SURVEY: How many CVs did you send to land your first MSL interview?

How many CVs did you send to land your first MSL interview? Poll is closed. N=413. The results are out.
#MedicalScienceLiaison #MSLcv #aspiringMSL #MSLsurvey #MSLresume

We all know it’s not easy to break into an #MSL role. Even getting to the first interview round can be challenging.  We were very surprised to hear that:

  • 36% of people sent more than 10 CVs;
  • 26% never landed an interview;
  • 16% only sent 1 CV, and
  • 22% send between 2-10 CVs

If you have never landed an interview, it tells you that your MSL CV was not good enough. They did not see a reason to give you 15-30 min worth of their time. It is not because you don’t have any MSL experience, as the other 74% of the candidates also didn’t. It is the content of your CV that didn’t match the MSL job description or the need of the company.

We collected some of the tips and comments below:

  1.  Adapt your CV to each MSL role you apply for. This is a very common mistake, too many candidates use the same CV for every role they apply for.
  2.  Have a half-page executive summary. It should highlight your key skills, competencies and knowledge that are RELEVANT to THIS MSL role, not summarizing your past roles.
  3.  Make sure you answer the job description requirements. This is another classic mistake for aspiring MSLs who focus on their past achievements (usually not relevant to the MSL role) versus focusing on the specific MSL job requirements.
  4.  Length: keep it concise and relevant. The goal of a resume/CV is not to get you a job but to get you to the interview stage. How much does a recruiter/hiring manager need to know to invite you for quick phone call screening?
  5.  Make your CV visually attractive and easy to read so that recruiters/hiring managers can quickly find the relevant information. No one wants to go through pages and pages of “information” badly ordered.
  6.  Focus your CV on the successes of the roles you have had rather than the tasks and relate them back to skills important for being an MSL.
  7.  They aren't always looking for MSL experience necessarily, but more skills and experience that can translate to an understanding of and ability to do the MSL role. Tx @ Megan McKenna
  8.  It's more a network problem than know-how From Tarik N.
  9.  The best advice I can give is to steer away from professional CV formats and focus on role summaries. Including a career synopsis up front works very well. Also including key words in some fashion can help when submitting applications online as there is usually an algorithm screening initial apps. Best of luck 🍀 From Jaime Bastian, PharmD

Oftentimes when we review candidates’ CVs, they simply look like they are applying to their current postdoc, pharmacy, medical doctor/nurse job. Nowhere can we see that they understand the MSL role or have done any upskilling or training to know more about the MSL role and the new industry they are trying to enter to give HR/hiring manager a glimpse of hope you can actually understand/can do the MSL job. The CV will go straight into the paper shredder, unfortunately, as there often have 150 more CVs to review. Capture their attention in the first 5 bulletpoints of your executive summary that you are MSL worthy!

PS: For those who want to experience what an MSL interview looks like. Have a look here. This is a “70+ MSL Interview Readiness Exam" to test your MSL interview readiness.

Good luck, Sue

Comments from: Jorge Lopez ; Dr.Charlene Biwott; Minodora Pavel, MD


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