Msl Cover Letters

Medical Science Liaison, 01/2010 to 12/2015

  • Medical Science Liaison focusing on Phase I, II and III oncology clinical trials.
  • Responsibilities include: KOL identification and development, clinical trial site management, recruitment strategies, and clinical science liaison support.
  • Respond to medical requests KOL's and HCP within company guidelines.
  • Provide interface with medical affairs department related to Threshold's investigator initiated studies program (IIS).
  • Manage and coordinate efforts for company sponsored trials.
  •     Responsible for attending meetings at cooperative groups     in oncology which include: SWOG, ECOG, Alliance, and RTOG.
  • Developed slide decks for site visit presentations and site education for nurses and physicians.
  • Assist in development of cooperative group strategies.
  • Provide site training as needed for study sites including nurses, physicians, pharmacists and study personnel.
  • Responsible for ASCO meeting booth development and attendance at meetings.
  • Advisory board strategy development and implementation.
  • Present at all company meetings and advisory board meetings.
  • Projects include: "A Randomized Phase 3, Multicenter, Open-Label Study Comparing TH-302 in Combination with Doxorubicinvs. Doxorubicin Alone in Subjects with Locally  Advanced Unresectable or Metastatic Soft Tissue Sarcoma".
  • "A Randomized Phase 2, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Multi-center, Study Comparing Pemetrexed in Combination with TH-302 vs. Pemetrexed in Combination with Placebo as Second-line Chemotherapy for Advanced Non-squamous, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer".
  • Specialty Pain Consultant/Endo Pharmaceuticals, 01/2008 to 12/2010
    INVENTIV HEALTH, S. Chicago and Northwest Indiana
    • Responsible for launch of Voltaren Gel a new product first in class FDA approved treatment for osteoarthritis of the joint.
    • Responsible for promoting the product portfolio of Opana ER, Voltaren Gel, Lidoderm Patch, and Frova.
    • Responsible for promoting to Chicago and NW Indiana territory working with Rheumatologists, Orthopedic, Neurologists, and Internal Medicine physicians.
    • Ranked 1st in district and top 5% nationally for Voltaren Gel for 2010.
    • Ranked 1st in district and 3rd nationally for Lidoderm Patch for 2010.
    • Finished first half of 2010 with 48% market share growth of Voltaren Gel (first in nation), and 8% growth for Lidoderm Patch (fourth in nation).
    • Part of the Leadership Development program.
    • Sat on the National Advisory Board for Voltaren Gel to advise organization on the current field concerns.
    • District Trainer for all new-hires in District.
    • Finished 2009 ranked in the top 10% for Voltaren Gel and Lidoderm Patch sales.
    Account Executive, 01/2007 to 01/2008
    • Responsibilities include developing marketing plans and sales pieces to be used at clinics and targeted physicians.
    • Developed specific programs and initiatives for patients and clinics to offer better customer relations.
    • Worked closely with specific physicians to implement specialty programs within each clinic.
    • Responsible for working with hospital administration to implement and maintain contracts.
    Territory Representative, 04/2001 to 12/2006
    Wyeth Pharmaceuticals – Northwest Indiana
    • Promoted women's health care products, analgesic products, and OTC products to area physicians and healthcare providers.
    • District Trainer for all new hires and district team members.
    Senior Sales Specialty/Hospital Representative, 01/1999 to 01/2001
    • Responsible for the sole promotion of Niaspan (er niacin), Mavik, and Tarka, throughout Northwest Indiana, South Bend, and Elkhart Indiana.
    • Finished 7th in the company for 1999 and ranked 21st for all 3 combined products out of 220 representatives.
    • One of 10 representatives in the entire organization to move Niaspan sales over 1000 new Rx per month.
    • Received the Blue Blazer Award.
    • Consistently finished each month in the 750-club for 2000.
    Territory Sales Representative, 01/1997 to 01/1999
    • Responsible for the promotion of central nervous system, anti-infective, and cardiovascular pharmaceuticals in community hospitals and area physician offices.

    Professorship at a University of Applied Sciences (FH)

    “Is it possible to act as link between academia and industry, between research and application, while at the same time work intensively in academic teaching? In order to answer this question, I was looking for contact with FH professors, who shared their insights into the profession with me. What attracted me most about their descriptions of life as FH professor was the fact that direct contact with the students is being given more weight than at a university.”

    In order to raise attention for what is to follow in your application, you don´t need to do brash things, little tweaks to the expected flow of a text can already do the trick. Here the first sentence was simply turned into a question to the reader, thereby actively involving him in what will happen next. After binning twenty letters all starting with “I hereby apply…” the reader will hopefully pick up his reading glasses after this starter.

    This paragraph also circumvents another pitfall: information overload. This typically looks like:

    “I hereby… My previous experience/ skills in A,B,C… as well as… make me the ideal candidate for a position which requires in particular D,E and F at an employer which is well-known for G, H and I.”

    After reading such a sentence, you´ll find it hard to remember even just one of the many facts, the disordered information snippets are becoming one big blur in the reader´s mind.

    In the example paragraph at the top, only two pieces of information are given following the starting sentence:

    1. The applicant did her homework and actively contacted professionals in her target field. Implicitly the information is transferred, that the applicant could identify these professionals and get in touch with them.
    2. Contact with students is her TOP 1 priority when choosing this profession. This argument is not watered down by naming lower priorities here.

    Without loading too much information onto the starting paragraph, the reader should already have a concrete picture of a proactive person, who knows what the job entails and is passionate about the particular challenges of this job.

    One more detail about these few lines: the applicant refers to colleagues of the readers. Albeit being an anonymous reference, it still lifts the applicant out of anonymity. Even stronger is to mention someone the reader knows by name, e. g. “During a discussion with your colleague Dr. Kulinsky, my positive impression about working in your company got reinforced.” In this way, the reference person is brought into the letter as a lively part in support of your application, making it harder to completely ignore your application. Such reference can be placed at various points in the letter, however the beginning is the most usual place as it´s a very important point and might spare your application from the looming threat, the bin.

    Sales representative

    “I could make my first experiences in the services industry when working for the catering company of my parents. The personal contact with the customers was always my utmost concern. Back then the reason for this was simple: I could increase the tips I received by being friendly.

    Today, 15 years later, I graduated as a PhD in microbiology. The joy of working with people, giving advice as well as working in sales has stayed with me at all times.”

    The first paragraph is an excellent example of how to raise attention with an unexpected start of the cover letter. A little story from childhood is being told. That as such is certainly unusual enough to keep the reader from sleeping. At the same time, the example closely relates to the position, forming a nice link and giving a sympathetic insight into the personality of the applicant. Again, the story is by no means overloaded with information, actually the only fact explicitly transported is the work in the parents´ business. All the information is being transported indirectly by the picture of the applicant which is invoked in the reader´s mind:

    – an entrepreneurial and service-minded family background,

    – business sense developed from early childhood on,

    – combining own financial interests with customer satisfaction,

    – open enough to give (innocuous) details about the private background,

    – creative person who dares such unusual entry paragraph.

    The reader is involved in this letter from the very beginning on.

    Patent examiner at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    “When my mother asked me as an eight-year-old what I would like to become, I sternly told her, “I want to become a patent examiner.”

    What makes this claim so outrageously unbelievable? It´s probably the fact that at this age it would be inconceivable to find attraction in a job with such an unusual constellation of tasks and underlying interests. And even though LEGO is now, after producing “The Hobbit” and “The Superhero”, also marketing “The Scientist”, it still seems impossible to design “The Patent Examiner”. So, like the children of today, I was kept from reaching such a positive judgement about the patent field back then.

    However today, as an adult, I could give such a determined answer. Yes, I do want to expose myself to new intellectual challenges on a daily basis. Yes, I do want to work in a highly international environment. And yes, I do want to work myself into a new field of expertise at this point in my life. I want to become a patent examiner at the EPO and be a critical, fair and knowledgeable counterpart to the innovators of today.”

    Here an example from the field of “suicidal” beginnings. An application to a public body full of lifetime employees who do nothing but checking patents for validity all day. The applicant has the nerve to write in a creative tone as if she were applying for a position at a School of Journalism. Why on earth?

    The reason for such a “risky” approach lies in a basic principle:

    “Write risky applications when the situation is precarious, write careful ones when feeling secure.”

    This sounds counterintuitive, to say the least. However, writing an application is an activity quite different from most others in our life. When driving a car, you should be careful when the roads are insecure, while you should only drive faster under good road and weather conditions. When driving a car, the normal scenario is to arrive safely. The penalty for failure can mean death in the worst case, the benefit of a riskier driving style is too save minuscule seconds.

    When applying for jobs, the opposite is true. Most of your lovingly crafted applications will not lead to an invitation or even job offer. The penalty for such a failure is low, the “loss” is just a couple of hours of your time. The prize to be won on the other hand is great- the much sought-after job offer! This is the reason for this “counterintuitive” switch in handling the risk of an application in comparison to most other activities.

    Average applications written by average applicants for average positions might have a success rate- scoring a job offer- in the range of 1-5%. When applying for positions at highly popular, internationally active employers like the EPO, it can be assumed that the chances of success are far below 1% for all but the best of applicants. So what do you have to lose? A boring start of the cover letter will lower your chances to exactly 0%, you simply won´t emerge from the sea of applications. A “risky” start as depicted above has a small chance of giving the reader just that bit of mental tickle to put your application on the small pile for further processing. The only risk is, that an anonymous clerical assistant responsible for the presorting thinks that you are a bit weird. Who cares?

    The other extreme of the spectrum are applications which are “secure”: you have a fair chance of receiving an invitation because you fit the job description extremely well or because you already have a foot in the door by knowing an insider. In fact, these are the really risky ones as you now do have something substantial to lose. In this case the challenge lies in not cocking up! If you´re unlucky then there is just this one notoriously frustrated, nagging person in the committee who vents his anger at your application because he dislikes your face. The rationale behind writing a boring and error-free application is thus to prevent fuelling this person´s negativity.

    So example 3 might give the applicant a 90% chance of being sorted out in the pre-screening phase. Great! Much better than the 99% for a boring application!

    A note on writing style. The last paragraph of example 3 is putting a typical triad of arguments into a single sentence each instead of just packing them into a single sentence like, “Yes, I want A, B and C.” This stylistic device certainly tries to build up some suspense, to hammer in the points and make them more memorable. Again, the author stays true to her risky-creative style, as such figures are usually found in advertisement or political speeches. But of course there is no reason speaking against trying to stand out with such a structure, as long as it fits the overall text and does not make it too elevated for a cover letter.

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