When searching for your next opportunity within Med Comms, it’s imperative you get all the support and advice you require. Katie Goulbourn, who specialises in Medical Writing and Editorial roles at Carrot Recruitment, takes a look at the benefits of using a recruitment agency when considering a career move.
So many options, where do you start?
With over 100 medical communications agencies in the UK, starting a job search can seem a daunting prospect regardless of how many career changes you have made in the past. Which agencies should you apply to? Which is the best match for you? Who will be most interested in your background? Should I apply to one agency at a time? Should I send my CV to multiple and see who responds? The agency I’m interested in doesn’t have any vacancies on their website, does that mean they aren’t recruiting?
A quick google search of “Medical Writing jobs” brings up hundreds of pages, all claiming to be the best Medical Communications agency to work for, leaving you no nearer to gaining the answers to your questions.
“I could tell how genuine and considerate Katie was from our first call, and she was in constant contact with me throughout the process. What's more, I felt supported that not only was she working to match me with a role, she was listening to everything I was saying and making sure I found a job I would really enjoy. Thanks Katie!”
Scott Palmer, Medical Writer
How does it work?
Our job as recruitment specialists in the Medical Communications sector is to match candidates up with the most suitable agencies. If you’re a Medical Writer looking for their next opportunity, we’ll start the process by finding out not only what you’re experienced in, but also what you enjoy and value most in your career. We will then help you to shortlist the best 3-5 agencies which match your criteria and, as we work with most of the UK’s agencies, you know you are making the best decision for your next step on the career ladder. Oh, and our services are completely free to the candidate!
Some people choose to go through the interview process for a medical writing opportunity alone. However, there is only so much information and research you can do on the internet to increase your chances of being offered the job. You can read through a company’s website and social media profiles, but does this really give you an accurate picture of the company culture? Will is show you the internal career path or what the hiring manager will be looking for during your interview? You’d be hard pressed to unearth the deliverables and therapy areas you would be working on, which would allow you to directly relate your experience when answering questions.
“Katie found a great company for me, gave me some helpful tips for what they were looking for in the interview (which definitely helped me secure the job).”
Benedict Greenwood, Medical Writer
Candidates who interview through Carrot are well prepared for the process, knowing exactly who they will be meeting with and whose LinkedIn profiles to look at, likely interview questions to practise, detailed company fact sheets including information you wouldn’t find online, general interview advice and tips, links to websites you may find helpful relating directly to the company plus a phone call before your interview to answer any last-minute questions you may have. You will feel fully prepared to perform at your best!
As part of your interview for a new Medical Writer opportunity you’ll most likely be asked to complete a writing test – so be sure to check out our guide on how to master this task here.
One point of contact for all of your applications
One thing I hear a lot from Medical Writer candidates is that they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to searching for a job, nor attend interviews (yet a majority of these candidates are looking to move for a better work-life balance – so moving jobs is a must!).
“Katie was incredibly helpful and supportive during my recent job search. She was attentive, consultative and instrumental in helping secure me prompt offers from a number of agencies.”
Heather Rhind, Senior Account Manager
By enlisting a recruitment agency, you will have one point of contact regardless of how many applications you make – we even do a coversheet (essentially a cover letter) for you as we’ll be well versed in your background and experience and know exactly what our clients are looking for! Whilst you are continue working your current job, the recruiter will be working away in the background chasing up feedback, scheduling interviews, and putting together all the information and preparation you need into one email ahead of your interview.
Allowing us to manage your applications takes all the pressure off of your shoulders and saves you a lot of time too!
Managing the offer process
Have you ever received a job offer from a company you love, but wished the salary was that little bit higher? To some, negotiation comes naturally, but to many people it's a very daunting and uncomfortable situation which they choose to avoid.
Dealing with job offers is part of a recruiter’s day to day job, and therefore we are happy to negotiate on your behalf to make sure you are happy with the offer on the table.
“Katie supported me through the whole process through to making a final decision and following up to check it was the right fit. I couldn’t recommend Katie more”
Kate Lowe, Scientific Project Leader
From my experience in Med Comms, it is common for candidates to receive offers from multiple companies at the same time, so not only am I here to negotiate the financials, but also to take care of the awkward conversation with the client whose offer you don’t accept.
Not all agencies are the same!
There are many benefits of working with a good recruiter, so it’s incredibly important to choose wisely as not all recruitment consultancies are the same. Here are my top tips to finding a strong recruiter who is going to strengthen your job search:
- Use a recruiter who is a specialist in your industry, the more niche the better. For example, at Carrot we have a 5-person Medical Communications team covering specific roles within Med Comms. I solely recruit for Medical Writers and therefore my knowledge in this incredibly niche sector is very strong.
- Check how long the recruitment agency have been operating in this sector for - Carrot have just celebrated their 15th anniversary!
- Does the recruiter have any recommendations on their LinkedIn profile? And are the recommendations from people with a similar job title to yourself?
- On your initial call with the recruiter, make sure they have your genuine interests in mind. They should want to find out more about you and then discuss relevant jobs, rather than speaking to you about a specific job they’re keen to put you forward for. This could be a sign of a recruiter with limited clients, meaning you could miss out on your dream job.
- A recruiter should never send your CV to another company without your specific permission to do so – stay away from any recruiters who do this or who ask for permission to send your CV out to numerous clients without speaking to you about each company specifically first.
“Katie made such a big effort to find out what I wanted from a job, and then supported me through every step of the application, so now I have a job that I love. Her industry knowledge, as well her as her positivity and friendliness, made her great to work with.”
Jennifer Chalmers, Senior Medical Writer
If you are considering a move, and would like to arrange an informal, completely confidential call to find out how we can help and what kind of opportunities we can offer, please get in touch:
Medical Communications Team:
Editorial (Medical Writers and Medical Editors) – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01625 541048
Senior leadership and executive placements – email@example.com / 01625 541037
Account Executive > Senior Account Director – firstname.lastname@example.org / 01625 541041
Advertising and PR – email@example.com / 01625 361078
Or take a look at our live vacancies here.