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5 Pharmaceutical Sales Resume Examples...

5 Pharmaceutical Sales Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your pharmaceutical sales resume must showcase a deep understanding of medical terminology and drug pharmacology. It is crucial to convey this expertise to demonstrate your ability to effectively sell to healthcare professionals. Additionally, provide concrete examples of sales achievements, such as meeting or exceeding sales targets. Employ precision in detailing your track record to confirm your prowess in driving revenue and forging strong relationships with medical practitioners.

All resume examples in this guide

Pharmaceutical sales is one of the most competitive sales fields today and has seen a steady annual growth of 5.8% since 2017.

In an overcrowded field, you need your pharmaceutical sales resume to stand out from the rest.

Reading this guide will teach you how to avoid some of the common mistakes that pharmaceutical sales rep make when updating their resume. We use real-world resume examples to show you how to avoid these unique issues, like:

  • Differentiating yourself from the competition by demonstrating your unique strengths, experience, and value.
  • Highlighting a diverse skill set that includes Interpersonal skills, business acumen, and medical knowledge
  • Quantifying sales metrics along with client acquisition, retention rates, or territory growths.
  • Including memberships in professional associations and networking groups
  • Showcasing continued education through sales leadership and negotiation workshops.

These challenges are easily avoidable by taking a few extra steps to tailor your resume to the specific job post and including industry-related keywords and quantifiable metrics.  

If this guide is not in line with your sales industry, here are some similar sales resume guides you can review:

To get started, let’s go through a real-world example of a pharmaceutical sales resume to give you a visual of how your resume should look.

Pharmaceutical sales resume example

Riley does a great job of using every space to maximize their resume’s effectiveness, like adding industry-specific keywords to the header and summary. In looking at the resume experience section, we see a steady career progression leading to a senior sales rep. All good things to add to your resume to increase your chances of getting noticed.


Here’s what else Riley does well on their resume:

  • Tailored Experience to the Role: The resume showcases a strong background in pharmaceutical sales, with each job position highlighting relevant responsibilities and achievements. This alignment demonstrates the applicant's direct experience and success in the field, making them a strong candidate for the role.
  • Quantifiable Achievements: Each role in the experience section includes specific, quantifiable achievements, such as sales increases and customer retention rates. This approach provides concrete evidence of the applicant's impact in their previous positions, which is persuasive to potential employers.
  • Relevant Education and Continuous Learning: The inclusion of a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and targeted courses like "Advanced Sales Strategies" and "Pharmaceutical Market Analysis" highlights the applicant's commitment to their professional development and relevance in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Skills and Certifications Directly Aligned with Job Requirements: The skills section is filled with keywords and industry-specific skills that are likely to be sought after by employers in pharmaceutical sales, such as "Client Relationship Management" and "Strategic Sales Planning". This not only passes Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) but also directly speaks to the needs of the role.

Now that we are ready to begin, let’s get into the technical aspect of formatting your resume and discuss the most important sections to include.

How to format a pharmaceutical sales resume

Formatting is important and something you should be familiar with before you start adding work experience, education, and other skills.

All resumes must use a specific format that uses:

  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Single-line spacing
  • Serif and sans-serif fonts
  • Two-page limit

When you send your resume to a recruiter or company, save it as a PDF document (.pdf).

This is the preferred format that most recruiters and HR departments accept and will preserve the look of your resume no matter what operating system they are using.  

If you want to give yourself a leg-up on building your resume, choose one of Enhancv resume templates. Our pharmaceutical sales resume templates include all the necessary sections along with a long list of additional sections to complete your resume.  

Our single and two-column templates are ATS-friendly and use more modern fonts, like Exo 2, Lato, Montserrat, Raleway, Rubik, and Volkhov. If you prefer to give your resume a more classical look, we have a number of original fonts like Arial and Times New Roman for you to choose from.

Choosing between single and two-column formats

One decision you will need to make about your resume is whether you should use a single or two-column format. The way to determine which format is best for you is to look at how much work experience you have.

New pharmaceutical sales reps with only a year or two of experience can use a single-column format and not worry about having enough space. Seasoned sales reps with multiple years of work experience can benefit more from a two-column format.

It allows you to add more details to a single page and has a more modern, cleaner look. You can easily fit multiple jobs, your post-secondary education, certifications, hard and soft skills, and other vital information that makes for a well-rounded sales rep.

All while staying within that two-page limit.

If you would like to see how your resume stacks up with other professional pharmaceutical sales resume examples, run it through our resume checker to see how well it compares.

Let’s take a quick look at the five top sections of your resume:

top sections icon

The top sections on a pharmaceutical sales resume:

  • Header: Include your full name, job title, phone and email, and a professional social media or portfolio link.
  • Resume summary/objective: A brief description of your career path or objectives
  • Resume experience: List up to three relevant jobs with 4-8 detailed bullet points.
  • Education: Include all post-secondary education and certifications.
  • Hard and soft skills: A short list of relevant technical, business, and personal skills.
top sections icon

What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Relevant work experience: Along with previous pharmaceutical sales jobs, recruiters like to see work in medical sales, B2B sales, and positions within healthcare organizations.
  • Strong educational background: Pharmaceutical sales reps need extensive knowledge of medical and pharmacology terminology, regulatory compliance, data analysis, and other business and technical skills.
  • Customer relationship management: Superb interpersonal skills are a must for this job, and recruiters want to see how you build and foster new relationships with physicians and others in the industry.
  • Knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry: The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, and sales reps need to stay current with regulatory environments, healthcare compliance, and new industry trends.
  • Networking and professional associations: Listing membership in professional associations and local networking groups shows recruiters that you are actively building new industry relationships and expanding your network and knowledge.

Next, we will start adding relevant jobs to your resume that shout out your abilities and qualifications in a way that impresses recruiters.

How to write your pharmaceutical sales resume experience

A professionally formatted pharmaceutical sales resume is a work of art all in and of itself. It is a mix of personal skills, scientific knowledge, and business savvy combined in a way that interests the reader.

The resume experience section is where you will list up to 3 relevant jobs where you worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep or other sales or healthcare positions, like medical sales, account management, or pharmacy research. Each job entry will include:

  • Job title
  • Company name and location
  • Industry type or company info
  • Dates of employment
  • A bullet list of job duties and responsibilities

The resume experience section is where you will talk about how you increased sales and extended the company’s market reach, improved B2B relationships, and analyzed market trends and sales data. When listing each job entry, start with the most recent job and work backward from there.

Many sales reps fail to take full advantage of the potential of the resume experience section.

Let’s take a look at a real-world pharmaceutical sales resume experience example to show how you can make your past work experience sing your praises using relevant keywords and quantifiable data.  

Experience
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Eli Lilly & Co
New York, NY
Company Description
  • Promoting class-leading products to General Practitioners and Allied healthcare professionals
  • Building long-term relationships through a genuine passion for the positive impacts these products have on patient's health
  • Analysing sales performance and implementing strategies to achieve business outcomes
  • Completing administrative requirements and working within a set promotional budget accurately and within a timely manner
  • Proven success in building strong external and internal relationships
WRONG

In this example, it reads more like they copied the job description and simply pasted it into their resume. When adding details about your past work experience, you want to use action verbs to demonstrate your abilities:

“Promoted class-leading products” instead of “Promoting.” Even if you are still working for an organization, you want to use the past tense (-ed) form of the verb when talking about your work experience.

Notice how the lack of numbers and percentages fails to show how their sales experience and industry knowledge benefited the company. If you are talking about how you sold “class-leading products,” you want to quantify this metric and show either a percentage of sales or the total amount of sales generated.

This example also shows how easy it is to waste precious space. There are two separate bullet points that talk about customer relationships. While CRM is very important, you only need one detailed bullet point to talk about your interpersonal skills.

You can also leave out any administrative duties that you performed, as you only want to focus on actionable metrics.

Let’s see if we can improve on this example:

Experience
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Eli Lilly & Co
New York, NY
A global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicine that make ife better for people around the world
  • Improved promotional ads for class-leading products to General Practitioner and Allied healthcare professionals that generated $500k in profits within 6 months
  • Established long-term relationships with new and existing customers by emphasizing my passion for the positive impacts the products have on patients
  • Analysed sales performance to identify areas of improvement and implementing strategies that expanded market reach by 30%
  • Educated providers using tailored training tools and resources to increase their product knowledge and risks of side effects
  • Designated as a product expert and chosen for leadership roles, including representing the company at sales conferences and delivering presentations on new selling techniques
RIGHT

By eliminating non-essential information, like the duplicate line about customer relationships and administrative duties, we are able to add more information that highlights this person’s valuable skills.

Recruiters want to see more than just sales metrics and market expansion rates. They want to see leadership abilities and advanced knowledge of the products they are selling.  This section should have a nice balance of hard and soft skills that paint a picture of a dedicated sales rep.

If you have earned any awards or special recognition from a company, you can add it to this section if you have room. You should have at most 4-8 bullet points per job.

We will go over where you can place these awards and recognitions a little later on. Before that, we need to talk about the best way to use numbers and percentages in your resume.

How to quantify the impact on your resume

By looking at the examples above, you can see how much better your pharmaceutical sales resume can be by adding some important metrics. While you don’t need to quantify every bullet point, you want to add details that reflect the requirements of the job description.

If the job post says, “Maintain a sales pipeline, tracking activity to ensure meeting and exceeding sales targets,” you want to include quantifiable metrics that show how much you exceeded your sales targets.

To give you some ideas on how to do this, check out these real-world examples of quantifying the top metrics for pharmaceutical sales reps:

  • Sales volume: “Generated $2M in new revenue through new and existing relationships with small and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies.”
  • Market share growth: “Developed and implemented targeted marketing campaigns resulting in a 15% increase in market shares.”
  • Customer acquisition: Implemented 5 targeted email campaigns that generated a 12% increase in customer acquisition and a 10% improvement in customer satisfaction.”
  • Product launches: “Collaborated with Product Development and Marketing teams to develop new product offerings and marketing collateral, resulting in a 20% increase in product adoption.”
  • Ranking/Performance metrics: “Ranked 15 out of 550 sales reps in the country for the sales of Welchol, Benicar, and Azor.”
  • Training and leadership: “Planned, organized, and hosted 4 speaker programs for up to 40 practitioners where well-respected industry leaders provided education on existing and new medications.”
  • Efficiency improvements: “Implemented effective sales strategies and equipped providers with new product guidelines that increase awareness by 30%.”
  • Customer/Partner retention: “Delivered presentations and demonstrations to over 200 end users, resulting in a 40% increase in user adoption.”

Additional metrics that pharmaceutical reps can quantify include conversion rates, average contract size, call frequency and reach, and customer feedback scores.

We need to take a minute and talk about how pharmaceutical sales reps with no experience can build an impressive resume.

How do I write a pharmaceutical sales resume with no experience

Pharmaceutical sales is a very popular and profitable sales field, with a salary range between $80,000 - $118,000 per year.

If you are interested in jumping into the pharmaceutical sales realm and don’t have any pharmaceutical sales experience, that’s ok. There are plenty of other relatable jobs that you can include on your resume that demonstrate your sales skills and medical knowledge.

Remember you only have a certain amount of space to add your work experience, so only include those jobs that are relevant to the position. Add those jobs where you have experience in:

  • Business to business sales (B2B)
  • Technical sales
  • Medical product marketing
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Clinical roles
  • Medical regulatory affairs or compliance

When adding your past work experience, use a reverse chronological order and list those jobs that show a clear career progression, like so:

Experience
Senior Medical Sales Rep
Stryker
Portage, MI
Junior Medical Sales Rep
Trillium
Lancing, MI
Research and Development Associate
BioPharm Tech
Miami, FL
RIGHT

When adding your past work experience, whether in pharmaceutical sales or other relatable positions, you want to tailor it to the job description. A targeted resume using keywords and quantifiable metrics from the job post will increase your chances of impressing your future employer.

Now it’s time to add those technical and personal skills that allow you to be an effective salesperson.

How to list your hard skills and soft skills on your resume

You have probably heard about the importance of listing hard and soft skills since starting your job search, but what are they?

Hard skills are those skills you learn at school and through internships, negotiation workshops, and real-world work experience. They allow you to discern scientific details in a way that everyone can understand, as well as create effective sales strategies and ad campaigns while conforming to FDA regulations and legal guidelines.

Soft skills are those skills that you learn through personal and professional experiences and relationships. These are the skills that allow sales reps to be effective communicators and top-notch negotiators.

It is a combination of these skills that make for a well-rounded pharmaceutical sales rep.

Here is a comprehensive list of pharmaceutical sales resume hard skills that recruiters want to see from qualified candidates:

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Best hard skills for your pharmaceutical sales resume

  • Pharmacology knowledge
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Advanced computer skills
  • Data and sales analysis software
  • Strategic planning
  • Medical terminology
  • Sales techniques
  • Market analysis
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
  • Contract negotiations
  • Product demonstration
  • Territory management

Here are the most requested soft skills for pharmaceutical sales reps:

top sections icon

Best soft skills for your pharmaceutical sales resume

In addition to the resume experience section, you can insert these skills in other sections, like resume summary/objective and additional skills sections. We will cover these sections in a little bit.

First, we need to spend some time on adding your post-secondary education and any certifications you have earned.

How to list your certifications and education on your resume

Even if you graduated twenty years ago, you still want to include all of your higher learning degrees and continuing education. It is critical that you show you have the medical and pharmacological knowledge necessary to advise your physicians and healthcare providers on the product's uses, benefits, and side effects.

When listing your education, all you need to include is the degree type, school name and location, GPA, and dates of enrollment, like so:

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences
University of Houston-Clear Lake
GPA
4.0
/
4.0
Masters in Biomedical Engineering
University of Houston
GPA
3.98
/
4.0
RIGHT

If you are just out of college and looking for your first sales job, you can include bullet points to the degree to demonstrate you have the appropriate education for the position.

Adding your medical or sales certifications to your pharmaceutical sales resume will show future employers that you are current with new technologies and medications and have a passion for continual learning.

There are a couple of different sections where you can add your certifications:

There is the main Certification Section:

Certification
Certified Sales Professional (CPA)
Sales & Marketing Institute International
Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist (BCMAS)
ACMA
RIGHT

You can also indicate you are certified in the resume summary:

Summary
A CSP pharmaceutical sales rep with 15 years of experience
RIGHT

You can also add it to the resume header, like so:

John Davies
CNPR-Certified Pharmaceutical Sales Rep
(832) 555-3434
john.davies@email.com
Houston, TX
JD
RIGHT

If you are interested in obtaining certifications to increase your knowledge and earning potential, here are the top five certifications for pharmaceutical sales reps:

The last necessary resume section we need to discuss is the resume summary or objective. Think of this as the first hand-shake when meeting someone new. You want it to be strong and confident.

How to write your pharmaceutical sales resume summary or objective

The first chance to talk about your past experience and why you are the best match for the position is the resume summary/objective section. First, a little clarification on this section:

  • Resume summary: You will write a concise, 3-4 sentence resume summary if you have 5+ years of experience as a pharmaceutical sales rep. You will summarize your career to date with quantifiable data that indicates you have the right experience for the new position.
  • Resume objective: This option is for sales reps just out of college or who only have a few years of relatable experience. It focuses more on the person’s career objectives than a career summary.

Because a pharmaceutical sales rep is a more experienced position, we will use a real-world example of a resume summary to show you how to create this section.

Summary
Accomplished Pharmaceutical Sales Representative with a strong history of surpassing sales goals and developing lasting relationships with clients. Adept in providing crucial information regarding newly launched and established pharmaceutical products, market them, and increase business exponentially.
WRONG

This lackluster example doesn’t really grab your attention and make you want to keep reading. When you write this section, make sure it answers the following questions:

  • How many years of experience do they have?
  • What company metrics did they improve?
  • Why should I hire this person?

If you read your summary aloud and it doesn’t answer any of these questions, you need to rewrite it. Let’s see if we can improve this one by adding some relevant details:

Summary
Accomplished 25-year Pharmaceutical Sales Representative veteran with a strong history of surpassing sales goals and developing authentic and long-lasting relationships with clients. Implemented 6 new marketing strategies that led to a 35% increase in market reach and a $3.5M increase in revenue within one year. Recognized as the top sales rep in the Houston area since 2021.
RIGHT

Now we have a resume summary that will make hiring managers call you right away. This example does a great job with:

  • Detailing the number of years of experience in a specific region
  • Quantifying sales and market expansion metrics
  • Including recognition for being a top performer

It’s time to focus on adding some additional details to your resume that will help it paint a picture of an experienced pharmaceutical sales rep.

Additional sections for a pharmaceutical sales resume

To keep your resume within that two-page limit, you need to pick and choose which additional skills and information you want to include. Enhancv has multiple sections where you can showcase your achievements and unique skill sets.

Top sales performers are recognized locally and nationally for their achievements. Listing awards on your pharmaceutical sales resume can help differentiate yourself from a crowded field.

These sections fit nicely as a side column in a two-column resume template:

Awards
Top Regional Sales Performer
Ranked #1 out of 10,000 regional reps in the Houston area in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2023
President's Award
2021, 2023
RIGHT

Our Day in a Life section allows you to showcase your time management skills:

My time
ABCDEFG
A
Sales Strategy Review
B
Lead Generation
C
Meeting with Department Heads
D
In the Field
E
Meet w/ Sales Teams
F
Calls & Emails
G
Review Next Day Agenda
RIGHT

If the job requirements call for a second language, you want to include our language section to highlight the language and your proficiency level:

Languages
Spanish
Advanced
Portugesse
Intermediate
RIGHT

Pharmaceutical sales jobs are all about building new connections and fostering strong relationships with your peers and colleagues.

Recruiters love seeing a strong connection with industry experts and other pharmaceutical sales reps. You can check out these associations if you are interested in joining one:

For local in-person and online networking groups, check your social media pages to meet other industry professionals.

Adding workshops to your pharmaceutical sales resume

Being a top sales performer requires a long-term commitment to learning. In addition to pharmacology and medical knowledge, you also need to continue to hone your negotiation tactics and learn new sales techniques.

Showcasing these skills in a side section allows recruiters to see your commitment to being the best pharmaceutical sales rep in your area and beyond.

Conferences & Workshops
Dynamic Negotiations Workshop
2023
Shapiro Negotiation Institute
2022
PharmaVenue
2021
RIGHT

Key takeaways

Having a professionally formatted pharmaceutical sales resume is key to getting an invitation to interview. It is your first introduction to a new company, and like always, you want all of your best attributes on display.

This guide has taken you through the common mistakes pharmaceutical sales reps make on their resume and the best options for fixing them. By now, your resume should do the following:

  • Includes additional details like awards and recognitions to stand out above a crowded field
  • Quantifies several metrics to highlight how you use your sales skills and medical knowledge to increase sales and expand your customer base
  • Details a strong educational background through certifications and learning workshops and conferences
  • Lists a wide range of technical skills and personal strengths
pharmaceutical sales resume example

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He has written more than 500 resume guides and deep-dive articles on how to create your resume and cover letter, that inspire job applicants to make a resume to be proud of. His work has been featured in Forbes, Zendesk, HubSpot, and Business Insider, and cited by top universities and educational institutions, like Thunderbird School of Management, Rochester University, University of Miami, and Udemy. Volen applies his deep knowledge and practical experience to write about career changes, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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