You see the job postings, you dutifully apply to them, and then you wait. How many hours have you spent filling out online job applications only to receive automated rejections with minutes of completing the application? How are other people landing their first MSL jobs?
Keep reading if you are ready to take control of your job search and see positive results from your activity. First, understand that by searching and applying via the online process, you are conducting what I call a “passive” job search. These traditional methods of applying work well if you are an experienced candidate who is an exact match to the job description. Most candidates, even with experience, will not be an exact match. Your resume is not likely to be seen by a human unless you meet at least 8 of 10 listed criteria.
By-passing this traditional online application process is the key to being successful in your job search. Focus on sending your resume to a true decision maker. A high level hiring manager has a scientific / medical background and speaks your language. When they read your resume, they understand what you have done and how it relates to the MSL role. Their focus is on building a successful team and they are not worried that you only possess 6 of the 10 bullet points listed in the job description. (Over 40% of all jobs filled are never even posted!) All companies train on the job and their products / pipeline.
Before starting your new pro-active job search focused on introducing yourself to hiring managers, be sure you have the right foundation in place. Your resume is the foundation. You will only have about 10 seconds of a reader’s time when they open your resume. What do they need to know in that first 10 seconds? Is it easy to understand your background at a glance? A well-written resume will also make the interview easier by keeping you focused and reducing the amount of time used explaining various areas of your background.
Once your resume is developed, identify hiring managers at 10 companies that hire MSLs. Develop a brief email introducing yourself and how you fit with the MSL role. Email your resume directly to those 10 hiring managers. You will be surprised at how receptive they are to candidates who take the initiative to reach out to them directly. After all, you have just demonstrated your ability to get to a key opinion leader!
I will cover the MSL interview process in my next blog. Please feel free to request specific topics as well. Email me directly if you have questions about the MSL role, job search process, or your resume.
Elizabeth Danford, MSL job search specialist, resume writer, and interview coach.