In our last blog (Graduates – How to Get into Medical Sales – Part 1), we talked about the importance of Education, Insight and Attitude. If you think you’ve got these three attributes then let’s take a look at what the next steps are to making the move;
Create Your CV
The first thing you’re going to need is a great CV. Don’t worry if you don’t have any field sales experience yet, but you are going to have to find a way to make sure you get your message across that you will be good with customers; examples of providing good customer service via a weekend job, entrepreneurism through selling things online, even demonstrating that you’re a high energy person who’s had a lot of different experiences through clubs or charities all count when you’re a graduate.
If you find you’ve got gaps in your CV and experience go and fill them by taking on a part-time job, volunteering, selling your parents unwanted junk etc. All of these things, when used in the right way, will help you to get your foot in the door.
Once you decide you want to get into pharmaceutical sales, then start finding a way to network with those people already in it. Tell your university mentors, your parents, their friends, your wider family, even your GP… anyone who might know someone who works in the industry that you want to get into it and you might just be surprised what connections transpire.
The other way to go about networking is to go onto LinkedIn (or indeed any other social media network you think will help) and start building connections with people in the industry. Reach out to them with a personalised message telling them your ambitions and asking if they have any advice to help you make the break. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be willing to help you when you ask for it.
One word of advice is to make sure you thoroughly prepare a series of half a dozen questions that you want to get out of any discussion you have. Anyone who does speak to you will be extremely busy so by showing you’re structured, efficient and considered this will help you get the information you need and show you in a good light. Who knows through networking you could end up speaking to your future boss before you even apply for a job!
Start by telling them your background and why you want to get into medical sales. Ask them how they got in, what things they could advise you work on whilst building up your experience and knowledge base and which companies they think you should investigate. You could also ask what three things they would look for in a graduate. You might even ask if they know anyone who is hiring at the moment who might look at a graduate. You never know!
Once you’re ready to start applying you need to start thinking strategically about which types of medical sales jobs and which companies you’d like to go forward for.
This is where you can really leverage your recruitment consultant as not only will they be able to advise you on these things, they’ll also be able to speak directly to the hiring manager and coach you through each stage of the recruitment process should you be put forward and be considered for a role.
You could potentially apply directly to companies, however you might find your application isn’t considered and you’re left in the dark as blind applications to companies will rarely be responded to in our experience.
The CHASE Graduate team, on the other hand, will be able to inform you of all of the latest vacancies you could be suitable for applying for and regularly run graduate recruitment drives for those who are looking to get into the industry.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get the first job you apply for in any profession, so the final thing you’ll need in your quest to join the Pharma sales industry is persistence.
There are no shortcuts and there will be competition for jobs so be prepared to apply for several jobs before you get an interview. Again make sure you listen to the advice of your CHASE recruitment consultant who will be able to tell you honestly what your chances of success are as they get to see the whole spectrum of people applying for jobs, so have a good ‘feel’ for who will be hired vs who might not.
Once you get that all important first role then you’ll be working in a great industry renowned for nurturing good people, so all of the hard work and persistence will be worth it.
Just like you did at University to get your degree, you’re going to have really apply yourself to secure your first step into the world of Pharmaceutical sales. However, if you are successful, you could well be taking your first steps into a career that will be hugely fulfilling – both professionally and personally. We wish you well in your search.