Many people out there are looking forward to get a break in the clinical research industry, but most of them do not know the techniques that should be used when searching for jobs in clinical research. Here are some job hunting tips that may help you get to the interview desk:
1. Networking: The first thing that you should explore is whether any of your known classmates, friends etc are working in any clinical research company. Usually companies have job openings which may never be advertized, so always feel free to contact people you know who are already working in an organization as they may be able to recommend you for a suitable position within their organization. Employee recommendations are usually very seriously considered by management and there is a high chance of you being called for an interview.
You can also become members at various clinical research related forums and societies and try to build some contacts which may help you in your job hunt. Such forums usually have senior members of the industry logging in who may prove to be helpful.
2. Internet search: Try logging on to various job sites and search for your desired job profiles. If you find some openings in any company, apply. Applying for jobs online is however an art. Ensure that you have a very well written cover letter and a very professionally formatted CV so that you become a more attractive candidate to the person who is short listing candidates. Make sure that you take each job opening individually and customize your CV and cover letter as per the requirements of that particular position. If you write generic statements in your CV without being specific, that may give the employer an impression that you are not necessarily interested in that job and that you applied only because you had to. Customizing your cover letter and CV shows the employer that you are focused and genuinely interested in that position which will increase your chances of being called for an interview.
3. Give them a call: Sometimes if you come across a job opening via someone whom you know or an advertisement, it may be a good idea to directly call the contact person responsible and talk to him or her. Be very professional in the way you speak and inform them that you came across an advertisement for a job opening and that you would like to apply for the same. Be very brief about your qualification and experience. After you have sent across your CV and cover letter along with a nicely written email, follow up regarding the same after a few days by giving a call or sending an email. Do not however call repeatedly, as it may annoy the person you are getting in touch with.
4. Get in touch with consultants: Consultants often have good contacts in the industry and may help you get a break. Do not however pay any money to them for any promises they make.
5. Never send bulk emails to prospective employers. This means to never send a common email to prospective employers with all of them in ‘cc’ or ‘bcc’. This is a very common mistake that fresher’s commit. This reflects negatively on a candidate’s attitude.
6. Understanding yourself: Before you even start applying for a clinical research job, be it clinical operations (CRA, CRC etc), pharmacovigilance, medical writing etc understand what the current needs of the industry are, do you even possess the required qualification for the jobs that you are applying for, and what is it that makes you better than other candidates. Normally having a life science background is enough to apply for jobs in clinical research industry however due to increasing competition in the job market it has become almost necessary to have some professional experience and exposure to key concepts. Having completed a course in clinical research highly increases yours chances of getting a break in a good organization, so if you can, do not hesitate to take up one.
Following these simple steps can help you significantly shorten your job search period and help you mature into a clinical research professional of high caliber.