. (There will always be a specific job that requires experience, but many do not.)
  • All companies provide (and require every new hire to attend) comprehensive MSL training programs.
  • Each company uses MSLs in a slightly different capacity. The role is the same, but actual focus areas can vary greatly.
  • Over 50% of all jobs filled are never posted.
  • The MSL interview process is a series of behaviorally based interviews requiring a solid understanding of how to answer questions using the STAR format.
  • Academic CVs rarely highlight the areas that will be most relevant to the MSL role. A professional resume will not only help you get interviews, it will also simplify the interview process.

How do you get interviews? The first step is to tell your “story” to a true decision maker. By applying on-line or sending resumes only to HR, you will always be evaluated against a job description. Since most job postings are going to list experience as a criteria, you will not make it past that first cut. High level decision makers are the people who understand the MSL role and how your background will fit with what they need.

Questions about the MSL role or your job search challenges? Ask Elizabeth, the MSL job search specialist, resume writer, and interview coach. Elizabeth@clinicalstrategist.com, author of Launching your MSL Career, the MSL job search guidebook. http://www.clinicalstrategist.com/layomslcagu.html