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An effective CV will keep its reader intrigued enough to read through the key information, with the aim of allowing its owner the opportunity to then impress the employer further in an interview.  

In their report, CV-Library predicts the long-term relevance of CVs in the job market, with 84% of recruiters asserting their importance in the recruitment processWe already have an article that gives you a general guide on writing a CV that stands out, but read on to discover the specific elements required for a CV within Pharma and the Life Sciences.   

What are the top elements that hiring managers in each sector value the most in a CV? We asked our consultants to give us an idea based on their experience and expertise in their field.  

Pharma Sales 

We all know the importance of highlighting achievements in a CV. Hannah Hall, our Pharma Sales Recruitment Consultant, believes it should be more specific: “On a Pharma Sales CV, hiring managers/recruiters are looking for key achievements in context.” This means covering benchmark statistics such as one’s ranking within a team or the SvT percentage achieved compared to the company average.  

Your network is also important for a Sales role. Hannah says: List the key customer groups in your network, especially for more recent roles so hiring managers can see the level of customers you’ve worked with and whether your network would cross over into the role they’re hiring for. 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Pharma Sales jobs here 

Market Research 

Similar to the Pharma Sales sector, Market Research employers look for trackable achievements. Matt Goldrick, Managing Consultant in Market Research, says: “Our clients want to see demonstrable progression in your CV and succinct information about market research specifics. For instance, quality vs quantity, therapy area expertise, methodologies and markets covered, involvement in responding to RFP’s and presenting findings to clients.” 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Market Research jobs here 


Medical Communications  

Med Comms is a more creative sector, so what you can produce and how effective your work is are key. Louise Lavelle, our Healthcare Communications Team Lead, says: “Include the detail – what deliverables have you worked on? What size team have you managed? By how much (percentage or amount of money) did your business development activities increase sales? And by what headcount did you grow the team? Substantiate your points with the numbers behind it. 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Medical Communications jobs here. 

Advertising & PR 

As an advertising professional, you may be tempted to create fancy CV to catch your viewer’s eye. But if the looks outshine the actual content, think again. Lucy Eyre, our Consultant in Advertising and PR, says: “Keep your CV layout clean, structured and concise. Ensure to outline your key responsibilities, therapeutic knowledge, and deliverables but don’t hide these in complicated layouts or extravagant designs!” 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Advertising & PR jobs here. 


Clinical Research  

In Clinical Research, it’s important for the employer to get an idea of the therapy areas you’re familiar with. As Matteo Berogna, our Consultant in Clinical Research suggests: “Mention each therapy area you’ve worked with and in which phase of the trial. 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Clinical Research jobs here. 

Quality Assurance 

Hayley Shayestehroo, our Senior Consultant in QA, puts a stress on the conveyance of the most important information within your CV: “Ensure that prospective employers can understand where your GxP or audit experience lies and that they can easily see the sectors that you can bring your wealth of experience to, encompassing the regulations you are familiar with. Make sure you sell yourself in the best way and don’t miss out!   

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Quality Assurance jobs here

Medical Affairs 

In Medical Affairs, your journey up to the current point matters. Kerry Harris, our Associate Consultant, says: “Be sure to show your journey from start to present and highlight the specific therapy areas you have worked in.” 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Medical Affairs jobs here 


As Marketing experience can encompass various aspects, hiring managers would want to see the most relevant information to the role they’re recruiting for. Ben Hassanzadeh says: “Be sure to reference your most relevant experience – if the role you’re applying for lies within Digital Marketing, then highlight your Digital Marketing experience! 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Marketing jobs here 


Medical Devices 

In Med Devices, Ben Hassanzadeh, our Consultant in the sector, has customised advice for candidates of different seniority: “If you’re looking to break into the Medical Device sales market, it’s important to demonstrate a real drive to succeed and a passion for sales: Employers love shadowing experience, so add any shadowing experience you’ve had within the industry. If you haven’t managed to shadow a rep yet, highlight some achievements you’ve had in previous sales roles instead. 

If you have been in the industry for a while, be sure to include SvT figures, awards, and recognition. Bridge the gap between new product areas to you; talk about your transferable skillset, and mention contacts you engage with (not by name) that could be decision makers in this new role.  

 Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Medical Devices jobs here 

Market Access 

When it comes to Market Access, it’s important to be thorough with experience. Ben Laskey says: “Detail your day-to-day responsibilities, the projects you’ve worked on and what your involvement was, relationships with key contacts (not by name) and at what level, BD involvement, line management, etc.” 

Looking for a new opportunity? Check out our current Market Access jobs here 


We hope this article has been helpful and gives you more clarity about what Pharma employers are looking for when assessing and shortlisting candidate CVs. If you’d like to find out more, we'd recommend the following sources:




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