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Graduates - How to get into Medical Sales Part One

Pharmaceuticals is one of the world’s biggest and most dynamic industries. There’s also an ever growing need to find talented individuals to work in the industry. This means that for those graduates who do their homework (on the industry), and show a passion to get into the medical sales, then it can lead to the start of an exciting and highly rewarding career. 

Graduates will find a multitude of opportunities ranging from working in scientific laboratories right the way through to pharmaceutical sales, all of which can lead to tremendous growth, international travel and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference to patients and their families across the world. 

CHASE is the only medical sales recruiter that has a dedicated Graduate Division to help those who want to break into the industry find that all important first sales role. In our experience there are three things we look for that determine whether we will work with and represent a graduate to one of our clients. These are; education, insights and attitude.

Education

Some of the more common degrees of CHASE Graduates include Business Studies, traditional sciences (such as chemistry or biology) and Sports Science. The latter especially is a highly regarded degree as graduates are positively stereotyped as being healthy, competitive and able to use scientific data in their day to day conversations – ideal traits of a Medical Sales Representative. 

However, if you have the passion and commercial awareness, your degree could be in any subject.

It is also very important to show that you were actively involved in different clubs and societies whilst at University. For most employers, this is a very important part of your educational experience. 

Insights

Education is one thing but it’s not enough on its own to make you stand out as a graduate looking to break into the pharma industry. 

Due to the competitive remuneration packages, plus that smart company car, it’s easy to see why graduates could be attracted to working in pharma sales. However this is a serious and highly professional industry, so companies are looking for only the most dedicated and conscientious individuals who are motivated by more important drivers than money and cars alone. 

For anyone looking to get into the industry, it’s key that you’ve done your homework and can demonstrate a sustained interest in landing that first role. 

Industry knowledge, online (or offline) learning, work experience or field visits are just some of the pre-requisites any graduate would need to be able to discuss in order to convince employers that they’re suitable candidates to consider giving a first break to. 

There is a high level of competition for jobs, especially with the best companies, so you’re going to need to stand out for all the right reasons to be given a chance over more experienced candidates. 

Attitude

If you manage to get the right education and show you’ve done your homework on the industry then the third pre-requisite is ATTITUDE! 

Attitude is all about how you present yourself; what you wear, what you say, how you say it, the questions you ask, how you see yourself. 

To get a job in the pharmaceutical industry you’re going to need to convince employers that you can go out and sell to highly educated customers (i.e. doctors, nurses and associated healthcare professionals) in a credible manner, without coming across like a pushy salesperson. 

During interviews and assessments you’re likely to be asked what your strong points are but also where you believe you have weaknesses too, so a balanced but confident manner is essential. A good analogy to think of is how well thought of professional sports people come across when they are interviewed after a big game or event. The best ones are confident but they’re also self-aware, even critical of things they could work on for future events. 

Next Time

Watch out for our next Blog where we will continue with our “How to get into Pharma Sales” guide.