Using LinkedIn to find Clinical Research Jobs: Part 1

The Blue Sky Resumes blog has a great post, the 7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making on LinkedIn.

The pharmaceutical and biotech sectors have been enthusiastic adopters of this social networking site. If you’ve ever wondered how to find the names of people to call for informational interviews, or for personalizing your cover letters, this is your answer.

These days, LinkedIn should definitely be a part of your networking strategy but you can’t just put up a profile and forget it.   Louise Fletcher’s advice will help your profile get attention.

If you’re trying to land a clinical research job, you should apply these tips on how to write a clinical research resume to your profile as well. Be sure to sign up for some LinkedIn groups that relate to your career goals (e.g. the Good Clinical Practice group).

In a future post, we’ll talk about how to use LinkedIn to actively build relationships, and discuss the value of other niche social networking sites.

Posted: February 14th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Informational interviews, networking, Resources, Resumes & CVs | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Medical Science Liaison careers: a cautionary view

Following my post the other day on preparing for a medical science liaison career, Jane Chin of the MSL Institute drew my attention to a cautionary note that she has for PhDs tempted by this career path:

I’m writing this in 2009, but I’ve been seeing Medical Science Liaison programs eliminated and entire teams laid off ever since late 2006. There are many MSLs who have experience and don’t have jobs right now. There are many more who are worried about their jobs. The reality is that at most companies, the MSL function is seen as a cost-center, and a heavy one at that. It can be easy to justify cutting heads from the MSL team to save the company money, or when the company’s drugs go generic, or when an investigational drug approval process gets interrupted.

Any PhD who enters the Medical Science Liaison career should consider the “what if’s”, especially in today’s times. What if I lose my job as a MSL? What are my alternatives? If an academic track has been this difficult for postdocs, what additional difficulties will this route present now that I’ve been out of the academic scene for a few years?

From my perspective, I suspect most of the PhDs who are interested in Medical Science Liaison jobs and other careers in pharma have already made the decision that a life in the laboratory isn’t right for them, so while the difficulty in returning to research is a real consideration, it probably isn’t one that weighs very heavily. And an MSL’s role, positioned as it is at the interface between clinical development, medical affairs and marketing, offers a number of possible exit strategies for continued career development in the event of layoffs. Nonetheless, Jane’s note is sobering and everyone, PhD or not, pursuing any career in pharma should go in with eyes wide open to the risks inherent in this sometimes chaotic industry.

You can read the entirety of Jane’s note, and find out more about her thoughts on MSL careers at the Medical Science Liaison Institute website.

Posted: February 11th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Medical Science Liaisons | Tags: | 1 Comment »

The future of CRA jobs

Clinical Research Associate jobs are in high demand. CRA jobs pay well, are often home-based, and offer a relatively high degree of personal autonomy. It’s a job that offers a good mix of solo time as well as working with others, and it’s a job where you can really feel like your work matters, because you’re contributing to the safe development of new drugs that can improve lives. The CRA role hasn’t changed a great deal over the years, with the exception of the increasing adoption of electronic methods for collecting case reports. But the nature of CRA employment has changed and is continuing to shift as companies change the way they do business. This article will discuss the four most common CRA employment arrangements and make some predictions for the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 11th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Clinical research, Clinical Research Associates | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

How to prepare for a career as a medical science liaison

Medical Science Liaison jobs are often seen as the “Golden Ticket” for advanced degree holders looking at career options in the pharmaceutical industry. The thought of receiving a six-figure salary to travel from place to place discussing the latest scientific research is incredibly alluring, and many PhDs and postdocs see the skill sets required as a “perfect match” for their own experiences carrying out research and making presentations. But for most, MSL jobs remain out of reach, because they don’t think carefully about what the industry is looking for in applicants.

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Posted: February 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Marketing, Medical Science Liaisons, networking, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

How Technology Transfer jobs put your science to work

Technology transfer is the conduit that helps transform public-sector science research into commercial applications, and it can transform a scientific career as well. What does it take to find a job in technology transfer?

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Posted: February 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Business Development, Intellectual Property, Marketing, Technology Transfer | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »