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Job Seeker

How to become a Medical Science Liaison

MSL Self Test

  • What is your education level ? Are you an MD, PhD, PharmD or DO?
  • Do you have strong scientific acumen?
  • Would you consider yourself a strong communicator?
  • Are you comfortable presenting scientific information in front of your peers (sometimes large groups)?
  • Do you have clinical and or patient care experience?
  • Do you have any pharmaceutical industry experience?
  • Are you willing travel 30-70% of the time including overnight travel?
  • Do you have any prior experience as a Medical Science Liaison?
  • If you do not have experience as an MSL, can you describe what a Medical Science Liaison does?

The more “YES” answers to these questions… the better your chances are to land a job as a Medical Science Liaison.

Tips for landing your first job as an MSL

  • Make sure you have a great resume that includes detail on your scientific background and strengths as well as your communication/presentation skills.
  • Do your homework! Spend time each day researching the MSL job market. Leave no stone un-turned so that you become an expert on who is hiring and what they are looking for.
  • Consider an internship with a pharmaceutical or biotech company. This will provide you with industry experience which is much desired if not mandatory for certain employers.
  • Obtain additional training and certifications that can be added to your resume. In this day of online training and education, there are plenty of options available.
  • Consider a contract assignment to start. It has become very popular for some companies to hire teams of temporary or contract MSL’s. Hiring guidelines for contract MSL‘s may not be as stringent.


"The Carolan Group is second to none when identifying top Medical Science Liaison and Global Medical Affairs talent. They are my “go to agency” for recruiting MSL and GMA professionals. Working with Tom and his team is a pleasure! What I appreciate most is their approach...never pushy or over aggressive. They also partner closely with me during the lifetime of each search and present only the most qualified applicants. If a resume comes from The Carolan Group, I know it is someone we need to get in front of the hiring manager. They’re that good!"

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