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Social media has become an increasingly popular tool for hiring managers and recruiters to search for candidates.  According to Jump Start Social Media, as many as 75% of hiring managers use LinkedIn on a regular basis to search for viable candidates, 48% use Facebook, and 26% use Twitter.  A primary benefit of social media sites is that they permit hiring managers to get a glimpse of additional information about your background and potential fit with a role.  Although hiring managers are using multiple social media networks, LinkedIn is the most professionally-oriented of the three sites and it tends to be the focus of hiring managers performing due diligence of MSL candidates.
MSL candidates should view social media as a complementary tool to job boards to research new companies, hiring managers, and roles.  Active users of social media sites can build their network and connect with companies and decision makers.  The MSL role requires multiple traits including savviness and a proactive nature—two traits that can be demonstrated by establishing an active and consistent online network using social media sites.

Strategies for using social media in an MSL job search:

  • Become familiar with the most popular sites by browsing a listing of groups, members, company pages, etc.
  • Start with LinkedIn since it is recognized as primarily a business social network.  You can build a presence on other social media sites but LinkedIn will likely be the most effective in terms of building the most relevant and appropriate network.
  • Join groups based on your therapeutic area, disease state, former employers or alma mater.  By following the groups you can keep up to date on the latest trends and news as well as identify who are the most active members of the groups to potentially further network.
  • Ask people in your network to introduce you to people they know who may be able to assist with your job search. Be careful not to ask for a job but for information and advice. Realize that networking is reciprocal in nature and be willing to provide something in return (such as the offer to connect this person with contacts in your network.)
  • If you are “tweeting” on Twitter, share links to stories, reports, industry news, etc and add your own comments and insights that add value.
  • Facebook is also a viable source to keep in touch with business connections you have made during your career. While this site is more social in nature than LinkedIn, the friends you make and the groups you join can still be viable sources of MSL job leads. There is also the possibility of creating a social media resume on Facebook using the Facebook ad feature. In effect you can create two profiles; one for friends and one for your MSL search. 

Combine Traditional Job Search with Social Media Strategy

The most successful MSL job search strategy will likely integrate traditional methods with online networking.  One recommendation is to incorporate the links to your LinkedIn, blog or personal Web site on your traditional résumé.  You may also want to link each of your social media profiles to one another.  The goal is to be a consistent presence in your market so that recruiters and hiring managers can find you.


Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.


Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.