Looking Back, Looking Forward: What Recruiters Want From You

Looking Back, Looking Forward: What Recruiters Want From You

Karyn Mullins
You’re not getting calls back from recruiters, and you have no one to blame but yourself. In order to land the best sales jobs, you have to stand out from the crowd. Generic application materials are just not going to cut it in this day and age.  

These days, rather than just tell what you’ve accomplished, you have to show recruiters why you made the decisions you did, and how those choices directly benefitted the companies where you’ve worked.

Show them what you can do, and what you will do when hired in a new role. This ensures you move past words on a paper (cover letter, resume), and prove that you’re a motivated, well-rounded candidate worthy of placement in a top sales job.

Here’s how to wow recruiters by generating interest in your ambitions past, present, and future:

1) Create online buzz

Everyone knows the importance of a great pitch. When you’re trying to land your dream job, you are the “product” you’re selling. It’s essential to reach people where they are. So, a great way to market your professional abilities and the unique skills and experience you bring to the table is through your social media profiles.

Recruiters are already searching online for information about you. In fact, in the 2017 MedReps What Recruiters Want survey, 63 percent of recruiters said they turn to online profiles first when sourcing top talent.

The quality of the content they find is critically important. More than 88 percent of recruiters who responded in the MedReps What Recruiters Want survey said if a qualified candidate’s online presence reveals inconsistencies or negative content, they don’t make contact. However, when your social media profiles paint the picture of a motivated and qualified professional, recruiters will want to reach out to learn details of your success.

Create interest by building and engaging with an online following. It’s important to post compelling content and interact with industry leaders, so be deliberate with your content strategy. You can even become a thought leader by providing details about your successful career tactics and posting presentations on relevant industry topics.

2) Go back to basics

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should neglect tried-and-true methods of submitting applications. As a matter of fact, 87 percent of recruiters surveyed in the MedReps What Recruiters Want survey said hard copy cover letters and resumes are most important when they’re considering which candidate to place.

They want to see measurable results, such as how you were able to increase sales figures and by how much. This information should be offered in direct communication, as well as detailed in your portfolio.

In addition, recruiters want to view and check your credentials. Providing transcripts, certifications, and other materials up front is helpful.

Still, it’s important not to mistake “traditional” with boring or simple. In fact, many recruiters request these materials in specific formats to see if you can follow instructions, or suggest taking a creative approach to see how you think on your feet.

You should always tailor your application materials to the companies you’re applying to and highlight how your unique skills and experience would be an asset specifically to their team.

Consider creating your own brand by making sure all of your application materials have the same look and feel. This includes your personal website and/or social media profiles. Creating a personal brand can be as simple as carrying over the same fonts and images across all job-related materials. Recruiters will be impressed by your attention to detail.

3) Toot your own horn

An essential companion to your cover letter and resume is your brag book. In fact, nearly half (43 percent) of recruiters surveyed in the MedReps What Recruiters Want survey said they want to see them during the interview.

This portfolio proves your talents and skills and provides you with an opportunity to truly showcase your sales expertise. It’s a tangible record of your past accomplishments.

An impressive brag book includes:

  • your resume
  • company ranking reports
  • recent performance reviews
  • references and letters of recommendation
  • marketing materials you helped create (if applicable)
  • continuing education certifications
  • photos of awards, trophies, and tangible professional accolades

Presenting your brag book creates talking points you can use to further sell yourself for the position. In addition, you can tell real-life stories about how you achieved certain successes.

4) Look to the future and beyond

While brag books focus on your past success, career plans demonstrate a vision for the future. Recruiters surveyed in the MedReps What Recruiters Want survey (69 percent) said 30/60/90 day plans are important. These career plans show a focus on future accomplishments. In addition, they provide insight into how lessons from the past impact your decisions moving ahead.

Impress recruiters with your openness to change and professional evolution. Help them understand how being in control of your own career also benefits the companies where you work.

Candidates who rely on their social media profiles and don’t have anything tangible to show in the interview risk putting off recruiters. To make a lasting and positive impact, you need strong application materials -- both on and offline.

Your social media profiles provide a human side to your cover letter and resume, while your brag book and career plan demonstrate a commitment to continued success in your sales career.

Karyn Mullinsis the President at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Karyn on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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