It's not hard to see why medtech is a great industry in which to stake out a career. Medical device and diagnostics companies pay well--median salary tops $118,000--and job security and job satisfaction among workers is relatively high, according to MD+DI's 2016 Medtech Salary Survey. But getting your foot in the door at a medtech company isn't always easy.
At the MD&M West expo in Anaheim, CA, on February 9, three industry recruiters--Marissa Marsala, of San Diego-based Employer & Candidate Connection; Wanda Sanders, associate human resources director at Alere Inc.; and Tim Donahue, human resources recruiter at Abiomed--offered up tips that can help job seekers jumpstart their careers in medtech. Here's their advice.
Get on LinkedIn
If you're not using the career-focused social networking site LinkedIn, you're missing out.
"Eighty-seven percent of hiring managers are on LinkedIn," Marsala explained.
But just slapping up a profile isn't enough; it needs to be optimized so recruiters looking for qualified candidates can find you. Marsala recommended using a word cloud tool like Wordle to make sure your profile includes keywords that can get you noticed by employers.
Candidates can also use the site to find and connect with recruiters working with companies they're targeting and leverage their own existing connections for referrals. Joining groups focused on the medtech industry or the specific job function they're targeting is a great way to hear about job openings, too.
Prepare for a Smooth Transition
For candidates who have been working in a different industry but want to make the leap into medtech, it's important to think about positioning.
"The top of the resume is like real estate. It's all about location, location, location," Marsala said. "Hone in on the top third of the resume."
If you don't have experience working at a medical device or diagnostics company but have attended medtech conferences or taken coursework that might be relevant put that first on your resume, she recommended.
An infographic-style resume can also be a great way to highlight your achievements while downplaying your lack of experience in the industry, Sanders said.
And Marsala emphasized that for those transitioning to medtech from a different industry, the cover letter is key. It gives candidates the chance to explain how their past experience has prepared them for a job at a medical device or diagnostics company.
Focus Your Search
Targeting specific medtech companies is a great way to focus your job search. Doing so enables you to find out which recruiters those companies are working with (a basic LinkedIn search can do the trick) and get your resume in the right hands, Marsala said.
Another great way to get noticed by your dream employer is to start with an internship or temp work. This allows you to "try before you buy," Marsala said, and can ultimately lead to a full-time position.
Apply Even If It's a Stretch
If you don't meet all the stated requirements for a particular job, don't let that deter you from throwing your hat in the ring.
Keep in mind that the job advertisement is written with the perfect candidate in mind. "They're looking for a purple squirrel," Marsala said. "It's a list of what they really want, and they rarely get it all."
A good rule of thumb is to apply if you meet about 80% of the requirements, she added.
Don't Give Up
While not being chosen for a job you really wanted can be disheartening, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road.
"Lots of people aren't staying in jobs," Marsala said. "In some cases, up to 40% leave within three months."
If you do get turned down, take the rejection gracefully.
"Follow up, say you remain extremely interested, and ask if there's anything you can do to position yourself even better if something else opens up," Donahue said. That way, if the candidate the company hired doesn't work out for one reason or another, you've left the door open for them to call you back.
Jamie Hartford is director of content for medtech brands in UBM's Advanced Manufacturing Group. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Image courtesy of GERALT/PIXABAY.COM]