Many people find that there are roadblocks they can’t get past when trying to break into medical sales, medical devices, laboratory sales, or other health care sales–but it can be done. The biggest one is the lack of a medical background. But here are 4 ways you can overcome that:

1. You can get experience through job shadowing—doctors, nurses, or medical sales reps. Job shadowing gives you an understanding of what a typical day is like (which gives you greater credibility in your interviews), and more importantly, it gives you keywords for your resume. When you put this experience on your resume, it will naturally have the words in it that computerized HR systems are looking for when screening for candidates.

2. Related to that, you can volunteer at medical companies, medical clinics, and hospitals. This works the same way. You get experience, knowledge, and keywords—only over a longer period of time. Volunteer experiences say a lot about the commitment level of candidates.

3. Internships are great, too, for the same reasons. Don’t be shy about this if you’ve been in the workforce for a while. It’s always a positive to do something that furthers your goals.

4. You can even spend time with those who have experience in the field…take them to lunch, and conduct informational interviews so that you become more fluent in the language and the vernacular of the field. Informational interviews are fantastic vehicles for getting the “inside scoop” on the industry, as well as individual companies. Most people don’t mind being asked, as long as you don’t try to turn it into a job interview.

Here’s one thing to remember: At some point, no one has experience. We’ve all got to get our foot in the door somehow, and any of these options are great ways to do that.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McKee is known nationally for placing top sales talent at companies that are Fortune 5, 100, and 500 organizations as the owner and chief recruiter for PHC Consulting. Her firm works with sales, sales management, marketing and technical support candidates in the medical products/laboratory products/healthcare products arena. See her website at

Learn more about how to break into medical sales by signing up for Peggy’s FREE hour-long webinar: How to Get Into Medical Sales. She will tell you the essential steps you need to take to transition and show you how to get the job.