Linda Hertz Group

My Medical Device Sales Career

Quick Way to Throw Your Money Away; Hire a Resume Writer WITHOUT asking “THE QUESTION”

As a former Medical Sales Hiring Manager and Medical Sales Recruiter I have seen thousands and thousands of resumes for our industry (more years than I care to admit); I know when I see a professional, well written resume suited to our industry. On the flip side, I also know immediately when a resume has been written by a so called professional resume writer who is unqualified in our industry. I am excluding resumes that have been composed by the Job Seeker themselves, which are often better constructed than those of the hired unqualified professional!


The resumes falling short of industry standard are often lengthy with huge paragraphs of verbiage laced throughout the resume within an unfamiliar template that is simply not acceptable or not standard in the Medical Sales Industry. When I see these types of resumes I can guess with great accuracy that the Job Seeker has been downsized from their current corporation (providing them outplacement services) or they are gainfully employed and had the money to burn on an expensive executive or sales resume service.


So if good money is being spent for these resume services, why are the resumes so inappropriate for our industry? The answer became clear as I began to ask the Job Seekers the question: “Who wrote this resume and what is their background?”. I began to realize that almost no one could answer that question! Remember, that some of these people were employed executives who hired a resume writer for a sum of $1,000 to $3,000 dollars! The most vulnerable to poor resume writing are those that have been downsized from their company; they have been given the free Kool-Aid known as Outplacement Services. After all, it is free for the former employee, what’s not to like? Answer; a whole lot!


The downsized often tell me, “Well I was with Pfizer (any large companies name can be inserted) and they paid a lot of money for me to have Outplacement Services that included the resume service, I never thought to ask the person doing my resume what their background was! I just assumed they were good and experienced in our industry”. The fact is, Outplacement Companies are usually generic in nature and service a number of industries, many providing the services are just that; generalists.


Over the past 6 years I began asking these holders of mediocre to downright unacceptable resumes to call me back IF they found out the background of their resume writer (an irony isn’t it; what’s the resume of your resume writer?). Many Job Seekers would call me back within 24 hours with an answer and would tell me in disbelief what they found. To MY disbelief ALL of these Job Seekers had the same feedback for me; NONE of the resume writers were from our industry, let alone a former Medical Sales Hiring Manager or Medical Sales Recruiter! NONE! 100% of the callers..WOW, I was flabbergasted! I needed to look further into this!


So what were their backgrounds? The mix were professors who were moonlighting and NEVER worked in ANY industry (unless you count their job writing resumes for an Outplacement Agency!). Others had no training whatsoever; they were new college graduates or MBA’s. Other backgrounds were former Human Resource People (none from our industry), elementary or high school teachers and others who NEVER really used resumes for hiring purposes in the real world, let alone in our industry. You see, many of these services hire contract employee’s when they need them, especially well known agencies like Lee Hecht Harrison! After all, downsizings do fluctuate and the overflow and unevenness of the business requires them to hire temps themselves off the streets!


Remember, if you feel you need resume help, you must ask the simple question; please tell me what your background is and how are you qualified to write a Medical Sales Resume or Clinical Support Resume or Marketing Resume (YOUR background type resume)? Don’t let them tell you they have been writing resume’s for years, they could just have a lot of experience writing crappy resumes without any foundational background! Ask to see their Linkedin Profile, if they don’t have a Linkedin Profile then there is another warning sign for you. If this is not an Outplacement Agency then ask for two past references (most Outplacement Agencies cannot provide you names for reference due to confidentiality, but an independent resume writer should be able to provide the references very easily…if not, move on!). If they have a Linkedin Profile they should have at least a few recommendations that you need to connect with too.


I have also had downsized Hiring Sales Managers call me knowing their Outplacement Resume is less than desired and actually hired me to re-write it for them! You see, Medical Sales Managers know when a resume does not look right! They may not have the words and expertise to clean it up, but they know a good one when they see it…..they have hired people with great resumes for years!


Now you know the one simple question you must ask before you hire a resume writer or consultant, the ease of getting your next job could depend on the right answers!


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Tags: resume, resumes


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Comment by Linda Hertz on October 14, 2011 at 10:33am
Comment by Linda Hertz on October 14, 2011 at 10:32am
Comment by Linda Hertz on October 14, 2011 at 10:17am
Comment by Linda Hertz on October 14, 2011 at 10:16am
Comment by Linda Hertz on April 26, 2011 at 6:16pm

Hi Hal, I see you found Elizabeth Danford on the site...she will do a great job for you.  Just as a FYI for others reading this...Eliabeth is in the Featured Members section of our Group.


Take care.

Comment by Hal Watkins on April 26, 2011 at 3:52pm
I too got burned and need a good rewrite specific to medical sales, I can be reached at
Comment by Zara Grant on December 16, 2010 at 2:59am

Thanks for this Linda.

I recently got burned in.  The person I "used" was referred by an outplacement compnay I had used many years ago.  They were a reputable firm, they did a good job with my initial resume when I was in an outplacement program.  The resume writer, really was not a recommendation.  This woman was scattered, disorganized, aggressive, condescending.  By phone I had concerns but thought I'd meet her, give her benefit of the doubt.  Face-to-face she did not match up to her website.  I demanded my money back after the first draft which was full of fluff, verbiage and simply sub-standard.  There was a time sensitive issue.  She was refusing to repay me, very aggressive.  I persisted and got my money back.  I now have a better resume having reviewed it between friends/colleagues in the industry, friends who know my skill-set and a writer friend for conciseness.  So caveat emptor!


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