Career Information for New College Graduates and Students

Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

Q: I am seeking an entry-level pharmaceutical sales position. What suggestions could you make to aid me in my search? Thank you, David.

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A: David, to break into pharmaceutical sales, you need a bachelor’s degree in any field, a clean driving record, and a record of successful outside sales experience. Another factor a pharmaceutical company looks for is a work history free from frequent job changes. You also need the desire and ability to learn about pharmaceutical products.

Pharmaceutical sales differs from most other sales jobs in that there is no order to close or contract to sign. With pharmaceutical sales, the rep serves as an expert for physicians promoting products through education and awareness. It is an indirect sales role with the goal of increasing the level of prescriptions written in the rep’s sales territory.

Use your resume and cover letter to highlight your experience learning about complex topics. Also use your resume and cover letter to convey your experience educating and training clients. To pursue a position in pharmaceutical sales, use the same avenues as you would with any other field: networking, the Internet, executive recruiters, and direct employer contact.

To learn more about the pharmaceutical industry, obtain business cards from your physician’s office for the pharmaceutical reps that call on that office. Contact these reps for an informational interview or ask if you can “shadow” them for a day to learn more about their role.

Go to to learn more about the top pharmaceutical companies and consider subscribing to this site’s trade magazine to gain further industry knowledge. Or join an industry association.

Learn more about getting a sales job working for a leading pharmaceutical company!

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