5 Tips for Breaking Into the Field of Pharmaceutical Sales

Pharmaceutical Sales Field Tips

  • Study Business and Science in College
  • Have a Sales Background
  • Stay Informed on Breaking News
  • Write a Strong Resume
  • Improve Your Online Presence

Pharmaceutical sales reps are responsible for selling new prescription medications to doctors and managers of health care facilities. These men and women spend a lot of time on the road and must dress and act in a professional manner. If you want to break into the field, you need a solid understanding of the medications and familiarity with medical terms. You can look at some other tips before sending off your resume too.

Study Business and Science in College

Those working in medical sales must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and most companies look for those who majored in either business or science.

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A business major will teach you how to communicate with others and how to increase your sales, but if you major in science, you’ll develop a better understanding of the medical and health terms that you use to make sales. It’s often helpful to major in one field and minor in another. A master’s degree in health, business or science can also help.

Have a Sales Background

According to PhD holder Katharine Hansen, many of the top pharmaceutical companies look for applicants with a strong sales background and at least two years of sales experience. Though you do not need to work for a drug company or in medical sales, you do need to show that you have what it takes when it comes to selling to others. It’s often best to work in outbound sales and in other positions that require you to work on your own and keep track of your sales.

Stay Informed on Breaking News

When you go in for an interview to nail one of these jobs, the person handling the interview will ask you questions about different prescription drugs and medications. Those conducting interviews want to find people who know about the medical field and those who are familiar with new medications. You can read through the newspaper before that interview to find out which new drugs are on the market and which companies are responsible for making new medications. Signing up for some professional medical journals can help you stay informed too.

Write a Strong Resume

To get an interview at one of the top firms, you need a strong resume that highlights your skills and shows why you are a good fit for the job. Your resume must show that you have the ability to work on your own and with little to no supervision. Many reps spend days and weeks at a time in the field and call back to the head office to report their sales. Your resume should also show any experience you have in the medical field, even if it’s just some volunteer work you did at a local hospital.

Improve Your Online Presence

As a pharmaceutical sales rep, you will have your own cards that list your name on the front. Prospective clients and customers can use those cards to look for you online, which is why you need to both improve and clean up your online presence. A social networking site filled with political stories, opinions and photos of you partying with friends will make you look unprofessional and can keep customers from buying from you. The information that companies find online can also keep you from getting a job offer.

Even if you have strong sales skills, there is no guarantee that you can land a job in medical sales. Companies also look for those with a degree and experience in the medical field. Breaking into the world of pharmaceutical sales requires a college degree and a professional online presence.