“Thank you for applying, but we have decided to go with another candidate at this time. We’ll keep your resume and application on file for future opportunities.”

There it is, again.

You’ve spent countless hours submitting applications to dozens of jobs, trying to land one of the best sales jobs for you — and they simply respond, “no.”

It’s a feeling we’ve all had at some point in our careers, but rejection is something you never get used to.

Whether you’re looking for your first sales job or are attempting to bring your career back to life, it’s important to know exactly what top recruiters and sales companies are looking for in employees.

Here are three ways to bring your sales career back to life:

1. If you’re not fully-qualified, be creative.

Don’t let one or two missing qualifications scare you away from applying for a new role. If you truly believe you’re qualified, take the chance.

However, taking chances also means being creative with your previous experiences. Show recruiters how a seemingly unrelated job actually gave you the qualifying skills for the best sales jobs.

While recruiters are open to this type of creativity, they do have strict requirements for previous job experience. If you’re unable to get creative with the experience you already have, look for something new to get you there.

For example, medical recruiters are looking for sales experience in a specific field. If you want to be in a hospital medical device sales position, get a job selling other products to hospitals, like office equipment or medical scrubs. In a few years, you’ll be able to prove you’re more than capable of selling in that specific setting.

2. Show off your soft skills.

The best sales jobs are full of professionals with polished soft skills. They’re what can take you from an OK sales rep to leading your team on goals every month.

Remember, you’re up against other qualified candidates who have also hit their sales goals, earned awards for their performances, or have the same degrees. This means you need to show off your soft skills of self-management, communication, and emotional intelligence.

On your resume, careful word choices will help you portray the soft skills you excel at in your sales career. Don’t simply state that you’ve reached your sales goals four years in a row or you deal with customer’s questions and concerns.

Rather, show by how much you independently exceeded those goals, and the results of how you communicated customers’ issues with management to resolve them.

On the contrary, if you’re happy with your current company, but are looking to kick your career up a notch, start showing off your soft skills in person.

Apply the small suggestions leaders offer in passing or during sales meetings. If you hear them talking about new sales processes they don’t have the time to implement, show you’re always listening and are self-sufficient by getting them off the ground.

3. Enhance applications for applicant tracking systems (ATS)

It’s natural to put all of your energy and focus into finding ways to impress recruiters and employers. Unfortunately, if you can’t get past an ATS, you won’t have the opportunity to impress the living, breathing human beings who will make the hire.

Many ATSs score applications based on the parameters of open positions. Applicants are then ranked and sorted based on their score. So, how do you show off for something with no brain or emotions?

The best thing to do is keep your resume simple by avoiding templates:

  1. Title your resume clearly: Your Name — Job Title
  2. Remove images and subtitles
  3. Avoid spelling errors
  4. Include contact information in the body of your resume
  5. Answer questions completely and thoroughly

The technical work put into customizing resumes and showing soft skills is a crucial aspect for getting past the gatekeepers — virtual or human. But don’t forget the most important factor playing into bringing the best sales jobs to life: passion.

Without a strong love and drive for what you do every day, your sales career will slowly wilt. As you’re going through the challenging application processes or are attempting to climb the ladder, remember why you decided medical sales was the career for you.

 

Karyn Mullins, Executive Vice President and General Manager at MedReps, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web.

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