"Every problem is a gift. Without problems, we would not grow."
Anthony robbins

Medical Sales Reps...don't let YOUR OWN BIAS hinder your job search.

As a recruiter, I talk to salespeople every day who are evaluating new job opportunities. What amazes me is how many people make snap judgments on great jobs because of their own preconceived notions or some rumor they picked up. We often think about companies or management being biased, but many times it is the job seeker who is most guilty of bias. Allowing outdated mindsets to creep in and alter our job search can be costly.  

Let’s take at the look at some of the common types of bias that are floating around the medical sales world right now…

  1. I have a buddy who works for XYZ Surgical and those guys are doing fantastic” - Let’s face it, sales reps can be big talkers, and many of our friends have made a living on embellishing. A lot of these guys would never admit it if they had taken a pay cut, or if their job was at risk. That said, put it out of your mind that there is a perfect, bulletproof company that hasn’t been affected by the pandemic. Your buddy doesn’t have the perfect job either.  
  2. I only want to look at big, brand name companies right now; where people are safe” - While bigger companies might seem a little safer, these organizations may also have employee redundancy; with multiple sales reps covering the same geography. That fact might actually make some bigger companies riskier or less likely to hire coming out of the pandemic. Do your research, but don’t rule out small companies, especially when they are growing. Growth breeds new opportunities, not size!  
  3. I have been a device rep for 10 years; I refuse to look at biotech or anything pharma related” – The days of “pharma reps” just pushing pills is really outdated. In fact, the biotech space outgrew the medical device space by 3 to1 ratio in 2019, and dare I say it, many of the biotech reps made more money than their device counterparts. Technology companies involved in therapeutics, genetic testing, or hybrid pharma/device jobs are poised for continued growth as the economy recovers.  
  4. The operating room is top of the food chain for medical sales reps, and therefore, I only want to look at OR Jobs” - Health care economics have forced a lot of surgeons to pursue alternative sites of service and alternative (preventative) therapies rather than just “cutting” in the OR. Don’t be an OR SNOB! There is a great big world outside of the operating room or the cath lab. Diversifying your skills might actually help your resume in the long run, especially with hospital access being potentially limited in the near future.  
  5. The base salary is too low; I think I will pass” – Getting overly hung up on the base salary and ignoring the total compensation for a medical sales role is very short-sighted. Candidates should be evaluating the financial opportunity with the whole package in mind. Some simple research can give you a basic idea what an average (or above average rep) is making in the role. Dismissing a high paying job based solely on the salary is still a common mistake especially with traditional pharmaceutical reps.  
  6. I am unemployed, but I made $200K in 2019. Only call me on jobs north of that” – Don’t get so focused on what you used to make that you talk yourself out of a job. When a recruiter asks about income, be honest about what you made previously, but be humble enough to remain open to all reasonable opportunities. No one wants to take a step back financially; but being flexible at least gets you a seat at the table.  

As the economy expands and hiring picks up, those that are actively networking and remain open minded will uncover better jobs. We might just come out of this thing with a whole new perspective and fantastic opportunities that we never would have considered if the pandemic didn’t force us to open our eyes.  

Grow your vine! CrossVine Recruiting


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