Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Hello Mrs. Hertz,
I have a few questions for you and really don’t know who to ask. I am 29 years old with a Bachelors degree, with an outstanding sales background attaining records and awards throughout my whole sales career at very reputable places, in my early twenties i was a professional baseball player. I have been in sales all my life since the day baseball ended so for 8 years now. That is a quick background on me. now for a few questions... My first question: is CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Training with certification worth paying for and will it truly help me to break into the industry? I sent out a few resumes recently and a recruiter from Lynx Pharmaceutical emailed me wanting me to take the course so he could set me up with some interviews. I truly do feel confident i will land the job in the industry if given a face to face interview. I don’t have a medical background at all but have wanted to break through into the industry for a few years now. I will do whatever it takes to help my chances but i don’t want to waist valuable time if it won’t help me. Thank you so very much for your time and i hope to hear back from you really soon as i am trying to figure out exactly what i want to do for the rest of my life in this beautiful sales world! I know i want to be in this industry but i do not know how to go about it. My resume in my opinion is stellar, and my numbers in sales puts the proof in the pudding! (sorry if that was cheesy). I am energetic with a great attitude and i have a passion in sales like you would not believe unless you met me. I am extremely hungry to break into this and start my life long career. Any advice helps!

Thank you, 

Shane Bagley

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Comment by Linda Hertz on September 1, 2017 at 4:15pm

Hello Shane,

As you look through my older and more recent blog posts (and several of those blogs are re-published on too) I get the most questions concerning CNPR Pharmaceutical Sales Training over the years. For the record I have NEVER had a pharmaceutical client or those recruiters request that certification or any other certification.  Period.  

Furthermore, If Lynx is requiring you to pay for the certification to pre-qualify for an interview then my alarm is now beginning to go off.  Why not interview you and deem you a worthy candidate and then indicate you are hired as long as you take the program and pass?  In fact, better yet, most companies would do that and pay for the certification upon hire, except I don't know of a company that values it or at least not yet.

I mentioned my alarm is going off, because now the pharma name Lynx has come up within the past four weeks and I addressed another candidates question on the subject within this blog that I encourage your to read.   He did ask the same question around certification as it relates to Lynx:

I am 40 Years Old, Do I Break into Pharma Sales by Getting Certified?

On another article I wrote last year I advised a nurse to do the following if she wanted to research real people who have the certification and ask them if it were worthwhile,

I suggest you go to LinkedIn and under advanced search (for finding people), put CNPR Certification or the company that promotes it NAPRx® in the key word section.  Look at where people are in their career that took that program and specifically those who do not have a four year college degree or those with a college degree but had no prior outside sales experience.  You may then determine on your own if you should spend the money.  Better yet, connect with them on LinkedIn and get their opinion directly.  So, let me leave that for you to do your own research and decide if it is worth your hard earned money.


All that said Shane you want to know "How to score an interview."  That means your resume must reflect other things hiring managers are looking for and it is not a certification, it is career stability and within the right industry.   One needs to stay in a job for at least 3 years with one company and put up the sales numbers. Real-estate sales is not one that pharma or medical device companies gravitate too.  I did review your LinkedIn Profile and I believe your job movement is going to be a hindrance at this point, you are young enough to turn that around!  I suggest you start at the beginning and go with a great B2B sales company pharma and medical device companies value.  Which companies?  Well, guess what?  Another article I wrote that will guide you:

How to Break Into Medical Device Sales

If you follow this approach you may not make as much money, but you are laying the foundation for a solid career built upon formal sales training programs that are excellent and valued companies that pay you to attend!  You should be able to score and interview with one of those B2B sales companies mentioned.

Lastly, because you are out of profile for a pharma sales position as mentioned above, you may need to do more than the average person than just applying to jobs.  If you know of someone within the pharma industry, network through them to see if you get a shot for at least the interview. It only takes one job to break in, but one thing is for certain; If you can't break into pharma right away, make sure the next B2B sales job is the right one and tell yourself you are going to stay for at least 3 years and post top sales results.  You need to have a job that becomes your anchor reflecting stability and performance.

Thank you for posting your own Blog on the topic and hope there is some shred of advice within my reply that can help you!


Linda Hertz

PS  This may be the most important advice I can give when I see a number of job changes within a resume, doing the homework to help guide you into the right career altogether!  This book helped guide me into medical device sales MANY years ago and it is updated each year: What Color is Your Parachute and they happen to have the 2018 version out now!  They update it every year.  I suggest you invest your money in that vs. a certification!


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