Career Development: Cold Calling, Networking, and More

April 18, 2012
Kayda Norman

Applied Clinical Trials

I recently spoke to two recruiters for the clinical trials industry about job searching and career advancement. Here's what they had to say about networking, and how to go about searching for a job in the first place:

Besides searching for opportunities online and on company websites, what are some other ways a candidate can go about a job search? Would you recommend cold calling a company or even stopping by in person?

Angela Lucas, Senior Clinical Team Lead and Recruiter at ClinForce

  • Candidates should create a network to keep in tune with new employment opportunities.

  • I suggest working with no more than three recruiters with whom you develop a strong relationship.  Keep track of where your resume is sent and by whom.

  • Sign up on job boards that offer e-mail alerts based on your interests to keep you updated on available positions.

  • Networking with colleagues: Some groups or even individuals create their own e-mail alert list to share new openings with one another.

  • Join associations. Many professional associations’ post-employment opportunities for their members at national and local levels including websites, job fairs, trade shows, etc.

  • Cold calling; though not unheard-of, it is a bit difficult.  Unless you are confident you can get past the gate keeper, I would refrain.

  • I would not suggest stopping by in person. Many offices are not set up to accept walk-ins and usually, you are referred to look at their online postings.

Angela Roberts, Head of Recruiting Operations at craresources

  • First, use industry specific information to find out what is actively going on and approach teams directly. For example, in our industry you are able to visit clinicaltrials.gov and see what trials are currently running in your favorite therapeutic area. Those trial listings will have contacts (CRCs, PIs, etc.) and there is nothing wrong with contacting those individuals directly! I would recommend sending a well-tailored e-mail with a copy of your resume. Then follow up with a rehearsed and professional phone call/voicemail. Be sure to clearly articulate why this trial is perfect for you—you will need your passion and excitement to leap off of the e-mail and be clear in your voicemail.

  • Second, use your network! Don’t underestimate who you know. We have written an article which goes into detail on how to build, nurture, and leverage your network when looking for a position.