Few of us are experts at resume writing, but when you’re trying to secure that ideal Genetics, Genomics or Diagnostic Sales job you just heard about, you’ll need to up your game and prepare the perfect sales resume to get the attention of a hiring manager or genetics recruiter. This is especially true in what will be an incredibly competitive hiring season in the post pandemic ramp.
What exactly is it that captures the attention of hiring managers?
Your resume needs to be professional, persuasive, and directly on point. It’s the very first glimpse a hiring manager will have of you, and as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Your goal with a resume is to immediately catch the attention of a hiring manager, so that they will be intrigued enough to pass your resume on to the next person higher up in the hiring process. Once you get to that step, it’s likely you’ll be called in for an interview, and that will call for a whole different set of skills.
Everything you need to create the perfect sales resume is described below, so even if you’re not an expert at resume writing, make sure you include all the things a potential employer is looking for on resumes. Hopefully, your resume will stand out in some way, and you’ll get that all-important call to come in for a face-to-face, or now more prevalent video interview.
A word about fonts
You might not think font makes much difference when you’re resume building, but it’s good to keep in mind that you’re not preparing the resume for yourself – you’re preparing it for a hiring manager who will be reviewing your resume to decide whether or not you should be advanced to the next level. That means you should use a very easy to read font like Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. These fonts are easy on the eyes and allow your resume to be absorbed at a glance.
For each of the section headers, format them in bold so they stand out….This is especially helpful to managers who are looking for specific areas of interest, for example, your Academic Career. Many reviewers in fact, do just that – they browse down the page looking for the areas which are of specific interest to them, while glossing over other sections, or skipping them entirely.
However you choose to format your resume, make sure that the same formatting is maintained throughout the document for the sake of consistency. Never use multiple format types — that will only confuse the reader, and it just won’t look right.
Probably right at the top of your sales resume, you should include a short and concise paragraph about your career objective. This will tell any hiring manager a lot about you. It will show whether you have any real ambition or drive, it will show whether you’re shooting for the moon or you prefer the status quo, and it will give the manager a glimpse into your psyche.
Your career objective should be similar to a sales pitch, and the features and benefits of a product you might sell are similar to the skills and knowledge that you would bring with you to the job. Like every product brings benefits to the buyer, your skills, knowledge, and abilities will bring benefits to any employer that hires you, so you have to make sure the manager understands what those benefits are. You should do your best to customize this career objective section to the job description which is associated with the position.
Of course, that means you’ll need to have a copy of that job description so you have something to work with and synchronize your skills to…. Any of the skills you reference in your career objective section should include the keywords provided in the job description you originally read and were attracted to….This will help to ensure your resume ends up somewhere near the top of the heap, especially if an application tracking system (ATS) or a search engine was used in the posting and screening for this position.
Detailed employment dates
Using months and years in your resume will also alleviate concerns of gaps or job hopping in your career. If you do have these, don’t try to hide them with creative methods.
The chronological resume is most widely used today and is the format most managers prefer reviewing. For each period, start a new section with the company name and date range. Work your way from most recent at the top to most distant job. If you have been working for a long while and have moved into more senior positions, those early in your career might require little detail while the most recent should provide increasing levels of clear, descriptive narrative regarding your accomplishments with specific performance metrics attained or surpassed.
Most people do not go through continuous employment between the ages of 18 and 65, and some say there is a bit of wisdom in moving around a little at the beginning until you find your niche. So, there are going to be times when you were evidently looking and working for the right opportunity.
If you try to avoid showing employment gaps by omitting dates and years which you were employed, it will serve as a red flag to a hiring manager, and they will be much more suspicious of what else you might be hiding. There’s absolutely no shame in being out of work and on a job search today, so own up to this to prevent the manager thinking something much worse about you.
Include descriptive job titles
For each job you formerly held, include a title which describes the role you actually performed for the company. If the title you were given at the company is only understood by people at that company, then just craft one which adequately describes your function on the team fit for the roles you are seeking.
A functional title can be thought of as one which describes what you were responsible for, as opposed to any title which may have been used in-house by your peers or supervisors. For example, it would be much preferable to describe your job title as a Capital Equipment Sales Manager, rather than the Director of Transfiguration Titration … whatever.
Do NOT Simply Describe your Job Duties
For each relevant job from your past, you should include a short paragraph which describes what you were responsible for in that particular role. Don’t use bullet points for this description, as you should save them for more important things. This should be a short paragraph comprised of no more than two or three sentences, and it should allow the reader to have some understanding of not just your responsibilities in each of position but begin to weave a story of peak performance.
List of your achievements
Next, you should add between three and five bullet points about your achievements. Note that achievements are quite different from your job responsibilities, and you’ll want a hiring manager to know what kinds of achievements you had in each of the positions you held in the past. Of special interest to a reviewer would be anything you achieved which made you stand out from your peers and which may have elevated your performance above other employees.
Unique achievements should be exactly the kind of reason a hiring manager might be interested in you and will compelling them to hire you over others. Most really good managers are aware that past performance is typically the best predictor of future success, so by showing someone what you’re good at and why they should hire you, you’re giving them an actual reason to choose you rather than someone else.
When you do describe your achievements, make sure to use real metrics and real numbers, because business leaders understand numbers better than anything else – there’s something comforting and alluring about quantifiable things. For instance, if you achieved 115% of your specific goal on another job, this would be a good thing to include on your sales resume. Things like how you attained #1 status nationally by selling the most widgets in the state of Illinois will always stand out – or that you exceeded your quota each year by more than 20%. All these quantitative measurements are solid gold in recommending you to a hiring manager.
Make reference to your skills
There are two main benefits you will get from referencing all the essential sales skills which you acquired on previous jobs. Keywords from your job description will have the effect of optimizing your resume, so that it will be forwarded on to hiring personnel at the next level. That’s when your resume will be reviewed by recruiters, and when you include language which recruiters understand, you’ll make it more obvious that you’re a good fit at that company — you’re worth calling in for a face-to-face interview.
Some examples of the kinds of sales skills which would be good to identify on your sales resume are product knowledge, goal setting and forecasting, attention to detail, time management, self-motivation, organization, written and verbal communication skills, closing sales, and client acquisition and retention.
Length of your resume
There used to be a good deal of debate about how long your resume should be, with many people claiming anything over a page would end up in the Circular File. That perspective, thankfully, seems to finally have been put to rest, and most hiring managers do actually prefer a more detailed resume. They need that detail to inform decisions about candidates.
At the same time, your resume should not be overly long, and it shouldn’t be stuffed with irrelevant information just for the sake of making it seem more impressive. Any hiring manager worth their salt will quickly sift through all the garbage to find the points which matter, but after they do, they will be annoyed that you forced them to dig. Clarity and precision are a must.
Make your resume as long as it has to be to include all the vital information described above – just don’t get carried away. A multi-page resume will require that the reviewer spend more time on it, and they’re not always in the mood to do that. Make it just long enough to provide the details about your career so it will entice someone to set up a personal call with you.
The last step
When you think you’ve included everything relevant which legitimately defines your career to this point, the last thing you should do is thoroughly proofread your resume. Don’t make a hiring manager find your grammatical errors, because that will, at the very least, be a knock against your written communication skills. Avoid using run-on sentences, check your spelling, make sure you have subject and verb agreement, and check to make sure your verb tenses are correct for the time frame you’re referring to….
Write in a concise, clear way so that people can read the resume quickly and easily. Don’t try to impress anyone by using words which you ordinarily wouldn’t – write your resume as if you were talking to someone in the room, and make every word and sentence understandable.
It is also a good idea to read your resume aloud to yourself. This will ensure it makes sense all the way through, and you’ll identify any flaws in sentence structure or phrasing. If your reviewer has to backtrack and read a sentence or paragraph multiple times, chances are you won’t be getting a phone call.
A New Questions for 2021: Past Performance Predicts Future Success?
Most of those hiring still put past performance first on their list. It is essential you be able to accurately describe how you have “been there, done that”. Especially in sales, closes are seen as victories or trophies (in some organizations people win trophies), and every salesperson should be able to list off their trophy closes in their minds before an interview.
Many hiring managers still like to see Brag Books and recommendations from others, yet what is most relevant today is social proof of your ability to remote sell and tell a compelling story.
Beyond your resume, it is essential you have created a personal, professional brand that resonates with the clientele you will be seeking to access. You have to be able grab a hiring manager’s attention, so you must craft an intentionally built and well thought out social footprint. This is going to help your job search and the hiring company’s brand tremendously.
Brynne Tillman of Social Sales Link indicates this should be something one can clearly tease out on LinkedIN by looking at the endorsements a potential hire has and what others may be saying about them or sharing with them.
We added the question in the header for this section as many are saying they are thinking beyond the past performance measure today. Instead, they are seeking out real drive to craft a personal talent brand that indicates a future team member just might be limitless in their ability to remote sell. Also, in everything they do, hiring managers want to see professionals with big goals in mind – income goals, revenue goals, personal and professional achievement targets, etc. We expect you will have high expectations of yourself and the team you join and can deliver on that even without face-to-face meetings.
Marcus Chan of Sales Ninja challenges you to do whatever it takes, within the bounds of integrity. Find unique ways in your online presence to make great things happen for the company, their clients, and, as an adjunct, yourself and your team. The philosophy of “Do. There is not Try” (Yoda) has to be your mantra.
It is a new truth this will be measured in some way. Try to craft a message across social that indicates you can sell well in the new paradigms, with creativity.
We are here for you
Whether you are interested in learning more about how to recruit the best possible talent in your space or you are seeking a new role, we are here to help. At Cerca Talent+, we employ all the best strategies and more to ensure top talent engages with the best companies to build incredible futures. We will tirelessly work to ensure you fulfill your goals and achieve peak performance every day. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to me, Scott Rivers, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses.
As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
We Provide Top Talent to create Peak Performance. That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at email@example.com, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Top Gun Talent guaranteed to help you set records.
Helping clients build world class teams as a recruiting leader in Oncology, Genetics, Diagnostics and Life Sciences
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