Are You A Good Fit For Medical Sales?

By Robyn Melhuish

Is medical sales the right career path for you? Perhaps you’ve seen the impressive paychecks which come along with a medical sales profession and feel it’s the perfect job for you. Or maybe you have a friend or family member in the field who always seems excited to go to work each day. Or it could even be the flexibility and challenge of the work which draws you to the medical sales field.

Before you jump into the medical sales job search with both feet, it might be smart to test the waters first. You want to swim in your medical sales profession, not sink, and the only way to be sure is to test drive your career.

Take off your foggy goggles when it comes to what working in the medical sales field is really like. After all, not everyone has the sales skills and personality to thrive in the high-pressure, high-reward world of medical sales.

As a bonus, these methods of ensuring the medical sales profession is right for you can also double as great ways to dip your toe in the water in the medical sales field. Gaining traction and getting your first job in medical sales is far from easy, but these tips can help you get a step ahead and make the connections you need.

Shadow a Medical Sales Rep

What’s a day in the life of a medical sales rep really like? If you shadow a medical sales professional you’ll be able to answer this question definitively. Find a medical sales professional who works in the field and see if they would be willing to take you under their wing for a short period of time and show you the ropes.

What you thought of as a glamourous and exciting job from afar, might not look so shiny close up. Conversely, you might just discover the medical sales career is the exact place your personality and sales experience can really help you thrive. While shadowing can give you insight into what a day in the life of a professional is really like, it can also help you make important industry contacts while on the road.

Connect With Professionals on Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to your job search. According to the Pew Internet Research Center, some 73 percent of online adults are using some form of social media. Job seekers are making social profiles in order to connect with top industry brass and rub virtual elbows with the movers and shakers in the field.

Just like every profession, medical sales reps have taken to the online space to share discussions, thought leadership, and advice about the industry. It’s time for you to get on the ground floor in the medical sales online community and become heard. Use the social spaces available to ask all the most burning questions you have about becoming a medical sales rep.

Ask current people in the industry why they got into the game, what they like best and least about their jobs, and how you can break into the industry. While you’re collecting valuable information to help you decide if medical sales is the right career path, you’ll also be making plenty of contacts and expanding your professional network.

Find a Mentor

A great mentor can show you the ropes and help you see the unvarnished truth about the job and the industry. Of course, a great mentor can be extremely hard to find, especially among busy medical sales professionals. Use your contacts and all of the tools at your disposal in order to connect with potential mentors. Take to social media to ask questions and solicit advice, and go to networking events to get your name and face out there.

Once you’ve found a potential mentor, ask if they would be willing to get an informational coffee and then formally ask them to become your mentor. It might feel hokey to ask for mentorship, but if your medical sales rep says yes, they’ll feel more responsible for your professional well-being.

It’s not easy to swim with the big fish in the medical sales profession. Using new technology and old-fashioned networking, however, can help you get a better insight into the field. As a bonus, these techniques for determining your career path can also double as ways to cultivate job leaders and expand your professional circle.

How will you determine if medical sales is the right career for you? Share in the comments!

Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Robyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Video Interviews and 3 Other Recruiting Technologies You Should Know

By Josh Tolan

The one thing that’s always true about technology is it never stops evolving. Recruiting tech continues to grow and change, making it easier for staffing professionals to find the best candidates for clients.

Isolating the right talent is likely a huge concern with your clients. A survey by The Conference Board Review found human capital is the number one challenge facing all CEOs and business leaders. These organizations are looking to you and your staffing company to find the very best people for their open positions.

Let’s be honest, right now is not the easiest time to snap up the top talent your clients need. The war for talent means competition is fierce, especially for candidates with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. There’s a STEM shortage with 89 percent of recruiters say competition to fill STEM positions is brutal.

New recruiting technology can help you get ahead of the pack and win the war for talent. These new tech options can help you streamline the recruiting process, better collaborate with clients, and find the best and brightest before anyone else. Here are just a few new tech solutions your staffing company should know about:

Video Interviews

Video interviewing is helping staffing companies and recruiters streamline the traditional hiring process. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the traditional process can take anywhere between 29 and 43 days, depending on the size of the organization. There aren’t many companies who can wait around for top talent for a month or more, so you need a way to cut through the hiring noise.

This is probably why six in 10 employers are utilizing video interviews in their recruitment process. Video interviews allow staffing pros to evaluate a high volume of candidates quickly and efficiently. Utilizing one-way video interviews, where candidates answer written questions on video, you can cut down the time-wasting phone screen.

Instead of being stuck on the phone with the wrong candidate, you can quickly move on to a candidate better suited to the position. And when it comes to jumping the skills gap, the ability of live video interviews to connect you with talent from all over the globe will help find the very best candidate for clients’ open positions.

Mobile Recruiting

We’re all just a little bit obsessed with our phones. A recent study found 91 percent of people keep their phone within reach at all hours of the day and night. Being parted from our phone is certainly sweet sorrow, yet too many staffing companies are ignoring the power of mobile recruiting.

Currently, 77 percent of job seekers use their mobile devices to search for jobs. Talented candidates want to find great positions using the same smartphones and tablets they use to order food and network with friends.

They want to easily search and apply for new opportunities, so mobile adoption will help your company beat the competition. In fact, skimping on mobile might actually be losing you talent. A recent survey found 61 percent of responders would immediately leave a site if it wasn’t mobily optimized.

Mobile recruitment can also help staffing pros always on the move keep track of candidate information and keep in contact with relevant talent. The phone in your pocket just might be your biggest weapon in the war for talent.

Social Media Recruitment

Social media recruitment is a buzzword right now, but it’s trendy for a reason. Social media is a great way to isolate talent and connect personally. This is probably why 94 percent of recruiters are already using social media to find candidates.

Most importantly, using social media can help you build up an impressive talent pipeline. Since you can interact with candidates in the talent communities they frequent and the social channels they utilize, you’re in a better position to build up your company’s pool of talent.

This way, when clients are looking for someone with specific skills and qualifications, you might already have the perfect candidate in mind thanks to a discussion group, thought leadership blog, or industry-related Twitter chat.

Big Data Recruiting

If you saw the Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, you know the value of big data recruiting. Staffing companies need to evaluate a high volume of candidates quickly and still find the best hire for their clients. Big data recruiting allows for the quick crunching of numbers, giving staffing professionals more time to focus on the best people.

Those in the recruiting field love analytics, and big data can help recruiters see candidates analytically along more variables. It can also help find outside-the-box candidates who are just as capable but have less competition surrounding them.

For instance, big data recruiting could help you find someone with impressive developer source codes for an IT position who might be overlooked by other recruiters because of a less impressive resume. This person is still talented, and you can now snap them up before the competition even realizes they’ve lost out on top talent.

New technology is making it easier than ever to find the best people for your clients before the competition. If you want to win the war for talent, now is the time to start adding these new tech tools to your arsenal.

What do you think? What recruiting technology are you using to find the best? Share in the comments!

Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring solution that allows staffing professionals to collaborate with their clients around video interviews. Read Spark Hire’s staffing ebook and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Sales Jobs Grow as Jobs in Healthcare Fall Short

By Karyn Mullins

The state of the medical sales job market is changing — but not in the way you might assume.

In the recent past, the healthcare profession has seen a decade of continued growth. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the healthcare industry added 19,000 jobs in March, up from 9,500 jobs in February. However, things aren’t back to the glory days just yet: In comparison, healthcare consistently added 17,000 jobs per month in 2013 and 7,000 jobs per month in 2012. While 19,000 is indeed promising, fluctuations may still occur.

But jobs in medical sales are on the rise. According to a report by my company, MedReps.com, there’s currently a 16 percent increase in the number of medical sales jobs posted online over the number posted in January 2013. Though the numbers fluctuated month to month in 2013, each quarter averaged a higher job count than the previous one.

You may be confused by the disparity. If the number of jobs in healthcare has, on average, gone down, wouldn’t those professionals who work directly with them — medical sales reps — see a decrease in job openings as well? Not necessarily. Let’s look at some reasons behind this discrepancy:

Increased access to prescriptions

One of the main reasons for the boost in medical sales jobs is the increased access to prescriptions. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more people now have access to affordable health insurance — President Obama recently announced enrollment has topped 7 million.

With more access to health insurance comes increased spending on prescriptions. In fact, spending on prescription medicines is forecasted to grow 5.2 percent in 2014, compared with a 0.6 percent growth in 2013. This is clearly due to greater use among Americans who are newly insured or those who have signed up for accessible insurance plans. This has presented an opportunity for those in the pharmaceutical sales profession since the demand for drugs has inevitably increased.

New product development

While some believed the medical device tax would hinder innovation, many companies continue to develop outstanding products. For example, Stryker announced the launch of the ES2 Spinal System, providing surgeons with efficiency during minimally invasive procedures. Abbott Labs launched the ARCHITECT AFP test, which may help doctors detect serious birth defects and the progression of testicular cancer.

Smaller organizations have developed outstanding products, as well. In fact, SANUWAVE Health, Inc., an emerging leader in the development and commercialization of non-invasive devices for the repair and regeneration of tissue, musculoskeletal, and vascular structures, has made a device called dermaPACE for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Since this type of innovation and new product development is on the rise, medical sales professionals likely have — or will eventually see — more opportunities in their field.

Steady earnings

In a market where many organizations see more losses than gains per quarter, the medical device industry is holding steady. For example, earnings and revenue at larger companies such as Boston Scientific and Medtronic are decent, with share prices for both of those companies increasing. Boston Scientific Q4 net profit jumped 80 percent, while Medtronic’s emerging markets revenues increased 10 percent to $521 million.

Steady earnings allow for expansion, both in terms of product development and into new markets. If an organization is making a profit, this will most likely pave the way to more jobs, particularly in the medical sales profession. After all, more money, means more products. More products means an increased need to get them to the market — which is where medical sales professionals come in.

Mergers and acquisitions

Recent company mergers and acquisitions could also be linked to medical job growth. For example, Actavis recently acquired Forest Labs for $25 billion. This merger has created a powerhouse biopharma company with an extensive generics business, branded drugs and an ambitious R&D operation. Many mergers and acquisitions later lead to increased product development and expansion, which can increase the need for medical sales reps

However, keep this in mind: While merger and acquisition activity has been looking up for biotech and pharma firms, medical device firms are struggling to reach the same level of stability and activity. While I did note that many have steady earnings, less money is coming in for medical device firms in comparison to biotech and pharma. Many have chosen to turn their attention to their own profitability, prompting them to conserve cash and shy away from the riskier acquisitions. Nevertheless, once larger companies get through their cost-savings programs, they will then focus on growth.

Overall, while jobs in healthcare have fallen short, sales jobs are on the rise. Thanks in part to the ACA, new product development, steady earnings, and mergers and acquistions, medical sales professionals can expect more opportunities for the foreseeable future.

What do you think? What are some other reasons for the increase in medical sales jobs?

Karyn Mullins is the EVP and General Manager of MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Karyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How to Turn Diversity into a Hiring Cornerstone [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Heather R. Huhman

If you’re struggling to hire and retain awesome candidates, do yourself a favor and look at the type of candidates you attract. Do they have a multitude of skillsets? Come from varying backgrounds? Or are they all similar?

When all of your employees are clones of one another, it can be hard to create a well-rounded team. Without a diverse workforce, many companies unfortunately stay stagnant or stuck in outdated practices.

The following infographic, compiled by InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers, illustrates why diversity in a team is important and how to incorporate it into your hiring strategy. Here are some key points to note:

  • 81% of companies plan to focus on recruiting diverse candidates in 2014
  • More than 85% of companies are taking action to hire African Americans, Latinos, and women
  • 36.7% of companies plan to reserve intern spots for diverse students in 2014

Check out the full infographic below!

Diversity-IM-550

What do you think? How do you incorporate diversity into your recruitment strategy?

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

How to Arrive At Greater Company Transparency [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Heather R. Huhman

It’s all too easy for the direction of your company to become murky. What you need is a more transparent organization in order to keep employees on track and upper management informed. You know your company’s final destination is organizational transparency, but you’re not sure how to get there. If only you had a roadmap!

The infographic below — compiled by ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy — is a helpful map to get you back on track toward organizational transparency. Some takeaways to note:

  • Nearly 44% of workers, while familiar with company goals, can’t specifically name them
  • 60% of employees say they don’t receive enough feedback from upper management on their work.
  • 70% of employees are disengaged in the workplace
  • Businesses with effective communication are 50% more likely to have lower employee turnover
  • Companies with high levels of engagement report 22% higher productivity

Check out the full infographic below for more tips on how to end up at your destination of a more transparent organization!

ClearCompany_Map_to_Transparency_972

What do you think? How will you increase organizational transparency? Share in the comments!

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Veterans Make Great Interns: 6 Ways To Recruit

By Ashley Mosley

Finding great students and recent graduates for your internship program is no easy feat. And if you’re like most companies, you’ve probably got an agenda set for reaching a new or more diverse audience as you expand your search for outstanding potential intern candidates. But are you actively recruiting veterans for your internship program?

With approximately 200,000 people transitioning out of the military every year, there’s no shortage of veterans. And in terms of non-military experience and education, veterans have a lot to show. Many have college degrees or technical training, while others are heading back to college to get ahead in their careers.

The point is, veterans make highly talented interns, but they often go unnoticed when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Your internship program is the perfect place for veterans to gain hands on, immersive experience in their future career field.

All you have to do is update your internship recruiting strategy to follow suit. Here’s how:

1. Share the ins and outs of your company. Every business has a story to tell, and doing so will work to attract talented intern candidates of all kinds, not just veterans. Potential veteran intern candidates may pass up your internship role if they don’t see your company as a good fit for their interests and skills.

Finetune your company’s story about its mission, culture and inner workings not just on your your internship job listing, but also on your company’s social media or career pages. For example, if you have any other veterans currently working for your company, share their employment success stories as a highlight on your website or within your internship listing.

2. Understand their transferrable skills. Veteran candidates have more experience than the average intern candidates, but it might not be displayed in a way that’s easily understood. Seek out transferable skills within military resumes by taking time to understand them and by using a military skills translator. For instance, your potential veteran intern candidates may have several years of management and organizational experience, but might be lacking in terms of technical skills. If there are any gaps you still don’t understand, be sure to give them a chance to explain how their skills can transfer to your open position.

3. Develop a veteran-compatible internship job listing. There’s no faster way to turn a potential intern candidate away than filling your listing with a slew of industry jargon or special skills. Remember, internships are a time for learning, training and mentorship — you shouldn’t expect your candidates to come to you as perfect employees.

Rather than filling your internship listings with highly specific technical skills, focus on presenting a more general side of your internship. Point out soft skills like communication, teamwork and project management, which are easily transferrable in terms of veteran experience. Or, create a clause in your internship program that allows your to mold internship roles based on applicant experience.

4. Expand your military network. It’s time to begin making valuable connections with the military community to ensure you’ll gain access to talented veteran candidates. While you may already be attending college job fairs, develop a strategy to build connections that ensure your attendance at job fairs on military installations. Many universities also have military programs and tight military connections. Consider visiting a nearby college’s ROTC center to give a presentation on career opportunities at your company, or post your listing to job boards, internship sites and job aggregators that cater specifically to military vets.

5. Offer noteworthy opportunities. Give your interns something extra by offering a variety of training and mentoring opportunities within your internship program. These types of experiences will have a huge impact on a veteran’s career by preparing them for the workforce beyond your internship opportunities. Consider offering training for key industry-related software, paid attendance at a conference, or participation in a personal mentorship program.

6. Utilize rotational programming. Give your veteran interns a chance to experience a well-rounded view of your company and industry by developing a rotational internship program. This is a huge selling point for veteran candidates looking to gain new skills and real world experience. This will give them exposure to a variety of different roles and departments within your company, potentially opening the door to new positions and greater versatility in the future.

Veterans make great interns — don’t overlook these passionate candidates. It’s time to start recruiting them today!

How are you connecting with veterans?

Ashley Mosley is Community Engagement Manager of InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Ashley and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

3 Ways to Court the Employer of Your Dreams

By Robyn Melhuish

The season of Valentine’s Day is here, and love is in the air. When trying to win a special person’s heart, you probably put a lot of effort into it, don’t you? You find out a lot about them and why you would be good together. You pursue them, ask them out, and treat them as though they are the only person in the world for you. You put your best foot forward and display all your best qualities to help them see how well you would work together.

It may seem far-fetched, but courting a new employer is a lot like courting the person of your dreams. There is certainly a lot to take into consideration, particularly for medical sales reps. For instance, perhaps you’re looking for a healthy work-life balance, a great company culture, or a cutting-edge product line.

Read below for a list of actions you can take to win a prospective employer’s admiration and land the perfect job:

1. Get to Know Your Prospective Employer

Before you can court a prospective employer, it is crucial to do your homework. You should know the company inside and out. Gain a deep understanding of the company message and vision, become familiar with the management team, and learn everything you can about the product line. Know the employer’s niche in the market and do some research on the company culture.

Sound like a lot? Don’t be overwhelmed; just like any other relationship, the work you do to win the regard of an employer can pay off in the form of a great new job.

It is also important to consider the other advantages of this research. Getting to know a company to this degree will help you understand your possible place in the grand scheme of their business. Would you be a good fit? What contribution can you make? These are questions best answered before you begin the interview process.

2. Make an Earnest Approach

Your research process should lead you to information concerning your dream employer’s open jobs. Some companies place job listings directly on their websites, whereas others use industry-targeted job websites and social media platforms. These listings will give you a feel for the company’s needs and its hiring team.

If contact information is readily available, it is acceptable to send a follow-up email to the hiring manager to thank them for the opportunity and offer a brief explanation of why you admire the business. Do not wax poetic; too many flowery words come across as ingenuine. A concise note letting the hiring manager know you are invested in the opportunity is enough to set you apart from the pack without being overbearing.

3. Put Your Best Foot Forward

The job listing will give you a sense of the skills the company is looking for, and these are the skills you should emphasize in your resume and during an in-person interview. It is all well and good to know why this company would be a good fit for you, but you need to market yourself as an asset to their organization. If they are looking for a sales rep who can be independent and innovative, you should be ready to give examples relevant to their product line.

For example, perhaps you are attracted to Boston Scientific’s corporate culture and brand-recognition. You should come to the interview prepared to offer examples of how you would create sales revenue for specific products. This proves your passion for and understanding of the market, and will leave a much stronger impression than the mere flattery they hear from other candidates.

Further, share qualities of yours you feel would be complementary to the existing culture. Do you appreciate Medline’s reputation for promoting from within? Give examples of how you would earn that. Tell the hiring manager how you relate with the company’s efforts to find “solutions rather than answers.” Begin to paint the picture of your professional relationship from the start.

When courting the employer of your dreams, it is important to take the right steps to set yourself apart from the average candidate. Let the employer know you’ve done your homework. Help them see how well you would fit in and what you would bring to the professional relationship. When you make an effort equal to your desire to land the job, you will set yourself apart from the other professional suitors and put you on the road to a very happy future with your new employer.

What do you think? What are your top priorities when pursuing the perfect employer?

Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Robyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Why These 6 Companies Are the Best Places to Work in Medical Sales

By Karyn Mullins

What does it take to be included among the best places to work for in medical sales?

There are a great deal of factors that make a company a great place to work, including proper work-life balance, great compensation, and a competitive product line. If you’re a member of the salesforce in this fast-paced, competitive industry, you want to know the company cares about your needs and values your opinions in the workplace.

Smart companies place a great deal of importance on building environments in which employees can thrive. We have compiled a list of those who are doing the best job, and why we think you should consider these companies as you contemplate your next move:

1. Medtronic

Medtronic is frequently listed as one of the best places to work for in medical sales. A poll conducted by MedReps.com found that most medical sales professionals look for a solid product line, a smaller company atmosphere, and healthy work-life balance when in the market for a new job. In these three categories, Medtronic shines.

Medtronic seems to espouse the philosophy that building its talent and supporting creativity and leadership among its salesforce is a crucial element of running a successful business. The practices it has put in place created a workforce that is quick to laud the company culture.

Employee reviews enthusiastically appreciate the competitive compensation packages, “small business atmosphere,” a varied and cutting-edge product line, and work-life balance that is “second to none.”

2. Stryker

Admit it. There are days when you want to pie your manager in the face. Stryker boasts a light-hearted atmosphere in which employees can hit the on-site gym, play a game of ping-pong, or even, yes, pie their managers in the face on occasion.

Work-life balance is one of the elements most job seekers take into consideration when choosing an employer, and Stryker’s commitment to providing a healthy corporate culture seems to be its biggest selling point for most employees.

3. Boston Scientific

Although many employees prefer working for small- or medium-sized companies, Boston Scientific — which employs around 24,000 people — maintains its place on the list of best places to work for in medical sales year after year.

Boston Scientific boasts a people-oriented culture, exemplified in part by generous outreach programs and grants. Among employees, they consistently encourage a creative, collaborative atmosphere.

4. Medline

When you have worked like a dog all day, it is deeply satisfying to be noticed for that effort. When it comes to recognizing hard work, Medline excels. Heralded by the Chicago Tribune as a top workplace, the company makes an effort to foster its talent carefully. Supporting an air of entrepreneurial spirit, Medline ensures its employees feel valued through recognition programs, personal training and job development, attention to work-life balance issues, and by creating a diverse environment.

5. Genetech

Genetech takes so much pride in being one of the best places to work for in the medical industry, it actually keeps a running list of the recognition it has received. “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality,” “Top Employer” in Science Magazine, and “100 Best Companies to Work For” are just a few of the lists this company finds itself on.

CEO Ian Clark has spent the last two years navigating big changes within the company. He was involved in employee initiatives, namely, to create more executive opportunities for women and increase pay for employees with same-sex partners in order to help them deal with taxable healthcare benefits.

6. Amgen

One of the first things you compare when weighing job opportunities is the benefits packages. Amgen is another top company in medical sales — and most popular among employees are the benefits offered by the company. Employees enjoy a very competitive 90 percent company contribution to health insurance premiums, a five percent company contribution to 401(k) plans (and an additional five percent match), and 16 paid holidays.

As a member of the salesforce in the medical industry, you have a great deal to take into consideration when applying for new jobs, and the competition for the top talent is fierce. Perhaps this is why more and more companies are beginning to place stock in the cultivation of better cultures and work-life balance for their employees. It stands to reason, however, that some companies have been making these efforts for longer than others, and they are going to have a headstart when it comes to attracting the best talent. The question is, what is that one factor that makes you choose one opportunity over another?

What do you think? What are your top priorities when it comes to choosing a new company?

Karyn Mullins is the EVP and General Manager of MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Karyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

How to Catapult Your Way to a Tech Career [INFOGRAPHIC]

By Heather R. Huhman

How can you earn thousand of dollars a month as an intern, be part of an expanding industry, and sharpen your skills from a diverse group of people? By choosing a career in the tech sector!

This industry is booming. With computer-related occupations expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2020 and with new tech startups adding an average of three million jobs in their first year, the future of tech is not only bright, it’s sustainable.

The following infographic, compiled by InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers, showcases how to catapult your way into the tech sector. Here are some key points to note:

  • On average, one-year-old tech startup firms create nearly one million jobs, while ten-year-old firms generate 300,000
  • LinkedIn, Apple, and Facebook are some of America’s fastest growing tech companies
  • Software developer and database administrator positions are projected to grow more than 30% or more by 2020

Check out the full infographic below!

What do you think? Have you considered breaking into the tech industry?

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

6 Crucial Mistakes That Job Seekers Make

By Robyn Melhuish

It’s a tough reality out there for job seekers. With 10.9 million Americans currently unemployed, there’s major competition for every new job that’s posted. Each application is a valuable opportunity to kickstart your career in the right direction, but only if you get the job.

As you may know, the process is far more complex than submitting a resume and hoping for the best. It takes long hours of searching, applying, interviewing, and waiting. No one wants to put all this effort into finding a job only to have one mistake bring it to a screeching halt.

Unfortunately, the following mistakes are very easy to make — causing you to lose sight of the prize and wind up unsuccessful, even after months spent job searching:

1. Quitting before you’re ahead

Just because you submitted an application for one job doesn’t mean it’s time to kick your feet up and wait for the offer to come in. You should apply to multiple jobs simultaneously to ensure your backup options are already in play, should you get turned away from your first choice. Don’t risk missing out on an opportunity just because you have one other application out. Your dream job just may be the second or third option on your list.

To avoid this mistake, keep your eyes and ears open at all time. Even if you’re currently interviewing with a company, so long as you haven’t accepted an offer, you should consider yourself still on the job market.

2. Underestimating the time commitment

Many job seekers underestimate the amount of time it takes to find employment. When unemployed, it’s easy to get distracted by errands, household chores, and taking care of family. But your job search needs time and attention to thrive as well. You get out of it almost exactly what you put in. If you want to land your dream job, you can’t aimlessly apply here and there — you must focus and be realistic about the time it will require.

To avoid this mistake, remember this: When you’re on the market, your job becomes finding a job. You should carve out a block of time each workday to search and apply for jobs. Treat it like any other important item on your agenda.

3. Ignoring your resume

You spend all this time looking for a job and preparing yourself for the interview, don’t undo all your efforts with a poor resume. Employers can tell when you don’t take the time to revamp your resume and tailor it specifically to the job. Not only does this demonstrate a lack of attention to detail, but it also gives off the first impression that you’re lazy or not serious about the job.

This is among the most common job search mistakes and very easy to avoid. First, consider the overall presentation of your resume. It should be organized, professional, and legible. Second, tailor the skills and experience on your resume to highlight what the job requires. For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, be sure to include specific sales experience and quantify your achievements with numbers. Finally, make it interesting: Recruiters will skip right over a dull and lengthy resume. Cut to the chase of what makes you stand out.

4. Setting unrealistic expectations

The job search takes time. If you find and accept your dream job within weeks of starting your search, you are among the very few and very lucky. The average length of time it takes most job seekers to find employment is upwards of eight months. Be realistic with your expectations of how long it will take and how easy it will be. One of the biggest job search mistakes is setting your hopes too high and giving up when things are harder than expected.

To avoid this mistake, write our specific goals for your job search. How many jobs will you apply to each week? How many hours will you spend each day searching the web? Break down your ultimate goal of landing a new job into smaller, more tangible ones that allow you to achieve regular progress. This will keep you inspired and in check.

5. Bombing the interview

One of the final and most crucial parts to any job search is nailing the interview. Easier said than done, right? There are so many interview mistakes that can be made, sending your job offer swirling down the drain as a result.

Avoid making the mistake of bombing your interview by first doing your research on the company and the position. Not only will this help you to look adequately prepared in the interview, it will also help give you confidence to go in there and know what you’re talking about.

Additionally, be professional! This includes your attire, mannerisms, attitude, and even how you speak about past employers. And it doesn’t hurt to follow-up with a thank you note. If the interview left the hiring manager on the fence, your sincere and timely thank you just might win them over.

6. Rushing into the process

You will forsake a quality application or stellar interview if you don’t slow down and take the time to think it through. This mad dash to take the first job you’re offered can also land you a position that you’re not happy with or isn’t best suited for your skills.

Avoid rushing through the job search process by forcing yourself to take time before making any major decision. Don’t submit that application late at night after hurriedly putting it together. Give yourself until the morning to look at it with a fresh set of eyes before hitting submit. Also, don’t accept a job or salary offer immediately. Ask for at least one day to process the decision and really consider whether it’s the best choice for you. Slow and steady wins the race for a job.

All in all, the job search process is a long and windy road. It requires time, realistic expectations, preparation, and above all else, determination. There will be days where you make progress and days where you’re set back. Avoid these mistakes to make the most of your job search experience and give you every advantage to land the job that’s best suited for you!

What do you think? What are some crucial mistakes you’ve made on the job search?

Robyn Melhuish is the Communications Manager at MedReps.com, a job board which gives members access to the most sought after medical sales jobs and pharmaceutical sales jobs on the Web. Connect with Robyn and MedReps.com on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.