Each year, tens of thousands of hopeful candidates submit applications to medical device sales roles — often vying for a single position. The unfortunate reality is that over 75% of the candidates get eliminated in the resume screen.
Chances are you already have a resume. But, how do you tailor it specifically for medical device sales?
Positioning your resume for medical device sales is incredibly different than other sales positions you may have applied for. If you submit the same resume for a medical device sales role as you do a SaaS sales role, you most likely will be outcompeted. Let's go through the basic resume tips and formatting that you should be aware of. Along the way, we'll review a resume* that landed interviews at top firms like Stryker, DePuy Synthes, and Arthrex.
* The names, dates, university, and employer may have been changed to protect the identity of the individual.
It is difficult to craft a resume that stands out if you do not understand what characteristics screeners look for.
A common misconception about medical device sales is that you need medical device sales experience to apply. While it certainly does help, our data suggests otherwise. We analyzed 500+ Associate Sales Representative profiles and concluded that the majority of people who landed these roles did not have any medical device sales experience before joining.
What type of experience did the Associates have? The vast majority had between 0 - 5 years of B2B sales experience, B2C sales experience, marketing experience, or clinical experience. Depending on the company, sales experience or prior work experience may not even be necessary (we break down these statistics in our Company Guides).
Successful candidates strategically highlight certain soft skills and hard skills on their resumes. In this section, we'll cover both skill sets so that you can tactically incorporate them into your resume.
Your resume should be limited to a single page. It can be difficult to pack all of your accomplishments into a single document. Be sure that you are only including relevant experiences that would lend themselves well to a career in device sales.
Ensure that each word must be in the same font, we recommend New Times Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Eliminate any fancy formatting or styling from your resume. Medical device sales recruiters prefer a traditional resume.
Most successful medical device sales resumes follow this format: Personal Information, Objective, Education, Relevant Experience, Relevant Certifications, if applicable, and Skills.
You live or die by your numbers in sales. A bullet point not backed by numbers does not convincingly persuade the resume reviewer to choose you over another candidate. Highlight revenue growth or sales volume over a certain period of time to make a high-impact.
For example, instead of:
Ensure that each piece of content included on your resume can be used as an argument to support your candidacy for a role in medical device sales. If you include a sentence but cannot substantiate why that particular skill or story would be beneficial for the recruiter or hiring manager to know in the context of the role, remove the sentence.
The personal information section should be the most straightforward part of your resume. Include your name, address, phone number, and email. Here are a few pointers:
The objective section provides the reader a summary as to why you are pursuing the role. It should include where you have been (eg: current role, past experience) and which role you plan to pursue. You should also use it to highlight your sales metrics or other quantifiable achievements early on in your resume.
Our students have found tremendous success using the following template. Fill in the blue sections with the numbers by substituting one of the phrases listed in the table:
[Noun/Adjective/Activity] [Current Role] with [Years of Experience] and an exceptional record [Activity] [Action] in the [Industry] industry. Demonstrated success [Activity] [Relationship] with customers while consistently [Activity] [Action] by [Multiple]. Seeking advancement to a [Role Vertical] device sales role to make a [Impact] while [Benefit to Company].
If <5, leave as text (eg: four)
Profitable growth thru new business acquisition
Copy from Job Description
Tangible impact on patients
Growing a territory
Here is a completed objective statement tailored for medical device sales:
Growth oriented Sales Associate with two years of experience driving profitable growth thru new business acquisition in the Industrial Supplies industry. Demonstrated success establishing strategic partnerships with customers while consistently exceeding sales targets by 117%. Seeking advancement to a Cardiovascular device sales role to make a tangible impact on patients while growing a territory.
The education section should be fairly simple. If you have more than 2 years of professional work experience, place the Education section below the Relevant Experience section. If you have more than 2 years of work experience, you want to highlight your work experience more so than your education.
Here is what you should focus on in this section:
The relevant experience section should list your relevant professional work experience from most recent to least recent. Focus on quantifying your most important achievements.
Below are some pointers:
Each bullet point should tie back to one of the following themes:
If you have a clinical background, consider including the following in your bullet points:
Start each bullet point with an action phrase. Successful action phrases include "Performed at XX% to plan...", "Assessed customer needs to exceed key objectives...", and "Negotiated contractual agreements with X vendors...".
50 Action Verbs to Use
Spend the majority of your resume efforts framing the relevant experience section.
Relevant certifications should be included in your resume, if applicable, particularly if you have a clinical background. Avoid listing certifications that do not directly correlate to getting a role in medical device sales. For example, omit certifications such as "Google Adwords Certified". This certification is conducive to landing a role in marketing, not medical device sales.
Here are tips for acing this section:
The skills section should be strictly sales or clinically focused. Provide a brief description of your competency in each skill. Here are several examples:
Sales Focused: Territory Forecasting, Inventory Management, Salesforce CRM, Contract Negotiation, Lead Generation, Surgical Case Coverage, Customer Acquisition, Prospecting, P&L Modeling
Clinically Focused: Phlebotomy - IV Therapy, Clinical Data Analysis, Catheterization, Wound Care, Cerner EMR
Implement the strategies above to significantly increase your chance of passing the recruiter resume screen. If you are interested in further improving your chances, take a look at our Medical Device Sales Resume Review to have your resume reviewed by a Current Representative. We are so confident in our process that we offer 50% money back if you don't get interviews.
For more resources on how to break into medical device sales, view our All-In Course or download our Company Guides.
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