Writing a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Resume (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 12, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many people enjoy working in sales because their passion and talent often result in earning a good income quickly. Pharmaceutical sales are among the more popular fields in a thriving and highly profitable industry. If you would like to work in this field, learning how to write a compelling resume could give you a better chance of gaining a position. In this article, we explain what a pharmaceutical sales rep is, show you how to write a pharmaceutical sales rep resume, and provide a template and example for you to follow.

What is a pharmaceutical sales rep?

A pharmaceutical sales rep specializes in selling medication and related products. They develop business relationships with medical professionals and update them on the latest developments in the industry. These sales reps work hard to ensure compelling sales pitches while fulfilling their ethical duties. They must often follow strict regulations and internal company guidelines to promote ethical behaviour.

Many people who become pharmaceutical sales reps have some background knowledge of pharmacology, expanding their work opportunities and making them more effective at selling medication. It is a position that appeals to people interested in combining medical knowledge with sales.

How to write a pharmaceutical sales rep resume

You can follow these steps to help you write an effective pharmaceutical sales rep resume:

1. Choose a resume style

You have many stylistic choices to make when crafting your resume. When applying for a position like this, it's a good idea to take a professional approach. Using a black and white theme is recommended, with dark blue or another visually pleasing colour for the occasional accent. Standard font choices include Calibri, Times New Roman, and Arial because they're easy to read and have a neutral appearance. Researching other successful resume examples in similar sales fields to use as a guide is helpful.

2. Focus on the job advertisement

The most effective resumes focus on a specific job posting rather than the role in general. While you could create an outline for all pharmaceutical sales positions, it's advisable to research a particular role and tailor your resume accordingly, helping you know what qualities the employer is looking for and improving your chances of an interview. Once you've created your first resume, you can often reuse it in the future by making minor changes according to the posting. You may also want to do additional research on the company, as you can sometimes identify specific elements it seems to value in employees.

3. Insert your contact information

A resume typically contains your full name, phone number, professional e-mail, city, province, or territory where you live in the header portion. You can also include a link to your portfolio or personal website if relevant. Giving the hiring manager at least two ways of contacting you makes it easier for them to schedule an interview or ask further questions.

Related: How to Include and Format Contact Information on a Resume

4. Write a solid professional summary

Your professional summary is a short section highlighting your skills and accomplishments. You can write two or three sentences describing your most significant achievements in this section. This enables someone to quickly scan your resume and see the value you could bring, which is beneficial during the often rapid initial vetting process. For a sales position, it's usually a good idea to emphasize your interpersonal skills in this section. Any traits you don't mention here can be discussed in your cover letter or included in other areas of your resume.

Related: A Guide to Writing a Resume Summary with Samples

5. Describe your relevant work experience

The standard format lists your work history in reverse chronological order, beginning with your current or most recent position and moving backwards. For your most recent job, list the five duties most relevant to your application, and for other roles, you can list three.

Add the title, years worked, company name, and location for each position. For your present job, insert the start date and write "current" to show that you're still employed. You could also list any relevant internships in this section. Format them the same way as the rest of your work experience.

Related: What Is Relevant Experience? Definition and Examples

6. Include your education and any relevant certifications

Next, add a section detailing your education, certifications, and other training. Note your highest degree first, the year you graduated, if it was within the past five years, the institution, and its location. Although you can list multiple degrees, most professionals omit high school education if they've earned a higher qualification. For certifications and training, you can list your most impressive or relevant first or choose a more straightforward ordering system, such as alphabetical.

7. List your skills

These include general skills that are likely helpful even if not mentioned in the job posting, such as knowing how to use a spreadsheet program. You could also include soft skills, such as time management, to help further emphasize your value as a candidate. As you may have dozens of skills, narrow your list to the ones you believe are most important to the position.

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

8. Thoroughly edit your resume

As a manager may receive many similar resumes, sending an error-free document can make your submission more impressive to the hiring team. This review can also help you see if you've missed any details or if you could add anything to strengthen your resume further. At this stage, ensure the formatting makes the document look clean and professional and contains all the necessary information.

Related: How to Use a Resume Keyword Scanner (With Steps and Tips)

Resume template for a pharmaceutical sales position

Here's a template to help you craft a compelling pharmaceutical sales rep resume:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]

[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province or territory]

Professional Summary

[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education, or certifications and achievements as a pharmaceutical sales professional.]

Experience

[Job Title], [Employment dates]

[Company name], [City], [Province or territory]

  • [(Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title], [Employment dates]

[Company name], [City], [Province or territory]

  • [(Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome, or quantified results]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

Education

[Degree], [Major] | [Date of graduation]

[Name of school or university] | [City], [Province or territory]

Certifications

[Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]
[Certification Name], [Host organization] - [Year completed or expiration date]

Skills

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Example resume for a pharmaceutical sales position

You can use this example as a reference while creating your resume:

John Toussaint
jtsales@email.com | (123) 444-5555 | Toronto, Ontario

Professional Summary

Over six years of experience in sales, with four years in pharmaceutical sales. Enjoys working as part of a team to create new sales strategies while considering all relevant data and trends. Willing to travel long distances to meet clients and negotiate sales.

Experience

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative, 2018–Current
Panacea Inc., Toronto, Ontario

  • call regular clients with new offers

  • identify potential clients using data from research and marketing

  • work with the sales team to devise new, more effective sales strategies

  • travel to meet and negotiate with major clients

  • research products to determine how to market them to new and existing customers

Car Sales Representative, 2016–2018
Able & Sons Automotive Lot, Waterloo, Ontario

  • identified customer requirements and matched them with the most suitable product

  • met quarterly sales quotas

  • answered all customer inquiries

Education

Bachelor's Degree in Marketing
Thomson School of Marketing & Sales | Waterloo, Ontario

Skills

Word processing | Multilingual | Market research | Product research | Negotiation | Time management

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