The Killer Brag Book for Med Device Sales
A “brag book” is just another name for a professional portfolio that illustrates past and current accomplishments, awards, rankings and referral letters. Most importantly, the first page of your brag book should always contain a perfect one page resume.
If you haven’t put together a brag book yet, now is the time to start building one.
If you do have a brag book, you can always make it work better for your job search.
Think of your brag book as your personal marketing agent. A proper brag book should be concise and boldly advertise your best qualities and accomplishments. The arrangement of your brag book must be relevant and contain actual performance data (rankings, certificates, recognition emails, etc.) so the recruiter, hiring manager or whomever else is reading it gets an accurate idea of your past accomplishments; even if you aren’t present.
Your brag book should contain the following:
• Relevant professional, academic and sports awards and accomplishments
• Your rankings compared to your colleagues.
• Show why a company would want to hire you.
• Provide insight to your selling and organizational styles.
• Highlights of leadership, teamwork activities.
Optimize your portfolio with as many hard facts as possible. Back this up with saved performance evaluations, feedback from previous supervisors and reference letters from athletic coaches and sales contest rankings.
A great brag book should be as egocentric as possible.
Don’t be afraid to proudly display everything you’ve accomplished. “Selling out” will help you stand out, and grab the attention of the hiring manager.
Structuring Your Brag Book
The brag book for a medical sales candidate should be structured like this:
- One-page resume
- 30/60/90 day business plan
- Letters of recommendation
- Past performance evaluations- only the best ones.
- Professional rankings and accomplishments- save your emails
- Athletic accomplishments
- Any other records of personal achievements
Brag Book Display
Choose a high-quality, three-ring black binder with a see-through cover page (containing your resume) to display your materials. Keep the contents neat and organized.
Place each document in three-holed laminated clear page protectors, so each component of your brag book can be easily removed for closer viewing. Each page protector should have a front and back page. Your resume, business plan, and letters of recommendation are the most essential parts of your brag book; these are the most requested documents during the interview process. Place each page back-to-back in a laminated page cover so they can be viewed easily, just like flipping through a magazine. Download all brag book essentials immediately, right here.
Bring at least five brag books to each interview. Always prepare for every type of interviewing situation. If you are unknowingly placed in front of a panel interview, you will be one of the only candidates that came prepared for the unknowable. Likewise, if your interview takes place at the main office, plan on being interviewed by multiple people. Do not take chances with your resume and brag book; make sure you arrive beyond prepared.
Don’t get too fancy with your brag book. Keep it simple. Your personality, energy and communication skills are what the hiring manager is looking for, not your scrap-booking skills.
The Secret to Creating a Bad-Ass One Page Resume
Sales recruiters have the task of sorting through hundreds of resumes before finding any qualified prospects to fill open positions.
Your challenge as a sales candidate is to immediately grab the attention of your reader in ten seconds or less; ten seconds is the average time a recruiter or DM will spend glancing over any resume.
The three most important items that will make your one page resume stand out are:
• Hard data (i.e. rankings)
Your resume will be visually scanned from top to bottom, so organize your information accordingly.
You must order your resume with the most current job experience and qualifications listed first. Past jobs follow respectively.
Your sales resume serves as your first impression; so it must be absolutely perfect. There are hundreds of templates available online to help job seekers create decent resume. But how do you know which one is right for you and your career choice in sales?
Quite simply, there is a “secret sauce” to a kick-ass resume. You can create one yourself if you follow these guidelines:
Be concise in your explanation. It should take no longer than five minutes to walk the hiring manager through the entire resume. Practice and time yourself. 3 minutes or less is an appropriate time to explain your resume, pending no interruptions.
Don’t rush. Be articulate and speak slowly. Communication skills are an essential part of the business-to-business sales world; demonstrate your capability with clear and concise communications skills.
Sales data rules all. Saying you did well is not as impressive as demonstrating success with actual performance results. Include specific numbers and percentages when referring to your rankings, territory growth, assets managed, etc. Be prepared to explain and provide evidence of everything listed in your resume in greater detail. This is why a brag book is so important; it will help you validate all discussion points.
Include current contact information. Make sure your phone number and address are up to date. Also, make sure you list a professional email address (email@example.com). If you do not have a professional email account, establish one before submitting your resume. Include your LinkedIn web address only if your LinkedIn profile has been updated and optimized.
One-page resume is optimal for sales. A sales-focused resume should be no longer than a single page, no exceptions! Recruiters have limited time to review hundreds of resumes. A one-page resume will grab their attention and is the preferred format for B2B sales. If you have problems fitting all your sales experience onto one page, widen the margins and shrink your fonts. Make your resume one page.
Highlight notable accomplishments only. For example, list a 3.0 G.P.A or above, nothing less.
No headshots. Save space on your one-page resume for your accomplishments. Save your headshots for you LinkedIn profile
White paper only. Heavy weight, resume-quality paper is fine, but colored paper is unprofessional and will get your resume tossed. Black and white, no fancy letterhead or graphics.
Proofread like crazy. Your resume must be grammatically correct and error-free. A single spelling mistake or misplaced comma will also eliminate any chance of a callback.
Use appropriate categories. Objectives, Experience, Education, and Achievements should all be included in your resume. “Skills” and “References” should not. References should only be provided when requested.
Practice your resume walkthrough and detail technique. Point to items with the tip of your pen as you explain each bullet point listed on your resume to the hiring manager. Elaborate briefly or if requested, provide a brief real-life example as you continue to work your way down your resume. You should be able to explain your entire resume in three minutes or less. Rehearse at home, and time yourself. Most medical reps use this style of “detailing” every day in the field when they speak with doctors about new clinical studies, side effect profiles and product updates. Demonstrating your familiarity with this “detail technique” will separate you from the competition, even if you have minimal industry experience. Using this technique during your interview is critical!
Managers, Human Resource departments and recruiters cannot legally contact any previous employer to ask about you. They may only do this if you give them permission. Without a candidate’s strict permission, they are not able to ask for confirmation of any sales awards, inquire into past rankings or previous sales performance. This would be illegal and unethical. Prospective employers can only ask a previous employer how long a representative worked in that role.
Convert Your Resume Into an ASCII Optimized, Keyword Rich Text File for Resume Blast Campaigns
During the job search make every attempt to get your resume directly into the hands of recruiters or the hiring manager by sending it as a direct email attachment; either in MS Word or PDF format.
However, it’s not always that easy.
Typically, when you’re applying for a open position via an online job board like MedReps.com, or directly through a company website, you may be required to submit resume be in text/ digital format. It looks like this:
The trick to converting your resume to ASCII format is to ensure the text version of your resume doesn’t get jumbled after you copy and paste it into a textbox.
More importantly, there are other considerations for your text-based resume, like optimizing searchable keywords and ensuring you don’t leak sensitive product or company information (if you’re currently employed).
For some Internet-based job sites, the ASCII format is the only allowable version of a resume that you can submit.
Follow the 6-steps below to help you transform your current MS Word resume into an “optimized” version of ASCII formatted resume:
- Spell check and then re-save (Save As) your resume in MS Word before you move to the next step.
- Open a simple text editor like Notepad (PC) or TextEdit (Mac).
- In MS Word, open your re-named resume file. Double-check your spelling and grammar, then press “Save”.
- Highlight and copy all the text in your MS Word document.
- In your preferred text editor (Notepad for PC or TextEdit for Mac), paste the final draft of your resume into the text editor.
- Save as plain text. Save as: First Name_Last Name_Resume
After following the above steps, your resume should now be converted into a text file; but you’re not finished yet.
At this point you might notice that your ACSII resume is not as attractive as it was before. It may look a bit jumbled because all document formatting, like bolding and italicizing have been removed.
As far as the text version of your resume goes, you need to take additional steps to improve the way your ASCII text resume looks. Taking these actions will improve the visual impact of how your key accomplishments will be read in ASCII format.
Here are some suggestions to make your plain text resume “read” with better impact:
- Break up the big blocks of text. Bullet point every paragraph you have in your resume.
- Use ALL CAPITAL LETTERING for section titles in your resume, like “ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS”.
- Use the HYPHEN key to add document separation and the EQUAL SIGN to add extra emphasis. For example:
======================== << line of equal signs
“YOUR NAME HERE”
======================== << line of equal signs
——————————————- << line of hyphens
- •Include extra blank lines to help highlight the different parts of your resume.
- Eliminate any “fluff” from your print resume (remove page numbers and page headings if you have any).
- Indent sections of text from the left margin to draw additional attention to the separate parts of your resume.
- Use the ASTERISK key to give the effect of bullets in a section of text. If you have more than one “layer” of bullets, change the symbol to a dash or period to help differentiate the levels of bulleting.
- Use the Space Bar, NOT the TAB key, for indenting text.
- Keep the maximum line length of 60 characters (or less) in mind.
To save you time and assure success in your job search, download the preferred resume format in both MS Word and ASCII optimized text for medical device sales. Get your medical device sales interview preparation pack by clicking here.
The Interview Slayer Resume Template is clean, uncluttered, and field-proven to grab the attention of recruiters, Human Resource personnel and hiring managers.
The Interview Slayer resume template is what most medical sales recruiters desire in a resume. It’s concise, crammed with compelling data, easy to read and contains everything on one page.
A one-page sales resume is essential if you wish to get noticed and receive call backs. A great sales resume should boldly display an arsenal of accomplishments and sales rankings.
Your one-page sales resume, ASCII resume and an organized brag book is a very powerful tool to utilize during your job search.