Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Resume Examples + Expert Tips

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Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2019-11-18

How to Write a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume That Prescribes Success

A drug company needs a highly competitive pharmaceutical sales representative to cover new territory.

You’re the experienced salesperson ready for that role.

You have the sales skills of BR Shetty and can help companies reach new heights.

Does your pharmaceutical sales rep resume show that?

Companies expect pharmaceutical sales reps to become experts on their product lines. You must know what conditions the drugs treat and promote the products to physicians.

You must travel extensively to cover your territory as you visit multiple physicians each day.

The job requires knowledge of science, but that can be taught. An even more important qualification is people skills.

Pharmaceutical companies hire only the best. We’ll help you show them that’s you.

Our Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume guide will show you:

  • 8 pharmaceutical sales rep resume examples that show your ability to promote products
  • How to highlight your sales and people skills
  • Ways to use keywords from the job description in your resume
  • How to frame your education and certifications on your resume
  • How to include your achievements
  • How to write a winning resume that will land you an interview

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative resume example

Looking for related resumes?

How to write a phenomenal Pharmaceutical Sales Representative resume

You’ve got the ability to drive for miles, show up at a doctor’s office and sell with a smile over and over again.

Your resume must show that you can do this.

Pharmaceutical sales rep jobs require being able to do two things well: sell and learn. You must anticipate what questions you’ll be asked and be ready to answer.

Include your sales achievements in your resume. Show examples of your knowledge as well.

It’s not an easy job. It takes a road warrior of sales who can handle the stress.

Show them you’re the candidate they need.

Here’s what a recruiter will look for in your resume:

  • What sales experience do you have?
  • Can you stay up-to-date on products and trends?
  • Can you manage the stress that comes with the job?
  • How will you help them exceed sales goals?

The most important sections of a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume:

  • Detailed resume header
  • Resume summary
  • Resume experience
  • Education and certifications
  • Sales and soft skills

Each of these pharmaceutical sales representative resume sections must sell you shamelessly. The recruiter must know why to select you.

We’ll help. Let’s tell them who you are.

Why your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume header is important

You will meet physician after physician like a never-ending machine. You must make a great first impression with each one regardless of how tired you are.

Can you do it? A weak resume header will suggest no.

After all, this is the first time you introduce yourself to your potential future employer. Shouldn’t you impress them from the start?

That’s why you have to take special care with your pharmaceutical sales rep header.

This isn’t how to do it.

Meg Murphy
Sales Representative
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
Columbus, OH
WRONG

So the recruiter knows your name and that you work in sales. So does most of the other people in that pile of resumes on the recruiter’s desk.

It’s vague. You don’t add anything to raise the recruiter’s interest.

How can you do that? Here’s how.

Meg Murphy
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
www.linkedin.com/megmurphy
Columbus, OH
RIGHT

Now the recruiter knows you’ve got experience doing a similar job. The recruiter also knows you understand the need to market yourself?

How? By seeing your LinkedIn profile listed. That shows you understand the power of networking.

If you don’t have experience as a pharmaceutical sales rep, be as specific as you can about your position. For instance, are you a sales executive? Include that in your header.

Quantitative data spells success on your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume

Drug companies want representatives who can market their products endlessly. Your resume shows you can.

Business is about numbers. Pharmaceutical companies are no different.

Show them the numbers that matter.

Examples of what they want to see include:

  • How much sales revenue you generated
  • Your year-end sales numbers and rankings
  • How large of territory you covered
  • How many years of sales experience you have

Weave these numbers into your pharmaceutical sales rep resume. Let’s start with your summary section.

Market yourself with your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep summary section

A pharmaceutical sales rep resume summary must sell yourself as strongly as you’ve sold anything else before.

Don’t get carried away, though. Imagine you’re talking to a busy doctor. Keep it brief.

The job description tells you what the hiring manager wants to know. Read it over and over until you can pick out the main keywords.

Include them in your summary and throughout your resume. If you have not worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative before, show how you excelled in your last position.

Do not do it like this.

Summary
Experienced sales representative with a demonstrated history of working in the medical device industry. Skilled in customer service, endoscopy, sales, and medical devices.
WRONG

The summary tells the hiring manager about the candidate’s skill set and that the candidate is experienced. However, the candidate forgets one key step.

Show, don’t tell. The recruiter won’t just believe you saying that. Give the recruiter proof.

That’s why quantitative data is important. The recruiter would see if the candidate is experienced if the recruiter saw how many years of experience the candidate had.

Numbers, along with more exact job duties and skills, demonstrate qualifications. The word “demonstrates” doesn’t.

Let’s look at a pharmaceutical sales rep summary that works.

Summary
Highly ranked sales professional with 8 years of experience recognized for establishing relationships, achieving sales goals and account management. Proven ability to manage a territory to surpass sales and activity quotas. Analyze data regularly to create detailed business plans.
RIGHT

That summary example gives examples of duties that are important in representing pharmaceutical companies. The recruiter also knows how many years of experience the candidate has.

A bonus is that the recruiter knows the sales representative is used to covering the rep’s own territory.

A summary like this shows the recruiter why you have value as a candidate.

PRO TIPCareers like pharmaceutical sales rep take strong people skills and, above all, the ability to sell. You must include quantitative data including where you ranked in sales. You also want to include skills that show your ability to relate to others and make an impression. Your resume must make an impression too.

How should you sell your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep experience?

Pharmaceutical sales reps are almost mythical creatures that can cross the territory making sales call after sales call, just to do it again the next day.

They follow any lead that may give them a chance to sell their product. They may attend conferences and pitch their product.

They’re sales gurus but they become just as knowledgeable about the product they pitch.

Your pharmaceutical sales rep experience section must show that you can do this.

You must show where you’ve met or exceeded sales quotas. Your employer will expect to see success.

Your resume must also show how you learned enough about the products you sold to explain them thoroughly.

Did you take on any new products? Did you spearhead campaigns related to a specific product?

You must show them that you have the experience needed to prepare you for the job.

2 Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume experience samples

Now is when you highlight your phenomenal sales experience. If you are not sure how, consider these questions:

  • What were your sales goals or quotas?
  • How did you meet or exceed them?
  • What challenges did you take on?
  • How did you expand your responsibilities?

Job candidates are often not thorough enough. Here is an example:

Experience
Brand AmbassadorKendra Marketing and Sales
02/2011 - 03/2016
Shreveport, LA
Responsibilities
Initiated cold customer engagement to identify prospective clients
Provided real time demonstrations to promote sales
Drove and improved market interest through consistently positive brand representation
Developed customized promotional tools to effectively advertise products for brand names
WRONG

This experience section has duties that could transfer over to pharmaceutical sales rep. However, it lacks anything about how successful the candidate was.

How did the candidate drive sales? What was the outcome?

There is no quantitative data. It reads more like a how-to list of sales duties more than an epic sales story.

Let’s give the hiring manager something to remember in this next example.

Experience
Outside Sales RepresentativeBuilding Products Inc.
02/2015 - 03/2018
Boise, ID
Responsibilities
Meet and exceed previous years’ sales target by 15% by attaining a $6,200,000 sales quota and 52.1% growth as of Dec. 2017, totaling a $2,350,000 increase
Prospect and generate new leads by actively cold calling distribution, large contractors and architects in assigned territories to develop new customers. Acquired $800,000 of new business as of Dec. 2017
Maintain relationship with existing 300 clients to develop and grow sales
Attend trade shows, conduct sales and technical presentations and offer training to customers on using products
RIGHT

This example is one to remember. Why?

It included:

  • Quantitative data about exceeding sales goals.
  • The number of clients the candidate handled.
  • How the client’s work benefitted the employer.

This resume would keep a recruiter reading.

Let’s look at one more from a candidate with previous pharmaceutical sales rep experience.

Experience
Professional RepresentativeMandy’s Big Drug Company
02/2011 - 07/2016
Toronto, ON
Responsibilities
Launched two vaccines and promoted several tablets to primary care and internal medicine offices
Implemented vaccination protocols within key physician offices to increase routine vaccination, gain managed care reimbursement, and utilize cost saving patient assistant programs
Three consecutive years ranked in the top 30% or better
2014 First Year of Product promotion region award, ranked #3 out of 162.
Bi-Annual - 2015 Top Customer Focus Award
RIGHT

This tells the recruiter that you are a successful pharmaceutical sales rep. It contains numbers and examples of duties that will get the recruiters’ attention.

How do you explain your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep duties?

Here are job duties common to the profession to consider for your pharmaceutical sales rep resume:

  • Provided product information.
  • Delivered product samples.
  • Assessed client needs and offered suitable promoted products.
  • Persuaded targeted doctors to prescribe products.
  • Developed and implemented strategies with sales team
  • Attended sales meetings, conference calls, training sessions
  • Monitored and analyzed market data
  • Attended professional development sessions
  • Monitored market trends and new information on products

How do you make your resume for a pharmaceutical sales rep stronger? Hiring managers want candidates with the experience and stamina needed to take on a fast-track career.

You must be a self-starter with a strong work ethic. You won’t have a boss telling you what to do every day. It’s up to you to manage your territory and product results.

Sales experience, especially business-to-business sales experience, helps increase your chances of landing an interview.

If you have gaps in your experience, here are some suggestions:

  • Show similarities between past jobs and the position you want
  • Include mentorships and training programs that strengthened your sales skills
  • List education that led to real-world examples and broadened your skill set

Do Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resumes need an education section?

Many pharmaceutical sales rep jobs do not necessarily require a college education, but those that do favor a bachelor’s degree. Some lean towards requiring a Master in Business Administration degree.

Having a bachelor’s degree shows your ability to learn. That will be helpful in this job as you must be able to learn about the drugs that you sell and how they interact with others.

You must memorize medical terminology and be able to share information with physicians. Some representatives take an advanced course in pharmacology. It’s helpful to take courses like chemistry, biochemistry, biology and organic chemistry.

What skills go on your Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume?

It takes a mix of sales and interpersonal skills to be a pharmaceutical sales rep.

Pharmaceutical sales reps must be professional and well-spoken. Being persuasive will help you make the sale while being goal-driven and ambitious helps push through the stress of the job.

You must be a quick thinker who can problem solve and think of new ways to do your job.

There are no strict formula for how to maximize product prescribing - hard work is only part of the story and often working smarter is the key to success. Pharmaceutical companies are constantly looking for candidates who have the ability to think (and then put into practice) new ways of approaching sales opportunities.

13 Skills to include on a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume

  1. Communication
  2. Interpersonal
  3. Negotiation
  4. Sales
  5. Science
  6. Statistics
  7. Organizational
  8. Time-management
  9.  Memorization
  10. Public speaking
  11. Enthusiasm
  12. Confidence
  13. Persuasive

How do you make your sales director resume marketable?

  • Highlight how your background prepares you for the job
  • Use quantitative data throughout your resume
  • Match your skills and experience to the job description
  • Make each resume section strong and marketable
  • Balance your skills, education and experience

Looking to build your own Pharmaceutical Sales Rep resume?

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