4 Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Medical Science Liaison (MSLs)

Breaking into an MSL role takes focus, upskilling and dedication. Here are 4 tips for those seeking their first MSL role:

 1)   Writing a compelling MSL CV.

  1. First you need to learn what are the competencies, skills and knowledge recruiters and hiring managers are looking for in an MSL candidate. Most candidates write what they did in the past, without ANY reference to what they know about the MSL role, and are surprised they are not invited for an interview.

 2)   Become Board-Certified MSL:  BC-MSLcert

  1. Particularly for professionals with no prior-MSL experience, they need to showcase their interest and eagerness to switch careers and become an MSL. The FSTP Board-Certification MSL (BC-MSLcert) is known to dramatically increase your chances to break in. The BC-MSLcert is a globally recognized qualification for aspiring MSL and recruiters and hiring managers are actively reaching out to candidates that have that on their LinkedIn profile and CV. https://www.fromsciencetopharma.com/mslboardcertification 

 3)   Getting 100% interview MSL ready, the 4 steps of the MSL hiring Process

Step 1: The phone call with HR. You need to fully understand what an MSL does and be prepared to explain your interest in the position and why you would be good for this MSL role at their company.

Step 2: The technical and behavioral interview. This interview assesses your skills, competencies and knowledge that are relevant to the MSL role. It also assesses your communication skill, motivation to work for this company and the company culture fit. Strong communication is mandatory for MSL (see our soft skills test).

Step 3: The clinical paper presentation. You will be asked to present and critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of a clinical trial. Some companies ask to present the clinical data as if you were an MSL presenting to a group of KOLs and they give you 24h notice.

Step 4: Contract negotiation. Your first MSL salary will be used as benchmark for any bonus paid out and future salary growth. Come prepared with real-life MSL salary numbers to start at the right level.


4)   Find a supportive MSL recruiter and MSL community and mentors.

  1. The “MSL community” is one of the most collaborative and generous groups of medical affairs professionals. Get access to the latest MSL jobs, MSL tips and expand your network with medical managers and recruiters. https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7060745/
  2. Connect with an experienced medical affairs recruiter. #JobRx is great place to start. The CEO Kevin Mero is very experienced and very approachable.  Here is the link (Say hi to Kevin for me 😊 https://jobrx.com/main/static/candidateRegistration

Good luck everyone,

Read how other moved into the MSL role without any MSL experience: https://www.fromsciencetopharma.com/testimonials





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