As a medical sales recruiter, I specialize in placing sales and sales management professionals, and I’ve seen tens of thousands of resumes throughout my career. Since I often sift through them quickly, it takes a great resume to stand out from the crowd and get my attention. And job seekers in health care sales, medical device sales, laboratory sales, and pharmaceutical sales always ask “What can I do to get my resume noticed?” Beyond the basics of an easy-to-read, error-free, well-structured resume, there are qualities that catch my eye and cause me to consider candidates more closely, and I’d like to share them with you. Here are some easy changes you can make to your resume:
Highlight your performance.
If you’re in sales, it’s vitally important that you demonstrate that you can ring the cash register. You show the hiring manager why he wants you on the team by highlighting your sales numbers, number of closes, key influencer sales, expense budgets, revenue, profit, growth, sales rankings, goal attainment, and so on. You can list that as numbers, dollar amounts, percentages, or whatever is appropriate. I have seen some eye-catching resumes that incorporate colored graphs to illustrate, but be careful not to overdo it. Use whatever style that best represents your growth.
Write a well-crafted objective statement.
Think elevator pitch. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a resume objective statement will limit your opportunities. It won’t. What it will do is capture the reader’s attention and lead him or her into reading the rest of your resume. (So make sure it’s compelling and not a canned filler statement.) It’s entirely appropriate to tailor your objective statement to the job opportunity so that you can highlight what you can bring to that particular organization. Once I’ve read the rest of your resume, I might see that you’d also be a great fit for another opportunity.
Add something special.
If you’re new to the field, try a preceptorship, and put that experience on your resume (it’s a great keyword source). It shows that you’re serious, and willing to go the extra mile. And it can go a significant way to answering the “experience” question for hiring managers. Also, I have seen resumes with quotations that sum up their attitudes, drive, determination, etc. Or, I’ve seen others with a list of their recent reading material (although you must be able to talk intelligently about those books). But be careful about listing too much information. For instance, hobbies work only if they’re relevant to the job. Don’t let anything on your resume take away from your message: you have something to offer to contribute to an organization’s success.
Above all, remember that your resume is not about you; it’s about the employer. You’re using the resume as a marketing document that highlights why you’re the person to help them succeed.