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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume Example & Writing Guide

Seal the deal on that job with a job-winning pharmaceutical sales representative resume! This step by step guide will show you how to use those persuasion skills to write a resume that shows off your unique selling points.
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Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume Example & Writing Guide
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Writing the perfect resume may seem daunting, but if you think of your job search as a series of sales goals to sell yourself, you’ll be on your way! A winning pharmaceutical sales representative resume should emphasize your sales experience and knowledge of pharmaceuticals and the medical industry.  

At Resume.io we want to help you seal the deal on your next job opportunity. You’ve got the skills. However, if you need help committing your professional story to paper and nailing the application, we can help. We provide resume guides and resume examples for 350+ professions, supported with an easy-to-use resume builder.

Using this guide and the corresponding resume example content will show you how to write a top resume covering the following topics:

  • What does a pharmaceutical sales representative do?
  • How to write a pharmaceutical sales representative resume (tips and tricks)
  • The best format for a pharmaceutical sales representative resume
  • Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Professional resume layout and design hints.

By following our expert guidance on the creation of your pharmaceutical sales resume, you will be on your way to taking the next step in your career as a medical sales professional.

What does a pharmaceutical sales representative do?

Pharmaceutical sales representatives work to educate physicians and medical professionals on new and existing medications available in the pharmaceutical industry. You provide samples and product knowledge and inform them about the benefits, features, and side effects of medications.

Pharmaceutical sales representatives should understand business development, create and improve sales strategies, and strive to increase sales. You are expected to have excellent speaking and presentation skills, enabling you to clearly communicate information about products they are pushing. You must also be trustworthy and detail-oriented because you may be handling sensitive pharmaceutical samples that must be carefully accounted for.

How to write a pharmaceutical sales representative resume

Before you go any further, there are some basic steps to build the framework of your pharmaceutical sales representative resume. Make sure that yours includes the following sections:

  • The resume header
  • The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • The employment history section
  • The resume skills section
  • The education section

The tone of your writing will depend on the philosophy and culture of the company that you’re applying to. So, don’t forget to spend some time researching the company and rereading the job ad. The rest of this guide will take you through making each section the best it can be.

Choosing the best resume format for a pharmaceutical sales representative

The best resume format for organizing your work experience is reverse chronological order. However, if your career has taken a winding path, you may consider a functional resume to focus on the sales skills you have developed. Since most companies use an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to narrow the field of candidates, you should try to use the exact language used in the job listing when you craft your resume. 

Expert tip

Write for the ATS 

The Applicants Tracking System (ATS) is an algorithm that many companies will use to sift through applications. Only the top ones will make it in front of the eyes of the hiring manager. 

Want to make sure you make the cut? Search the job ad for keywords of skills and experience the employer is looking for. Then make sure to include it - where it feels natural to do so – on your resume. Remember to stay honest!

Resume summary example

Think of this section as your elevator pitch. You have about 100 words to convince the sales manager to hire you. Apply the same skills to this part of resume writing as you do to convincing healthcare professionals to buy your products. Sell your personality and expertise as well as the product. 

Hiring managers and recruiters know that a big part of selling is personality. The summary, also known as a profile, gives you the opportunity to show that personality. Let your style shine as you show off your successes in increasing market share and exceeding sales targets. When you write, remember that sales executives and recruiters want to get a sense of your professional personality as well as your sales skills.

Choose one or two of your biggest successes and describe them using powerful action verbs and medical terminology when appropriate. Go ahead and brag a little about your achievements!

Adaptable resume summary example

Accomplished Pharmaceutical Sales Representative with a strong history of surpassing sales goals and developing lasting relationships with clients. Adept in providing crucial information regarding newly launched and established pharmaceutical products to clients. Ability to effectively generate leads for pharmaceutical products, market them, and increase business exponentially.

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Employment history sample 

Use your employment history section to illuminate how you have accomplished these goals in your career. Avoid writing bullet items that describe job responsibilities. Instead, use details and data to show how what you have accomplished in your career.

Each bullet point should tell a short story that answers the questions:

  • What was the challenge?
  • What action did you take to meet it?
  • What was the result of your action?

Remember to use as many powerful action verbs and job-specific information as you can. List all positions relevant to a pharmaceutical sales representative position. For instance, if you have not sold pharmaceuticals before, but have worked in outside sales or in medical device sales, those are relevant jobs. Even if you have been a retail sales associate, you have experience with customer satisfaction and sales goals. Those skills are transferrable.

See example content below.

Adaptable employment history resume example

Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative, Cheshire Pharmacueticals, San Antonio 
August 2012 - Present 

  • Consistently surpass sales quotas by more than 20%.
  • Implement effective sales strategies and equipping providers with powerful product knowledge.
  • Named highest ranking salesperson in region on multiple occasions.
  • Acquire and manage a diverse portfolio full of established and newly launched products.
  • Continually rank high in sales for diabetes, obesity, and arthritis markets.
  • Analyze sales reports to develop strategies and identify new opportunities on weekly basis.
  • Signed new account in 2015 which has since progressed to be the organization’s biggest client.


Pharmaceuticals Sales Representative, Health Focus Pharmaceuticals, San Antonio 
May 2009 - July 2012 

  • Worked to develop and grow sales opportunities, marketing seven pharmaceutical products and managing four different geographical territories.
  • Led team that reorganized the company’s territory boundaries, resulting in increased efficiency of marketing and sales workflow.
  • Consistently exceeded regional sales goals by 10% and more.
  • Worked to effectively market cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary pharmaceuticals.
  • Developed a strong working knowledge of products, essential to effectively convey their benefit and potency to clients and partners.
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CV skills example

If you had ten words or phrases to describe the best of your professional abilities and style, what would they be? Answer that question here! Your sales skills should be at the forefront, but break those down into their components. Are you great at turning cold calling into business? Do you have long-term relationships with clients? Do you easily sell new products? These are valuable skills. Think about your soft skills, such as time-management, active listening, or education (a big part of your sales job will be educating clients about your product) as well as your hard skills.

Be sure to showcase your ability to develop and foster strategic relationships with clients and industry members. Call attention to your ability to effectively present information to potential clients, and answer any questions they might have. Be sure to list impressive soft and hard skills such as pharmaceutical knowledge, marketing techniques, networking skills, interpersonal skills, product knowledge, and negotiating skills.

See example content below.

Adaptable resume skills example
  • Lead Pipeline Management
  • Strong Contacts in Obesity and Diabetes Markets
  • Advanced Pharmaceutical Knowledge
  • Sales and Marketing Strategies
  • CRM Softwares
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Pharmaceutical sale representative education example

Most pharmaceutical companies are looking for at least a bachelor’s degree. Your major is not important, although many who know they want to work in a medical field earn some type of life sciences degree. If you are looking for an entry-level position, any knowledge of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or biological sciences is helpful. So, list classes that will show you have that foundation.

If you are an experienced job-seeker with several years of experience, you can think of this section as a simple list of all your degrees and certifications here. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well.

See example content below.

Adaptable education resume example

Bachelor of Business Administration, NYU, New York
August 2005 - May 2009

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Resume layout and design 

As a sales representative, you know how to present yourself visually when on sales calls: Clean, neat, professional. The same goes for your resume. Sales managers want to quickly scan for pertinent facts such as your contact information, current job title and responsibilities, and past job title and responsibilities. Make it easy for them! Leave plenty of white space and choose section headings that stand out. Also, remember that a little subtle color goes a long way.

If design isn’t your forte, our field-tested resume templates could help to get you on the way. We want to help you create an impressive resume and avoid common mistakes that could prevent you from getting that all-important interview. When you are satisfied, save your document, and you’re good to go!

Key takeaways for a pharmaceutical sales representative

  1. Write with the ATS in mind.
  2. Really sell your personality in the summary section.
  3. Use your employment history to build a story of the challenges you’ve successfully faced.
  4. Complement that story in the skills section to show off your unique selling points.
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