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Pharmaceutical Sales Resumes: What To Write And What Not To Write On Resume

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Pharmaceutical sales positions are very demanding. They are a combination of two jobs demanding in their own right – pharma and sales. Applying for these positions requires a lot of thought and careful consideration. You need to ask yourself a lot of questions, but besides asking yourself ‘Am I fit for this job?’, you should also ask yourself this:

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One would think the answer is usually written in the job description, but that’s just scratching the surface. When it comes to pharmaceutical sales positions, the job recruiter will usually look for previous experience and achievements. Job hunters often neglect these things and focus on completely different aspects, usually ending up frustrated as the phone never rings.

Here are a few pharmaceutical sales resume tips to help you get started with your new resume.

What NOT To Do On a Pharmaceutical Sales Resume:

First, we will address the things you should never write or include on pharmaceutical sales resume, because those are more likely to have you eliminated from the hiring process. Obviously, they're not limited to these, but they are something you should definitely consider. Among the top three things you should avoid are vague examples of previous work and 'template' resumes that does not showcase your accomplishments, hiding previous employment length, and not being specific enough with education. Let's get down to it:

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Vague examples of sales achievements:

'Selling products' and 'organizing events' as examples of previous work, is not something a recruiter wants to see on your pharmaceutical sales resume. These terms are very broad and quite vague, and honestly – they're not doing you any good. You need to be specific and detailed, preferably adding numbers and other metrics. For example, 'sold $100,000 worth of pharmaceutical products in a fiscal quarter', or 'organized a presentation of new products to clients and business partners once a month'.

Hiding length of previous employment on resume:

Sales is a very, VERY demanding position, and when you're trying to sell pharmaceutical products, it’s even more demanding. Also, it is very easy to track, because the metric is very simple – did you bring in earnings, or not? One of the key elements making sales representatives successful is the number of leads and contacts they have, and that comes with time. That is why experience is extremely valued and looked for on this position. By hiding this information from the recruiter, you’re risking not even being called in. Sometimes, a hiring manager could turn a blind eye on less experience, to get some other skills you might have.

Specific with education background:

Chemistry, University Name. If this is all you planned on placing on your resume, with possibly a date of start and end, you’re doing it wrong. Pharma as an industry is constantly under a lot of scrutiny, and recruiters need to be extra careful to hire the right people, otherwise they’re putting a lot on the line. Be more specific with your education – you will save the HR managers a lot of time, and possibly get yourself invited. Master’s Degree in Chemistry, College X is a much better option.

Now that you know some of the basic things you should avoid, here are very important things to include on a Pharmaceutical Sales Resume:

Showcasing Sales Experience:

Instead of omitting previous job lengths in your resume, something we covered above, you should place a strong emphasis on experience. In such a field, where two extremely demanding positions are combined (pharma and sales), experience will play a major role. Make sure you include anything relevant.


Read the job description carefully, and be even more careful when analyzing the company. When browsing through the company’s LinkedIn profile, Facebook page or website, make sure you identify which skills are most wanted in a pharmaceutical sales position. Those can be anything from account management, to psychology, to communications and event management. Make sure to list any you possess.

Keywording on a resume:

It is imperative you turn your skills into fancy keywords. They will help you be found more easily online, and pass the company’s ATS System. If you’re not sure which keywords to use, you can search for pharmaceutical sales resume examples, or you can find them in the job description. Look for things like Customer Service, Account Management, Relationship Management, Sales, Marketing, Presentations, etc.

Obviously, you should not be limited only to these tips. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your potential employer and think long and hard about what kind of resume he or she would like to see. Then, slowly start filling up the blanks. If you still need help with pharmaceutical sales resume writing, you can always ring up a professional pharmaceutical sales resume writing company in Gilbert Arizona – they’d be glad to give you a helping hand.

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