Careers in Med Writing Tips

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What qualifications do medical writers need?

Tips for Starting a Medical Writing Career

Medical writers work in a variety of settings, including: pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devise. But, before launching your career, it's important to get the required education and experience. Read on to learn tips for positioning yourself for medical writing jobs.

Secure the required education. Typically, employers prefer that medical writers have a background in life sciences, English or journalism. A bachelor's degree is usually required, with a master's degree preferred for some positions.

Check out certification options. The Medical Writers Association provides certifications to members that complete education courses. This can be an appealing qualification on your medical writing resume.

Securing medical writing experience. Because this industry is competitive, getting experience and writing samples is important to launching your career. Consider applying for internships or volunteer positions to a get a year of experience before applying to full-time or freelance positions.

   
Should I build an online portfolio?

Medical Writing Jobs: The Dos and Don'ts of Building an Online Portfolio

Whether you're a medical writing novice or have been at this career for years, having an online portfolio is a great way to showcase your work. Read on to learn the dos and don'ts of creating this marketing tool.

Don't display work without permission. As harmless as it may seem, it's important to get permission for all writing samples.

Do include previous employer testimonials. Did your previous employer write you a glowing letter of recommendation? Extract that information and include it on your web portfolio.

Don't get too complicated. If you're a web guru, that's great. But otherwise, for your first online portfolio, keep it simple. A page for writing samples, employer testimonials and contact information.

Do include your online portfolio on your cover letter. When applying for medical writing jobs, this will give recruiters quick access to your writing samples, without downloading large files.

   
How can I give a medical writing phone interview?

Medical Writing Jobs: Tips for Giving a Better Phone Interview

Phone interviews are an important component of your medical writing job search. Since these interviews are short, about 30 minutes or less, you have a short amount of time to make a lasting impression. Read on to learn tips for giving a better phone interview.

Prepare an interview room. Believe it or not, where you interview has an effect on the outcome. Prepare a workspace that is interview friendly, free of distractions, extra noise and clutter.

Dress Professionally. Just because the recruiter can't see your sweats doesn't mean you don't sound like you're wearing them. Whether you're a freelance or in-house medical writer, dressing professionally during a phone interviews will make you sound more professional.

Disable your call waiting. When interviewing for medical writing jobs, it's important that the time is interruption free. Even if you don't answer a phone call, it will make your connection sound unprofessional.

   
How can I give a better medical writing interview?

Medical Writing Jobs: Interview Basics

With generous compensation and rewarding work, medical writing is a competitive industry. When landing an interview, investing time in preparation can catch the employer's attention, and land you further consideration. Read on to learn tips for giving a better medical writing interview.

  1. Focus on accomplishments instead of job responsibilities.
  2. Bring writing samples that relate closely to the hiring company's needs
  3. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses in previous medical writing jobs.
  4. Rehearse your answer to the question “why do you want to work for our company.”
  5. Don't say anything negative about a former supervisor, even if it's true.
  6. Ask to see a sample of the company's writing ahead of time.
  7. Bring extra copies of your resume
  8. Don't wear too much jewelry or makeup. This can be distracting to employers.
  9. Be prepared to discuss your history of writing in accordance with government regulations
  10. Don't discuss salary on the first interview.

   
Should I network to find medical writing jobs?

Medical Writing Jobs: Get out and Network

If you ask any career expert, they'll tell you that social networking is a powerful way to land jobs – and medical writing is no exception. So, if you haven't investing time in networking, consider taking advantage of professional organizations and online tools. Read on to learn a few tips.

Check out the American Medical Writers Association. Joining this association will give you an opportunity to network with more then 5,600 members across the US and Canada . This organization also posts medical writing jobs online, and members receive a discount on continuing education and meetings.

Local associations. Check in your community to find local medical writer associations. Meeting other medical writers will allow you to tap into unadvertised positions.

Online networking. If you haven't already, it's time to fire up your computer and network online. Professional websites, like LinkedIn, allow medical writers to network with professionals across the country. You can also build an online resume and give and receive recommendations.

   
Should I use a staffing firm when looking for medical writing jobs?

Medical Writing Jobs: The Benefits of Using a Staffing Firm

When looking for medical writing jobs, many professionals wonder if it's worthwhile to use a staffing firm. Taking advantage of these services has many benefits, including access to more jobs, and the ability to learn more about a company, before the interview. Read on to learn the benefits of using a staffing firm.

Greater access to medical writing jobs. Working with a staffing firm that specializes in medical writing jobs, will give you greater access to job opportunities. Check out companies like Delta Pharma.

The ability to prepare better for interviews. Since staffing firms already have relationships established with employers, they understand what employers are looking for in candidates. With a staffing firm, you can ask questions before the interview, making the process much smoother.

More information about salary. Most medical writers know its bad form to bring up salary early in the interview process. But with a staffing firm, you may have access to that information, before attending the interview.

   
Where can I find medical writing cover letter tips?

Medical Writing: Top 10 Cover Letter Tips

As a medical writer, a cover letter not only outlines your experience, it reflects your ability to write compelling copy. So, before sending out your next medical writing job application, consider giving your cover letter a refresh. Read on to learn the top 10 cover letter tips.

  1. Include which position you're applying to in the first paragraph.
  2. Call out your most impressive accomplishments in the first ¼ of the page.
  3. Create a strong closing paragraph that asks for the interview.
  4. Include a couple different methods of contact information.
  5. Always keep a cover letter to one page or less.
  6. Find out what the company wants, and weave these items into the cover letter.
  7. Don't include a biography about yourself; tailor your cover letter to the specific position.
  8. Include a link to an online portfolio in your closing paragraph.
  9. Make a compelling argument for the reader to review your resume.
  10. Incorporate your personality into the writing of your cover letter.

   
Should I choose a medical writing specialty?

Creating a Medical Writing Specialty

When launching a medical writing career, writers may choose positions in any sector –eager to get work experience. However, after a few years, it's worthwhile to become an expert in a specific niche. This will allow you to earn higher wages, and be viewed as an expert in your field. Here are two specialties to consider when searching for medical writing opportunities.

Regulatory writing. With this type of writing, you'll work on projects, including: protocols, patient information leaflets, clinical study reports and investigator brochures.

Marketing materials. In this specialty, you'll focus on creating training materials, advertising pieces, slide kits, literature reviews and posters.

As a medical writer, you can also specialize in a specific industry, such as pharmaceuticals, biotech or medical devise. Having a focused background in one of these areas will make your skills more marketable for future medical writing jobs.

   
Should I raise my medical writing rates?

Tips for Increasing your Medical Writing Rate

Searching for new medical writing jobs provides an opportunity to raise your rates. During this time, it's important to conduct market research to ensure your salary is in line with the market. Read on to learn tips for increasing your medical writing rates.

Take on new clients. While it's difficult to raise your rates on existing clients, taking on new clients allows you an opportunity to adjust your rates. As your new client base becomes solid, you can discuss raising rates with older clients – without all of the risk.

Do your research. When raising rates on existing clients, it's important to do your research. Conduct an informal salary survey of what similar companies in your industry are paying medical writers. This will allow you to have solid footing for raising your rates.

Specialize in a specific area of medical writing. Writers who specialize in a specific niche have an opportunity to demand a higher wage. This will give you both credibility and a reputation as an expert in the field.

   
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