Annabel transitions out of pharma to secure a business development role

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Published: May 2, 2012
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Who is Annabel?

Annabel was a very successful pharmaceutical sales representative who had 20 years of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical sales field and both a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Annabel had held five positions during her career including one position outside of the field as a behavior therapist.

Why did Annabel need help?

If Annabel had wanted to continue on her career path in pharmaceutical sales she would have had a very good résumé to build on, however given that she wanted to transition out of the field she needed a résumé that better reflected the transferability of her sales experiences.

Annabel had positioned herself as a “senior sales executive” which wasn’t necessarily the best strategy given not all the positions she was pursuing were of a senior level.

What did I do for Annabel?

Annabel’s résumé needed to be softened while creating a strong image through content and formatting. Her original résumé positioned her as a senior sales executive with an undeniable record of achievement in the pharma industry.

This approach would have been great if she had wanted to stay in the industry, however Annabel wanted to transition out of the industry and possibly even enter the nonprofit arena in a community-focused and relationship-based role.

For Annabel’s new résumé I focused on her business development and relationship management strengths—strengths that were transferable to non-pharmaceutical sales environments.

To do this, I minimized the appearance of her titles and company names so her pharmaceutical sales background was slightly masked.

To accomplish this I presented areas of focus where you would normally see the job title, but still presented her job titles in a smaller font which was italicized and a little more difficult to read (a key strategy!).

I also added key sales results sections to validate the claims made in the qualifications summary, and to position Annabel as a top sales professional regardless of the industry.

In the professional experience section, I added color to focus the reader on the key results Annabel had achieved, presented her responsibilities in a paragraph, and disseminated her key areas of focus in a two-column format with bullet points introduced by functional subheadings.