How long have you been searching for a MSL job? You know the jobs are out there, but how do you land one if you have no MSL experience? For most MSL candidates, their biggest obstacle is not lack of experience, but the job search process they are using. In June alone, I had six MSL coaching clients accept jobs. None of these clients had previous MSL experience. The group consisted of three Ph.D. Postdoc Associates, one M.D., and two Ph.D.’s working in the industry as research scientist. July is turning out to be equally active with interviewing and hiring.
Some facts to help you understand the process and what you can do differently to get interviews and job offers.
- All companies that hire MSLs will hire a MSL with no previous experience. (There will always be a specific job that requires experience, but many do not.)
- All companies provide (and require every new hire to attend) comprehensive MSL training programs.
- Each company uses MSLs in a slightly different capacity. The role is the same, but actual focus areas can vary greatly.
- Over 50% of all jobs filled are never posted.
- The MSL interview process is a series of behaviorally based interviews requiring a solid understanding of how to answer questions using the STAR format.
- Academic CVs rarely highlight the areas that will be most relevant to the MSL role. A professional resume will not only help you get interviews, it will also simplify the interview process.
How do you get interviews? The first step is to tell your “story” to a true decision maker. By applying on-line or sending resumes only to HR, you will always be evaluated against a job description. Since most job postings are going to list experience as a criteria, you will not make it past that first cut. High level decision makers are the people who understand the MSL role and how your background will fit with what they need.
Questions about the MSL role or your job search challenges? Ask Elizabeth, the MSL job search specialist, resume writer, and interview coach. Elizabeth@clinicalstrategist.com, author of Launching your MSL Career, the MSL job search guidebook. http://www.clinicalstrategist.com/layomslcagu.html