As a medical science liaison (MSL) Recruiter, I get a lot of inquiries from candidates trying to break into their first industry role. I understand that finding your first MSL job isn’t the easiest thing to accomplish—but the good news is, it can be done! Not to toot my own horn, but I have been fortunate enough to help quite a few entry level candidates find their new homes in pharma/biotech. I’m sure by this point you’re aware that the entry level MSL role (A.K.A. unicorn) doesn’t come across every day. The trick is that when they do, it’s crucial to act quickly and fully capitalize on each opportunity. The following is by no means an all-inclusive list, but I hope you might find some of this information useful while you’re searching for your unicorn.
Is your resume relevant for a medical science liaison job?
So, if you have stellar experience and have been actively submitting your resume everywhere without receiving any bites—it’s likely because you’re missing the mark with your resume (or you’re applying to jobs that you aren’t remotely qualified for). If you have a friend who’s currently working as an MSL or who has made the transition from academia, ask if you can use their resume as a template. A lot of resumes I see for the average ELC (entry level candidate) are geared more toward academia because that’s where a lot of their experience is from—but remember, you aren’t applying for academic positions anymore. Revise your resume, make it relevant for the MSL role or you will keep getting passed over. Now, if you are getting bites on the resume and not progressing past the first interview—it’s likely an issue in your interviewing style or preparedness. This is where a trusty recruiter, or again, an MSL friend could really come in handy. If you don’t have at least one of those, I think that should be your first job search mission.