Advantages of a Targeted Medical Science Liaison Job Search Using a Niche Job Board

According to Weddle’s Fast Facts on Job Boards, there are now over 100,000 online job boards. The process of trying to find an ideal match using an online job board can seem an overwhelming task with a significant opportunity cost to recruitment staff and job seekers.

Online job boards have primarily been dominated by a small group of major boards such as Monster, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, Indeed. The current trend in online recruitment is the use of targeted niche job boards that focus on a specific industry, job title, or geographic location. Niche boards make the search process more effective and efficient for both recruiters and job seekers especially for very specific roles like the MSL role where it is difficult to narrow the search.

While it is true that as a candidate you can narrow your search parameters with the major boards and get email alters when jobs matching your search criteria are posted, it remains a hit and miss experience.  Many times these job alerts present opportunities that are not related to your search criteria.  In many cases, the job listings are outdated so that your résumé is never even seen by anyone.  For recruiters, some have reported that when they post a job on many job board that if they get 100 applications for a role they have they feel they are lucky if 1 is a viable candidate. 

If you have sent resumes and not getting responses it may be that employers have blocked incoming email from these sites once the position has been filled or during peak work hours to avoid overloading their IT system. According to research conducted by Beyond.com, peak business hours for job seekers, 10am-2pm, coincide with that of most employers so that it may happen that your resume never reaches the email of the appropriate hiring manager.

Not all jobs boards are created equal. Some possess superior technology, along with an impressive history of helping companies and job seekers find one another in very targeted ways. Before signing up with any niche job board, it pays to follow a few basic guidelines as outlined below:

Make sure the website can produce results: The website should allow you to focus your search on your very specific needs and to be able to interact with employers. 

Experiment with the website and post your resume: If the site is user-friendly, that is a good sign. It should be very easy to search job listings or post your resume. If it is not easy or you cannot post a resume to the site, this is a mere advertising website and not a job board.

Establish search criteria: Test the board by creating a set of keywords most appropriate to the company and job you seek. Input these keywords into the search bar and evaluate the quality of results. If the board returns few, if any, results, you will know it is not a viable resource for your particular career goals.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

How to Use Social Networking Sites to Search for Medical Science Liaison Roles

Social media has become an increasingly popular tool for hiring managers and recruiters to search for candidates.  According to Jump Start Social Media, as many as 75% of hiring managers use LinkedIn on a regular basis to search for viable candidates, 48% use Facebook, and 26% use Twitter.  A primary benefit of social media sites is that they permit hiring managers to get a glimpse of additional information about your background and potential fit with a role.  Although hiring managers are using multiple social media networks, LinkedIn is the most professionally-oriented of the three sites and it tends to be the focus of hiring managers performing due diligence of MSL candidates.
MSL candidates should view social media as a complementary tool to job boards to research new companies, hiring managers, and roles.  Active users of social media sites can build their network and connect with companies and decision makers.  The MSL role requires multiple traits including savviness and a proactive nature—two traits that can be demonstrated by establishing an active and consistent online network using social media sites.

Strategies for using social media in an MSL job search:

  • Become familiar with the most popular sites by browsing a listing of groups, members, company pages, etc.
  • Start with LinkedIn since it is recognized as primarily a business social network.  You can build a presence on other social media sites but LinkedIn will likely be the most effective in terms of building the most relevant and appropriate network.
  • Join groups based on your therapeutic area, disease state, former employers or alma mater.  By following the groups you can keep up to date on the latest trends and news as well as identify who are the most active members of the groups to potentially further network.
  • Ask people in your network to introduce you to people they know who may be able to assist with your job search. Be careful not to ask for a job but for information and advice. Realize that networking is reciprocal in nature and be willing to provide something in return (such as the offer to connect this person with contacts in your network.)
  • If you are “tweeting” on Twitter, share links to stories, reports, industry news, etc and add your own comments and insights that add value.
  • Facebook is also a viable source to keep in touch with business connections you have made during your career. While this site is more social in nature than LinkedIn, the friends you make and the groups you join can still be viable sources of MSL job leads. There is also the possibility of creating a social media resume on Facebook using the Facebook ad feature. In effect you can create two profiles; one for friends and one for your MSL search. 

Combine Traditional Job Search with Social Media Strategy

The most successful MSL job search strategy will likely integrate traditional methods with online networking.  One recommendation is to incorporate the links to your LinkedIn, blog or personal Web site on your traditional résumé.  You may also want to link each of your social media profiles to one another.  The goal is to be a consistent presence in your market so that recruiters and hiring managers can find you.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

How to match your Medical Science Liaison resume to an employer’s needs

In preparing to write your resume to submit for an MSL role, keep in mind that it needs to be targeted toward the employer’s needs not your own. This means that your employment history and list of skills and accomplishments must match the requirements of the position. 

Begin by researching the company thoroughly, the MSL role, how MSLs are utilized within the company and match your resume so that it directly addresses the needs faced by each. Strategically place important keywords throughout the resume so you are able to highlight how your background meshes with company needs. The goal is to assist hiring managers to see how your background can help the company fulfill the needs of this specific MSL role. Specifically, you want to emphasize any Therapeutic Area expertise that you have that relates to the role, highlight relevant experiences and mention accomplishments that are in line with the role or company.  

Begin with a short career profile that describes your core skills and values that mesh with the company mission, culture, and needs of the role. As with your cover letter, you may want to tweak this profile to reflect the specific needs and culture of different employers. The remainder of your resume should provide a clear and logical progression of your career history, skills, knowledge, and accomplishments.

Keep in mind that most hiring managers are only performing a cursory review on an initial read-through. Like Applicant Tracking Systems, they are primarily searching for important keywords that reflect your suitability for the role. Do not use long, complex sentences but incorporate keywords in a bullet-point format (or asterisks if submitting an online application). Do not use template-like formats but strive to create a layout that best illustrates your unique background.

Be specific regarding accomplishment and, where possible, quantify results with percentages, monetary amounts, or comparative statistics. Incorporate details regarding not only with regard to actual tasks performed but also what you have learned, produced or achieved in each of your prior work experiences. For example, did you have any measurable achievements while working with KOL’s, like leading the approval of a certain number of IST’s?

Avoid including the links to personal social media profiles. A more professional method is to share the link to professional profiles such as on LinkedIn.com or BrightFuse.com that are well written and include sections regarding your most relevant accomplishments (to the MSL role) and career highlights

Resist the temptation to embellish any prior work experience or academic achievements. Doing so can tarnish your credibility and will almost definitely eliminate you from being hired. Most companies perform very thorough routine background checks, along with simple online searches that can easily expose the truth. Plus, overstating prior accomplishments may well come to light when you are unable to successfully perform key responsibilities of the position.

Resumes that show a logical career progression can also illustrate to prospective MSL Managers that you have clear goals and the discipline to follow-through on a plan of action. Relating how your MSL experience (if you have any), skills, and knowledge have prepared you for the needs of the current MSL role, any challenges the company faces, as well as future industry trends is a highly effective method to position yourself as a forward-thinking solution provider.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

How To Create, Use, And Promote a Medical Science Liaison Video Resume

According to one source, there are only 2000 video résumés on YouTube. Because of the relatively small number of people who have created video résumés, this type of communication can be a key differentiating factor that distinguishes your MSL candidacy from other candidates. A video resume should succinctly highlight your background and the value you bring to a Medical Science Liaison role.

Effective Strategies for Creating an MSL Video Resume

  • Dress professionally just as if you were in an in-person interview.
  •  Start by providing your first and last name.
  • Keep the focus on your experience and most relevant accomplishments related to the MSL role.
  • Keep your branding strategy in mind in terms of your unique value proposition to potential employers and make sure that is highlighted during the presentation.
  • Make sure that you use current equipment so that the video is sharp and clear. As with a paper resume, overall appearance and quality are key!
  • Keep your presentation short: optimum length is between one and three minutes.
  • Look directly into the camera not down or to the sides.
  • Speak in a slow and steady cadence and smile, as this will convey a sense of warmth and friendliness. Don’t rush the process since you can practice many times before uploading the final version to YouTube. 
  • Eliminate any background noise that can interfere with your presentation. Sit in front of a blank wall with no distracting pictures or posters. Keep it professional.
  • Present your information in a story-like format to capture viewer interest. Mention any specific disease state, therapeutic area or specific product experience. Do not read from a prepared script.
  • Thank the viewer for their consideration of your candidacy.

 

Video Resume Don’ts

  • Don’t mix your personal life with your professional one. If you have information on your MySpace or Facebook page that you’d prefer employers don’t see, don’t link your video resume and it is always advisable to make your personal social media profiles private.  
  • Don’t expect your video resume to replace your traditional resume. Not all employers are interested and others are worried about discrimination issues i.e. not hiring candidates because of how they look and sound rather than insufficient qualifications.

 

Where to Upload Your Completed Video

The first obvious place is YouTube. Other venues include Rezbuzz.com Google video and ResumeBookTV.com. You can also upload your video to your own Website or blog and link to it from there.

Video Quality

As with your typical MSL resume, presentation and quality are also very important in a video MSL resume.  A good-quality video resume can range from something that someone shot at home to a professionally-shot video. However, a professional one will likely provide much better quality in terms of a clearer picture, excellent sound quality, and an overall more professional look.

How to Promote Your MSL Video Resume

Before you promote your resume online, ask colleagues and friends to review it. If necessary revise it to get it to be as professional as possible. Once your video resume is complete, there are several ways to promote it online.

  • Include a link to your video resume on your MSL resume that you send out to recruiters and when applying to companies.
  • Send query/exploratory letters to pharmaceutical or biotech industry recruiters and ensure that the link to your video resume is included.
  • Include your video resume (or a link to it) in your professional profiles on Linked In.
  • Create a Facebook Social Ad and include the link to your video resume.
  • Send the link to your networking contacts.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

10 tips for Using a Medical Science Liaison Video Cover Letter

Video Cover Letters (a short videotaped introduction to an employer) is a cutting-edge job search tool now beginning to be used across all professions and can be used when searching for an MSL role. Video cover letters offer a novel method for employers to evaluate candidates. However, there are several points to consider when using a Video Cover Letter for an MSL job application. As with search engines and resume database software, it may take some time for video cover letters to be widely accepted by most employers.

10 Points To Consider When Using A Video Cover Letter For An MSL Job Application:

  1. While it can be helpful to hear how potential MSL candidates present themselves and to evaluate their suitability, be cautious to not look rigid and unnatural. Try to be conversational but succinct. Employers will be concerned that Video Cover Letters provide no evidence of how candidates will present themselves during a lengthy in-person interview.
  2. The use of video cover letters also gives rise to concerns within the human resource community that their use invites possible litigation based on illegal discrimination practices during the hiring process. Only send it to those that know you and are expecting contact.
  3. A Video Cover Letter (or resume) is not able to be incorporated into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which has become the main recruitment strategy for many employers. Until ATS vendors devise a method to incorporate videos (e.g. storing, tracking, and viewing) as part of the screening process, these videos are sent to email directories, stored in separate URL files, or simply deleted. If you are going to try to use an MSL Video Cover Letter make sure you are sending it to the right person directly (hiring manager, recruiter or HR) that you have been in contact with.
  4. Recruiters and hiring managers may not have the time to view a Video Cover Letter. The key is to streamline the hiring process by utilizing those recruitment tools that enable hiring managers to perform due diligence and make decisions in a timely manner. Make sure that your MSL Video Cover Letter is succinct and never more than 3-5 minutes in length.
  5. Some within the HR community argue that only certain personality types will do well with a video presentation, those with an outgoing demeanor, and high energy level. Introverted and analytical personality types may be perfectly qualified for a given MSL role but their video presentation may not accurately reflect these abilities. Regardless of your personality type, if you are going to use these videos you need to emphasize your skills and accomplishments that best match the needs of the MSL role that you are applying to.
  6. There are currently no rules or standards for the presentation of a Video Cover Letter. As such, it is up to the candidate to decide on what will be appropriate and what to leave out. This will perhaps change as Video Cover Letters become more accepted and professional career coaches and writers develop protocols similar to those created for traditional cover letters and resumes. It is reasonable at this point to apply similar inclusion rules for a Video Cover Letter as to that of a traditional cover letter. Keep it succinct and emphasize important points not obvious in your resume.     
  7. The IT security and Firewalls of employer computer systems may block the submission of videos or not allow them at all. With the spread of computer viruses and worms, security systems are becoming ever more sophisticated and employers may take precaution in opening attachments, especially from those they do not know (hence the rising popularity of Applicant Tracking Systems). As before, it is important to only send it when appropriate to those that you have had some exchange with (email, phone).
  8. The employer’s installed version of the software which enables the viewing of Rich Media Content may not be compatible with all videos. Ask for a personal email address to send your video to in order to prevent any technical issues or send the link to your YouTube video.
  9. There is a size consideration to the use of Video Cover Letters because they take up a good deal of storage space.  The demands on servers in terms of bandwidth required would be great even if 10 recruiters and or hiring managers watch video submissions at the same time. Again, you can avoid these types of issues by giving recruiters and potential employers your YouTube link to your video.
  10. Know your audience and the purpose of sending such a video. These types of videos can be a great detail to set you apart from other candidates or a complete disaster. Be prepared and consider the above points to increase your chances of success of landing your next Medical Science Liaison role.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.