Recruiters are on the phone all day long, and they aren’t calling for casual conversations. You know you did a great job on your resume and cover letter when a recruiter calls you back!
When recruiters call you, and you are a candidate without prior MSL experience, it is usually because of this reason:
Something in your resume matches a skill or a competency that the company wants.
Maybe you did research in an area that is a close match for the company. Maybe you come from a research institution that the company considers “important” to its therapeutic strategy.
Two things can happen when the recruiter calls you. She can leave you a message, or she can get you on the line.
If you get a voicemail, then you would look up this recruiter online, check out her company, and if possible, get an idea of how long she has been in the MSL recruiting business. Is this person specializing in MSLs? Or is this person recruiting for all types of clinical positions, including an occasional MSL position?
It can be advantageous to you if you have this time to check out her background and experience, and call the recruiter back in a prepared state of mind.
If you pick up the phone and there’s the recruiter, you need to be prepared. Eliminate any distractions nearby. If you’re driving, ask the recruiter for a few minutes while you pull over the car.
99% of the time, MSL candidates waste the opportunity from a recruiter call! They get on the call and they start talking about their own qualifications or how enthusiastic they are about the MSL job and their strong belief that they’d make a great MSL if given the opportunity.
You’re not going to do what most people do in this situation. Instead, you’re looking to get the following pieces of information from the call:
1) what specifically about your resume made the recruiter call (“what piqued your interest about my resume?”)
2) how the recruiter describes the type of MSL that she is searching for (“what are the top 3 activities that this company’s MSL would do?” – listen for key words, especially any phrases that the recruiter repeats – these are probably the phrases that the hiring manager uses – and is being repeated by the recruiter).
3) what would get the recruiter to connect you with the hiring manager (I’m not going to give you a canned message for this one, because it would be forced and unnatural – this is where you must use your conversational skills and during the flow of the short dialog, ask a version of the question).
The goal is to appear engaged and enthusiastic without sounding desperate. This is why having a plan for each and every potential phone call with a recruiter is so important! Candidates without a plan ramble on and the recruiter hangs up in a hurry.
The idea is to have the recruiter be the person who is enthusiastic about you for this MSL job and believing that you’d make a great MSL if given the opportunity!
To your success!