Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Where You Have Worked DOES Brand You; are you Walmart or Tiffany Merchandise?

I have been conducting Career Consults and Interview Workshops all week for donations to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk and I found myself coaching Job Seekers and sharing with them the behind the scenes thoughts and comments that Recruiters NEVER talk about when we are conducting interviews.  In fact, they are the same thoughts I would keep buried when I was a hiring manager in Medical Device Sales!  You have heard the saying, "You are what you eat", then let me add another line, "You are who you have worked for" too!  So are you a Walmart or a Tiffany?  Are you a Lincare or a Medtronic?  Now you are getting into a recruiters head!  Let me continue to share these inner thoughts.

 

One of those thoughts is looking at the quality of the employers that a person has worked for since they graduated from college. Why is that important?  Let me give you a couple of reasons.

  1. Really great companies usually hire really great people.
  2. Every company has a known company culture and if your resume shows you worked at a company successfully then you probably reflect that culture fit.  Conversely if you had short tenure there, you probably were NOT a great culture fit and if that company is a great company, you may have a problem IF you try to get into another great company that has the SAME TYPE of persona (think Stryker and a U.S. Surgical, part of Covidien). 
  3. If you have worked for crappy companies (I will be kind and not mention them here), tier 3 or 4 players or even little known name company (and they never will be well known and YOU know it!) then that tells a recruiter you are a poor job picker or not good enough to get with a major player or you kept betting on the wrong black horse!  Start ups are another animal all together and really not part of this discussion other than Start Up companies like those people who have worked for start ups, they will brand you as Start Up Merchandise! 
  4. If you picked a market segment and have worked in it the past 4 or 5 years you become that merchandise. For example, recruiters see pharmaceutical companies on the resume and you have become pharmaceutical merchandise.  The list can go on and one; Long Term Care vs. Acute Care, Capital Equipment vs. Medical Device, Orthopedic vs. Cardiovascular and etc.,. 

Yes, it is terrible that we have become labeled by our employ, but then again we did the picking!  As I told one of my job seekers during a career consult today, "Remember that you always want to aim for a top company to work for with the right culture fit for you or minimally a smaller player that is recognized for having a solid name and a sales group known for their integrity.  The companies that you have worked and stayed any length of meaningful time (around 3 years plus) have put their Brand on you and your resume, so choose wisely.

 

When an aggressive company calls me selling orthopedic total hips and asks for a super aggressive person who can knock out sales number and can build rapport and sell to Ortho docs, I am not going to find the right "merchandise" with a Coloplast Wound Care on their resume.  Nothing wrong with Coloplast, just not the right culture fit for someone looking for Stryker Merchandise!  If a wound care company calls me that is looking for someone experienced in wound care who can do a softer sale at the hospital level and build great nurse relationships with education based selling...then I would shop for Coloplast Merchandise! 

 

So remember, understand what type of culture fit would be best for you and marry that up to the right company, a company you can be proud of and that will become part of your personal branding when you put their name next to yours on a business card or a resume.  If you pick the right one, you may never need to worry about the resume!

©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved

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Tags: career advice, measure company strength, personal branding

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