“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”


I’ve done everything you’ve said in your post. I have a four-year degree, some clinical experience, but I’m still not getting noticed. What do I do?”
This is tough, I’ll admit. You have the educational experience, the clinical expertise, and even a few ICH GCP and GLP courses under your belt. You’re either getting interviews, or you’re not. So let’s dig deeper.
You are landing interviews:
Aha! That’s half the battle. Landing interviews means (hopefully) that your resume/CV is relatively getting your career objectives across to recruiters. Let’s talk about the steps needed to have a successful interview and how to properly follow-up:
  • Before
    • Research the company before you show up to the interview. Does their therapeutic experience match yours?
    • If you get list of people that are going to be interviewing you, Google them prior to meeting them. Why? For my first position as a Biologist right out of college, I found that one of my interviewers went to the same college and worked in the same research lab as I did. The interview was a breeze. He already knew my experience because I made it known that we worked with the same professor. Had I not searched for him on the internet I wouldn’t have be able to relate to my supervisor as well as I could have.
    • If a recruiter is involved in the process, discuss with him or her the company’s process for interviewing. Is it the STAR process?  How long will you be expected to be there and with how many people? Will you be engaging in a group interview? Any extra information you can gain will only benefit you
  • During
    • Follow the essentials! Make eye contact, be professional, relate to the interviewers, and dress the part.
    • Always ask questions at the end of the interview. Remember, this is much as an interview for the company as it is for you. Some example questions can be:
      • “How do CRAs adjust to the amount of travel that’s required of them?”
      • “What resources does (Company Name) have for monitoring visits?”
      • “How long is the training program, if any?”
      • “How many studies will I be involved with?”
  • After
    • Once you complete the interview, send the interviewers an email thanking them for their time. I always try to add in a personal note as well. For instance, if it was mentioned during the interview that your interviewer’s husband worked at the same company as you, I would mention that in the email. It shows that you were paying attention and taking note of personal/professional details.
    • Follow-up with the recruiter/HR at least once a week. Some people might think that one week is too often, however, keeping open communications with your recruiter is helpful. You want your recruiter to know your name. Let them know how the interview went and how you’re looking forward to the challenge of the new position.
You are not landing interviews:
So you have the experience, and you’re applying to jobs, but no interviews or even a phone call. What to do? Try the following:
  • How’s your resume or CV?
    • What’s the difference? A resume, generally, is chronological, brief, and goes through the person’s employment as the focal point. CVs, or curriculum vitae, is a summary of your scientific background that includes any research experience, publications, presentations and awards. Personally, I find that a CV allows for a larger breadth of knowledge or content. Your CV should really discuss your clinical and therapeutic experiences. From my experience, recruiters and companies want action items of your accomplishments, not stock descriptions of your job. For example,
      • instead of saying, “Worked on several clinical projects within the hospital where duties included patient recruitment, performing study procedures, and maintaining case report forms”.
      • say something like, “Developed a Clinical Triage Process that reduced the workload for all clinical coordinators by 25%. This increased productivity by 62%”. This gives recruiters tangible items – you saved money by implementing a novel idea or process. Good deal!
    • Proofread, proofread, proofread. Many people that are reading your CV’s are extremely thorough and critical. In my past jobs, I’ve heard several stories of eligible candidates not being considered due to simple spelling mistakes. As ridiculous as this sounds, if you’re applying to be a CRA, one of your job functions is to catch the mistakes, large or small, an investigator makes in a clinical trials. Don’t ruin your chances because you spelled “clinical” incorrectly.
    • While writing my CV for the first time, I had the following thought in my mind. It was great motivation and I hope it finds you some inspiration:
      There are a ton of people in the world with the same skillsets as myself, applying to the same job. How can I make myself stand out in the crowd? What makes myself different?
      • For example, I’ve met a ton of CRAs with degrees in Cell and Molecular Biology (the same as mine :)). We all had basically the same educational background, but it was what we did with that degree that makes us different. I worked in a lab with vaccines (therapeutic experience) where others completed other projects. Only I know what skills my projects afforded to me and only I could describe that experience. As cliché as this sounds, only you truly know yourself. So write your CV with that in mind.
        • With the above in mind, be sure to capture what skills you have that can be applied to clinical research. These skills can be medical writing, SAS programming, Excel VBA macros, etc.
    • Once your document of choice is finalized, allow people to read it! Moms, Dads, trusted mentors in the field, anyone that has a set of eyes can critique. Ask them what areas you can improve on and hopefully they catch any spelling mistakes. If English isn’t your first language (which is the primary language of science), get a native English speaker to read the context of your CV and see if it makes sense.
  • How is your online presence?
    • As I’ve mentioned before, reach out to recruiters. LinkedIn is a phenomenal networking and professional site. It puts your profile at the fingertips of thousands of recruiters looking to fill positions that you’re seeking. Find a recruiter that is posting a job (it happens all the time!) and contact that recruiter. Let them know that you’re interested and you wish to apply – be sure to note why you’re qualified and how you would be a good match for the company. A lot of times, job seekers describe how the job will benefit them – try to think from the other way around. You’re trying to get the company interested in you, and what can you bring to the table. Make that known at step one.
    • Social media is a wonderful tool. In addition to LinkedIn there are a variety of places where you can find professional support. Go to a conference specializing in clinical research. A simple Google search for “conferences and clinical trials” yields 13,700,000 results. That’s a lot of possibilities to get involved, join a professional organization, and learn more about your career field.

source CRA weekly


Post a Comment

About Blogger:

Hi,I,m Basim from Canada I,m physician and I,m interested in clinical research feild and web development.you are more welcome in our professional website.all contact forwarded to basimibrahim772@yahoo.com.

Let's Get Connected: Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus| linkedin

Blog Tips

Subscribe to us