If you were to submit your resume for a medical device or medtech job, what is the single most important thing that’s on the mind of the hiring manager? Come on, take a guess. Is it that you made President’s Club last year? Wrong. That you were instrumental in the marketing launch of a successful medical device. Wrong. Perhaps it’s the fact that you led the regulatory team to a PMA in record time. Wrong.
These are all nice accomplishments. But not the right answer. The hiring manager is thinking, “What is this person going to do for ME and MY team.” In this interview with Sue Sarkesian, we learn the myths and mistakes you need to avoid as well as the key tips and tricks you need to include on your resume when looking for your next medical device or medtech job.
Who is Sue Sarkesian? She cofounded The Resume Group and is also the Founder of Your Exec Brand. Sue has more than 16 years of experience in guiding and coaching individuals through the search process. Working with Sue, candidates learn ways to focus their job search, develop comprehensive search strategies, and execute a targeted plan for a successful job search. Sue holds a Master’s degree with an added concentration in Career and Transition counseling.
Here’s What You Will Learn
- Why you shouldn’t use an “objective” on your resume. Instead, you should use what Sue likes to call “the hook”.
- Are you focusing too much on your past responsibilities? Instead, you need to learn how to effectively quantify your accomplishments.
- If you state it on your resume, you need to be able to prove it. Better yet, there better be a compelling story behind every point you make.
- What email address are you using for contact purposes? Sue hopes it’s NOT an AOL email address.
- Should you include the statement “references available upon request”?
- Learn Sue’s technique for matching key phrases on your resume with the hiring company’s challenges.
- Have you heard of the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)? Find out why this is a BIG deal.
This Is What You Can Do Next
1) You can listen to the interview with Sue Sarkesian right now:
2) You can also download the mp3 file of the interview by clicking here.
3) Don’t forget – you can listen to this interview and all of the other Medsider interviews via iTunes. And if you get a chance, leave us an honest rating and review on iTunes. It really helps out.
4) Read the following 10 action points from my interview with Sue Sarkesian. (If you don’t have time to listen to the entire interview, this serves as your unofficial cheat sheet.) Also, feel free to download the 10 action points by clicking here.
5) Lastly, scroll down even further and read through the actual raw transcripts of the interview.
The 10 Action Points
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire interview, take these 10 action points with you by clicking here.
Think of Yourself as the Product
In the initial phase of any job search, it’s important to put yourself in the right frame of mind. As you begin either updating or constructing your resume, you should think of yourself as the product. Much in the same way marketing professionals create branding around a product, you must create personal branding for your product – You, Inc. Your product includes your personal set of skills. Think about what makes you unique. What sets you apart from others in your field? What successes or accomplishments have you played a role in throughout your work history? Use the answers to these questions to construct a personal brand illustrating your capacity and capabilities.
Should You Use an Objective on Your Resume?
Once you begin to think of yourself as the product, use the opening statement of your resume to bring brand awareness to your product. The idea of using an “objective” as the opening statement in your resume is outdated. Instead of using your opening statement to summarize what you’re looking for in a job, use it to show your prospective employer how you can give them what they’re looking for. Your “hook” should give readers a summary of your qualifications – using keywords related to the industry and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. Use this section to show prospective employers what you have accomplished in prior positions and what results you can bring to their company. Your “summary” or “profile statement” should help hiring managers get to know you while also showing them what you have to offer their company.
Quantify Your Work History
The “work history” or “professional experience” section of your resume should not simply be a list of the responsibilities you were tasked with in previous positions. Instead, it should demonstrate examples of your successes and accomplishments. You should be as detailed and specific as possible in this section. If you brought in a significant amount of revenue, tell your audience how much. You should also explain the amount of time it took you to accomplish these goals. Quantify your experience in measurable terms like dollars and time. Even those professionals whose jobs are not revenue-based can easily quantify their accomplishments. If you were hired to fix a problem, use your resume to tell prospective employers about your success in finding a solution and the impact it had on the company. This section of your resume should be “outcome-oriented.” If one of your responsibilities involved leadership, it could be useful to include on your resume. However, be sure to show how your leadership had a positive impact on the company.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
If you include something on your resume, you have to be able to back it up. Do not list any successes or accomplishments that can’t be verified or explained through a story during an interview. This includes being careful about the terminology you use. Avoid absolute phrases like “100 percent of the time.” You should also give credit to others when necessary. But avoid being too modest in places where you played an important role in a positive outcome. It’s also important to practice the stories associated with points on your resume in advance of an interview in order to avoid being taken by surprise when asked about a specific detail.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are a number of mistakes applicants make when applying for a position. The contact information on your resume should never be linked to your current job. You also want to make sure this information sounds professional. Don’t use email addresses that are childish, humorous, or too personal. It could also be detrimental to use an email address with an outdated network such as AOL. These same rules apply to the phone number you supply. Make sure the voicemail message attached to this number sounds professional. In terms of your resume, you should avoid statements like “references available upon request.” This is already implied.
The Elevator Pitch
It’s important to make sure your resume is short and to the point. Think of it as an elevator pitch where you have 30 seconds to hook the hiring manager reading your resume. In order to best utilize your 30 seconds, focus on developing the top half of your resume. You should also make sure not to list every award, publication, or project in your history. Depending on the position you are applying for, these can be included in a portfolio or addendum.
Not Your Parent’s Job Search
While networking has long been a top priority for job seekers, the number of jobs found using this method reached its lowest point in 60 years in 2010 and 2011. In today’s economy, hiring managers can be more selective when considering candidates – leading them to be more focused on results and less focused on an applicant’s personal connection with them or someone at the company. The state of the economy has also increased the number of applicants applying to online job sites like CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com. Due to the deluge of applicants applying to any one position, there are a number of clearances your resume has to pass before it ever sees the desk of a hiring manager. Also of importance, keep in mind that 90 percent of positions with salaries above $50,000 to $60,000 are not even posted online.
Mastering the Applicant Tracking System
Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software takes resumes submitted online and scans them for keywords and key phrases that demonstrate core competencies and areas of expertise. These systems are used to weed through the overwhelming number of resumes submitted to online job postings. Services like TagCloud can help you include the appropriate number of keywords in your resume without going overboard. The ATS system can also disqualify your resume if there are too many keywords. Therefore, you need to be careful that the keywords you use are necessary and demonstrative of your skills.
Get Personal with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is quickly becoming a go-to source for hiring managers. The social networking site provides a more professional and career focused medium than other social networking sites. In order to maximize your LinkedIn profile, be sure to include necessary keywords in the same way you’ve done with your resume. Once you’ve researched companies you are interested in applying to, you should research those companies on LinkedIn. By using the company’s directory on LinkedIn, you can connect with decision makers related to the position you are applying for. It’s also important to have an active presence on LinkedIn. This includes joining groups related to your profession and industry and participating in group discussions.
Two Steps You Must Take Before Starting Your Search
Before beginning your job search, you should consider hiring a job search consulting company like Your Exec Brand. The first step you must complete before beginning your job search is to properly construct your resume. A key factor in perfecting your resume is gaining an outside opinion. A consultation with a resume expert regarding your work history and background can help you identify and uncover accomplishments throughout your career that you might have not otherwise noticed. The second step is to perfect your LinkedIn profile and join groups related to your field or the companies you plan to apply with. Job search experts can help you identify the correct keywords for your profile. They can also help identify which groups would be the most beneficial for you to join or which decision makers you should connect with. The key to deciding whether or not hiring a company like Your Exec Brand is a good decision for you is to determine how much your time is worth and how much time it would take you to complete these steps on your own.
Read the Interview with Sue Sarkesian