A Job Application when you don’t have the qualifications

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008 - career transition, CV Writing, Job Application, job search, tutorial

Job Application

Candace says: I am looking to break into the pharmaceutical sales industry, but have had much trouble in getting a direct phone number to contact or a face-to-face interview in my area. Any suggestions? Companies in my area include: GSK; Astra Zeneca; Bohinger Ingelheim. Location specific: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Area

In Answer:
I will start by saying – your skills at present seem not to match what most of these companies would be seeking as minimums for the position you seek (each on their websites define their skills requirements). Your sales skills seem low level but with well developed market analysis, marketing – while modern pharmachem sales are based on complex systems and business benefit analysis.

However, there is hope – if that’s REALLY what you want to do? If it is, then…. assuming your details are already registered on each of these companies job application sections of their websites (if not – do that now and wait about 3days for the phone call…), and you have not made traction yet in your desired goal, then I suggest (in order of action/preference):

1. Preceptorship – If you know any pharmacutical sales reps, see if you can get one of them to take you into the field with them for a day. It is called a preceptorship and Pharma companies love to see it on your CV/Resume.

2. The graduate – all the companies you mention all have graduate programs. You might be a bit old (three years out of college), and it seems you have a two year degree over a four year degree. You would have to take a pay cut, but it would get you in

3. Sideways – take a job post in another area where your existing skills in marketing analysis and deployment would better presently suit, then move sideways once in

4. Contract – take a position with a contract sales firm or medical supply company and use that to build your credibility. While working at one of these companies continue your education and get a four year degree while simultaneously establishing strong med/pharm sales qualifications.

There is another option, better deployed if you have the right qualifications for a targeted employer, but just can’t seem to get through the HR door – but we will save that tip for another day.

Good Luck!

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