LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is replacing the Rolodex in today’s Clinical Research industry. Having a LinkedIn profile is essential for professionals in every industry, but is especially critical for self-employed clinical research associates in Clinical Research. As a 1099, you always have two jobs: the first being the actual work you do as a CRA, CRC, or CTM and the second being head of your promotional, marketing, and advertising departments. You are responsible for reaching out, making connections, finding contract opportunities, and dazzling hiring managers to land the gig. Being a contractor definitely adds to your workload and responsibility, but your LinkedIn profile can make your job easier.
LinkedIn can be the perfect supplement to your resume, if you are leveraging the opportunity appropriately. Having a complete profile is a must for clinical research associates in this industry, as LinkedIn one of the easiest and most cost effective way of advertising yourself and your expertise. A complete profile does not mean you simply list the sponsors and CROs you’ve worked with during your career, but also detailing the kinds of experience you gained from each contract. Hiring managers and recruiters are not just looking for employment history when screening your profile; they are looking at the situations to which you’ve been exposed. Here a few pieces of information they look for when screening a potential candidate’s LinkedIn profile:
- Phase experience (Phases I, II, III, or IV)
- Device experience
- Therapeutics (Oncology, Infectious Disease, CNS)
- In-house or regional home-based experience
- Education (BS, BSN, CRA certification)
Having this information on your profile will not only make you look like an expert in the industry, but will allow hiring managers and recruiters to quickly and easily identify your skill sets and qualify you for a position.
Another reason why having a LinkedIn profile and updating it regularly is important is because your work is in constant flux. Contracts vary in length, and it is possible that your position and responsibilities have changed dramatically since the last time you spoke with a particular hiring manager or recruiter. The resume you emailed them just nine months ago may be out of date now, but if they can supplement it with your updated LinkedIn profile, they will know what it is you’re doing now and if your area of expertise has broaden since you last spoke.
Not only is LinkedIn an effective way to advertise yourself and your skills sets, but it is also a great way to learn more about the sponsor company, CRO, or individual clinical recruiting manager as your prepare yourself for a phone or face to face interview. LinkedIn provides company feedback from current and past employees, giving you some insight to their corporate structure and methodologies. Viewing a hiring manager’s profile before an interview and seeing that, for example, they have a nursing background or have extensive experience in oncology trials will help you to leverage your own nursing background and oncology experience during the interview.
As an independent consultant in the Clinical Research industry, you always have two jobs – your monitoring and management responsibilities as well as your self-advertising and marketing duties. Using LinkedIn to its full potential and leveraging your network will make find your next contract a breeze.
Written by Katie Fidler
Investing in a Lifetime of Success,
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