How to start a career in medcomms

Last week saw the inaugural joint webinar presentation with Media Contacts and www.FirstMedCommsJob.com. The presentation and subsequent discussion with Julia Walton (Media Contacts) and Peter Llewellyn (First MedComms Jobs) focussed on getting your CV ready to apply for MedComms jobs. The feedback from all who attended was great, so you’ll be pleased to hear we’ll be doing more! Next time we’ll be focussing on interview preparation.

 

If you’re interested in MedComms Jobs, this video is well worth a watch!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=171&v=6bJu9BF45rE

Creating the perfect CV

Your CV is your ticket to an interview – you want to do everything you can to make it an easy decision for a hiring manager to choose to interview you. Throughout the process of creating your CV, you should be regularly asking yourself: “What would the hiring manager want to see? Will this make them want to interview me?” Much of this, of course, will vary depending on the company and the position you’re applying for.  However, some things are universal. Here are some tips on creating a top CV.

  • Keep the format clean and simple – unless you’re applying for a job in graphic design, there’s no need to showcase your design skills.
  • Stick to two A4 pages. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t spend much time looking at a CV, so there’s no need to include your whole life story.
  • Tailor your CV to each job and each company. If there is a job ad or spec, match your CV to it – ensure that each requirement is clearly covered. Research the company to work out what skills or experience they value.
  • Be sure to include a personal statement, right near the top of the first page. It should include reasons why you’d be good at the job and reasons why you want to do the job – remember, flattering a company never did anyone any harm!
  • Make sure any gaps are explained – if there is no explanation for a gap between jobs, you’re leaving yourself open to suspicion.
  • Explain your responsibilities in each job AND specific achievements. If you’re in sales, how much revenue did you bring in? If you’re in media relations, how many articles did you get placed and in which publications?
  • Make your CV keyword-friendly – but not so that it reads robotically! Recruiters and hiring managers search online job boards, so make sure your CV will appear in relevant searches.
  • Tell the truth! That thing people say about everyone lying on their CV? Yeah, that’s a lie. Not worth getting yourself in hot water later in the application process.
  • Never rely on spellcheck.
  • Have at least one other person read it to check grammar, spelling, sense and tone.
  • Read it out loud. This will help you find mistakes.
  • Check it again.

Good luck out there!

Five Minutes with… Julia Walton

Each month, we’ll feature one of our team members in a brief Q&A, so you can get to know us all better! This month we’re meeting Julia Walton, one of our directors, who specialises in healthcare communications.

How did you get into recruitment?

I was temping a long, long time ago and I used to take my time sheet in each Friday and I would look at their office and think, “what a fantastic job… they’re talking to people, they’re having so much fun, that’s what I want to do.” That’s what sowed the seed.

Tell us about the sectors you recruit in…

I recruit for the healthcare communications sector, so that’s Med Ed agencies or medical communications agencies, healthcare advertising, healthcare public relations agencies, pharmaceutical companies for their PR or marketing departments, and ad hoc healthcare organisations – so we’ve recruited for healthcare charities, for digital strategic consultancies, trade bodies. Essentially anywhere that might need a healthcare communications expert.

Why do you think your clients and candidates like working with you?

Because they get the results! We’re always professional, we meet our candidates and clients, we’re totally ethical in the way we work. And we’ve been doing it a long time, we know the market really well. We can give excellent advice on all aspects of a person’s career.

What specifically about working with you do you think they like?

I genuinely care about my candidates and their wellbeing, I get a real buzz when I place someone in the right job and I think that comes across. I know a lot, and can give advice on all sorts from the job market itself to critiquing a CV and interview technique, to realistic salary aspirations and all sorts of related things, which is down to having a lot of experience.

Now to get to know you! If you never had to work again and money was no object, what would you do?

I’d spend a lot of time playing with my cats. I’d definitely have the house redecorated. I’d read a lot and travel a lot. I might buy a horse. I’d do some charity work – I’m keen to do some work with victims of domestic abuse. Homelessness is another issue dear to my heart that I’ve done quite a lot of work with in the past, so I’d probably do more of that too.

What else would I do… go shopping, eat in nice restaurants… I might even start going to the gym again!

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I’m not sure I feel guilty about it, but, Coronation Street? Being a mad cat woman… actually I definitely don’t feel guilty about that! Spending too much time in the pub, perhaps. Basically there’s nothing I feel guilty about that I’m prepared to tell you!

Who would play you in the film of your life?

A combination of Kathy Burke and Nicola Walker.

What’s the worst job you’ve done?

Ooh, there’s some stiff competition here. Being a general assistant in a high security hospital… I only did it for a day, but I had palpitations from the fear and stress by the end of it!

What’s your favourite book?

Impossible to narrow it down to one. The first that comes to mind is The Time Traveller’s Wife.

And your favourite song?

That varies too… At the moment, Bruises by Placebo.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the first thing you’d do?

Am I stranded by myself?

Yes.

Desert island… there’s probably not a ferry terminal, is there? Well, I’d have a walk about and gauge the lay of the land, I think.

And finally, what’s your favourite colour?

Red. Post box red, not pink red.

What? Why? How? All You Need to Know About Conference Producer Jobs!

Becoming a conference producer is, in our view, one of the most exciting and dynamic roles for a graduate to get into.

As the creative force behind the commercial hubs of the events world, you’ll be responsible for market research that will unveil the most important topics and trends across a huge roster of potential industries you’ll specialise in: these can range anywhere from Security, Tech, and Telecoms, to Education, Health, Energy, Leisure and many many more. A conference producer’s research involves speaking to experts face-to-face and over the phone, ranging from analysts to high-level executives, generating proposals, and creating the shape and content of the events themselves. University graduates are uniquely positioned to fulfil these tasks: your studies will have given you the critical abilities and tools to dissect a given research topic. The aim is to produce creative copy, brochures, agendas, and whatever other kind of literature might be deemed necessary for a conference’s successful undertaking.

As well as speaking to industry experts, you’ll be tasked with securing their attendance as eminent speakers, making use of the flawless social skills you’ll have no doubt spent your degree perfecting. You might be wondering why you’re planning events if you don’t get the opportunity to see them yourself. No need, because you’ll be attending as well! The international scope of many conference companies means you could find yourself globetrotting across the world’s continents: events can take place anywhere from South Africa, Russia, and India, to North and South America. It’s imperative that you show up, not just so you can marvel at your creation, but also to ensure its smooth running and to apply those networking skills university students are so famous for: it’s one thing for a speaker to attend a conference, a whole other thing to keep them coming back again and again. This is where the client-facing side of conference production becomes important, as your presence will offer opportunities to build on existing relationships that could last your entire career.

If you’re interested in Conference Producer jobs, here are some of the things we’re looking for:

  • Research, analysis and copywriting skills, the bedrock of any successful conference.
  • A team player, because you’ll be working across sales and marketing teams to coordinate your efforts.
  • Flawless interpersonal and communication skills, as you’ll be charming your way to success.
  • Commercial experience either post-graduation or during your degree, to build transferable skills
  • A 2:1 degree, either BA or BSc, seeing as it’s the cornerstone of academic intelligence.
  • Language skills that are worth your weight in gold in the events industry.
  • Last, and not least, you’ll want to be financially driven, as the bottom line, as with all businesses, is to produce a product that generates revenue.

 

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about Conference Producer jobs, how they work and how we can help you find one.