Top 10 Job Search Tips for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs)

The demand for Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs) is great. They are vital to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics companies, as they help ensure that a company’s products are used safely and effectively, serve as experts to internal audiences (e.g., Sales and Marketing), function as scientific resources to medical communities, and develop and maintain relationships with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) at academic medical institutions, well-known clinics, and other scientific/clinical organizations.

The more well-informed and capable the MSL, the more credible the company will appear. As more and more organizations recognize the importance of MSLs, so does the demand to hire them.

TriNet Pharma’s recruiters have over 20 years’ experience of direct involvement with Medical Science Liaisons (MSLs), helping companies across the United States and Europe build or expand MSL teams.

Every day, TriNet Pharma’s recruiters are coaching those seeking new MSL career opportunities. They’ve heard and seen it all, and that’s why their advice is valuable. Hopefully, the tips below will help you improve how you prepare for a job search, the phone interview, the face-to-face interview, and your presentation.

  • Even if you know the person with whom you’ll be interviewing, bring your A game! Always be professional, enthusiastic, eager, and hungry. Show the interviewer that you really want the job. Ask for it, before you leave the interview. A good question to ask the hiring manager is, “Is there anything in my background that will prevent me from being hired?” Also, ask about the next steps. Make sure you close at the end of every interview.
  • Always write a thank you note. It’s a sign that you’re truly interested in a position. Some hiring managers will not move forward with you if they don’t understand your interest.
  • Research the company and the product, look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn, and ask your recruiter about the hiring manager. Your recruiter is your most informed resource when it comes to hiring managers.
  • Have questions prepared for the phone and face-to-face interviews. Ask about the company’s culture, the philosophy of the team, the pipeline for the product(s), and the number of KOLs you’ll be required to visit within a specific period.
  • Use more than one recruiting company. You should work with 2-3 agencies that you trust and are exceptional at following up with you. Each agency has different opportunities that they’re trying to fill.
  • Before applying online with a pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, or diagnostics company, check with your recruiter(s) to learn if they have a relationship with the company in which you have an interest. If you apply online, that application is going straight to Human Resources, not the hiring manager. Your recruiter(s) connects you with the hiring manager.
  • If you have questions or concerns about a job, talk to your recruiter before interviewing. They can address your questions/concerns 95% of the time, and if they don’t have an answer for you at the time of your inquiry, they can go to the company or hiring manager and get an answer for you.
  • Keep track of where you’ve applied, and tell your recruiter if you have an interview for another job (job #2); it’s possible that your recruiter can accelerate the interview process for job #1, especially if that is the position in you’re most interested.
  • Keep your CV up to date. Make sure words are spelled correctly and that you’re using appropriate grammar.
  • Focus on body language during a face-to-face interview. Watch your posture and hands. Exude confidence. Relax. Also, pay attention to the hiring manager’s body language. It can let you know whether you’re on the right track.

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