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How to Use Social Media to Transition into Medical Writing

January 25, 2017 | Ashley Godfrey, PhD, RAC, Clinical Research Scientist II | Medical Writing Services

In the previous blog post, we shared advice on face-to-face networking for people (like you!) who are looking to transition into a medical writing career. In this post, I break down some of the available social media resources and pass along some advice I learned along the way to my current role at IMPACT.

In today’s society, using social media is almost a given, and it is an excellent tool for networking.

You can, and should, use the most popular social media websites during your job search and for networking.

The main two are LinkedIn and Twitter, but you may find creative ways to use Facebook and others as well.

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LinkedIn

  • Use this professional outlet to your advantage. Take time to update and complete your profile, keeping your dream job in mind rather than your current position.
  • Remember that your LinkedIn profile is your personal brand. Highlight your transferable skills in your summary section. It is also important to keep an updated, professional photo on your page!
  • Don’t know where to start? Consider looking at profiles of people in the job you are looking for to find out what skills and experience they highlight and how their profile is presented. An easy way to find people like this is to search by the job title (eg, medical writer, clinical research scientist, regulatory medical writer). Then, once you’ve found people in the roles that you are interested in, you can contact them via direct message or comment on any of their posts.
  • You can also search by company name. Search for a company that interests you and you will find information on the job titles used at that company, learn about their company culture, and find out whether they are hiring.
  • Follow any companies you think you may be interested in joining (like IMPACT!) so that you see their updates in your feed. You can also join LinkedIn groups associated with the fields you want to enter. Joining groups allows you to learn about industry trends, network with the group’s members, and post your own content (to show off your great skills!).
  • Whether from new connections or ones you already have, be sure to ask for introductions to people you are interested in speaking to. You can also use the “get‑an‑intro” feature once you’ve found a company you are interested in. Once introduced to someone, ask your new connection for an informational interview (see next bullet point).
  • Informational interviews are an excellent way to research which careers you may want to enter and establish new connections through LinkedIn. Remember, though, everyone is busy! So be sincere in your search and meaningful in your pursuits.
  • Using LinkedIn to write about your career of interest can draw out interested parties and show that you have initiative. For example, you could post to a site associated with your desired job or a related professional organization; or you could write your own blog post and tweet about it.

Twitter

  • Similarly, you can use Twitter to follow companies you think you may want to work for, or people who do the type of job you think you might want to pursue.
  • A company’s Twitter feed can give you some insight into what they think is important, perhaps to an even greater degree than you can get from their main website. For example, following IMPACT on Twitter gives an inside look into our company culture. (Follow us here!)

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Facebook

  • Believe it or not, your social network (online or in real life) may be of great help in putting you in touch with a potential job lead. Don’t be afraid to put the word out that you are job hunting – you never know what opportunity may cross a friend’s path that may be well suited for you. Your friends and family can also be a great resource for helping you proofread your resume.
  • Keep in mind to check your security settings to make sure only professional items are publicly viewable or be sure to comb through your profile to remove any unprofessional posts or pictures.

Other social media sites

  • There are (seemingly!) a million other social media sites to explore (eg, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope). In my experience, LinkedIn and Twitter are used most often when networking to get into the pharmaceutical industry.

Other general tools that may be helpful

  • Contact managing tools (eg, Plaxo) are designed to help you manage your contacts.
  • Such tools usually have free service and subscription options and can help you keep track of everyone you meet and stay in touch with them. You can also create contacts and present different information about yourself to different contact groups that you designate.
  • Resume websites (eg, VisualCV).
  • Many can be accessed via LinkedIn (or other career websites) and allow you to create and post your resume online. They can be helpful for presenting your information in a more coherent, visually pleasing way.
Random (but helpful!) tips

For you graduate students out there, don’t forget to keep in touch (eg, by email, LinkedIn, Twitter) with other graduate students and post-docs who leave your lab, program, or institution. They may become a resource to learn about alternative science careers and a job you may want to pursue off the bench.

Also, your graduate program or post‑doc office likely keeps a directory of alumni and where they ended up, which is a great way to find other people who have made a similar journey.

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I hope that you find some of these resources helpful in your search! This list was written from my personal experience and internet research of these resources; please check directly with these websites for more details!

IMPACT is an exciting, small CRO whose team has expertise in medical writing, regulatory affairs/operations, early phase clinical trial management, and drug development consulting. If you’d like to learn more about IMPACT and the careers we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us! And don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Category: Medical Writing Services
Keywords: Medical Writing, Regulatory Affairs, Social Media, Networking

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