3 Key Takeaways from the Entry-Level Q&A

Couldn’t make our Aspiring MSL Q&A webinar? No worries, here’s some of what you missed!

PharmaFinders continued our quarterly webinar for aspiring MSL series this past week. The webinar was an open discussion and centered around questions entry-level MSLs had for us at PharmaFinders. Here are 3 of our top questions and answers from the virtual meeting:

1. What can you do to make yourself stand out?

As you know, this industry is competitive and hard to transition into. When you’re interviewing, you are not only competing with other aspiring MSLs but you’re also interviewing against people that may already have years of experience. There are a few key things that you can do to stand out. For starters, make sure you have a great resume put together (if you’d like more info on this, keep an eye out for PharmaFinder’s next blog!). Next, you should have specific therapeutic experience highlighted for each position you’re applying to. It’s also a great idea to have a cover letter put together.

After you’ve landed an interview, use the “Getting Started Guide for Entry Level MSLs” from our resources page to learn what to do from there. We always recommend using thank you notes as a way to stand out as well. This gives you another opportunity to showcase your experience, and a little note to the interviewers can go a long way. We’ve also created a “Guide to Thank You Notes” as a resource on our website if you’d like to view that as well.

All this to say, the best way to stand out is to show your enthusiasm! We’ve had aspiring MSLs beat out the competition from their excitement alone. It’s one thing to be able to do the job, it’s another to be excited about doing the job- and that excitement stands out in an interview!  

2. What are some transferrable skills, or things to highlight when applying?

  • Any presentation experience
  • Speaking engagements
  • Teaching experience
  • If you have any relationships with clinicians, or anyone that may be considered a KOL
  • Publications/writing experience, especially if it’s in the same therapeutic area
  • Special therapeutic projects you’ve been involved with
  • Any therapeutic memberships or societies you’re part of or conferences you may have attended

The best piece of advice I can give someone with this question is this: Review the description for the job you’re applying for. Go bullet by bullet and add examples of your own relevant experience next to each one. Use this information to your advantage when you interview.

3. Would we recommend any of the “Break Into the MSL Role” programs?

This is a question we get all the time and the truth is, we’ve seen a lot of aspiring MSLs land their first position without any certifications. We’ve also seen a lot of companies hire without requiring, or even mentioning such programs. We know there can be a huge benefit to taking these courses, but they can be pricey, and just because you complete one does not necessarily guarantee you a spot above the competition. If you have the financial means to explore those programs, it absolutely can’t hurt and you’re sure to learn some great information. There are a ton of awesome people out there who have received a lot of value from these courses. But to be completely candid with you, we have yet to see it as a requirement to make the transition into the MSL role- so you’ll have to make the decision for yourself if it’s worth the investment. If you’d like to hear what others think about this topic, check out the PharmaFinders poll, where we asked the audience their opinion on MSL certifications.

In this entry-level webinar we covered a lot of ground. These are a few, of many topics that were discussed. If you’d like to check out the full meeting you can find those details here:

Meeting Recording: https://zoom.us/rec/share/q7Dbts0fDB5Mmx0ufRikyKQ5P7uCglIQJsSn7I5NCWIA9ZZcGsAiHhCIvQ8tfM0N.aInECZQefb8WOcLc

Access Passcode: c$pq5&q5

As always, we love being a resource for you. If you missed our webinar and have some questions of your own, leave them below!

-Ashley

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