Just how do you find medical writer jobs? There’s no easy answer, but these five tips will help you on your quest to find your ideal writing job.
Medical writer referrals
Even top writers admit that most of their work comes from referrals (ie agencies they’ve worked with, word-of-mouth).
So, the first thing you should do if you’re looking for work is reach out to your network.
And that includes your extended network.
Even those people you might only have made email contact with once or twice.
Or, old bosses you haven’t spoken to in years.
Do a brain dump. Make a list of EVERYONE you’ve ever worked with who’s relevant to your writing career. Let these people know you’re available for work.
You need to find that delicate balance between being keen without coming across as a nuisance, and being proactive without pestering.
Search for medical writer jobs on LinkedIn
LinkedIn posts medical writer job ads all the time. Individual businesses also post job ads. So, follow as many relevant companies as you can.
If your account allows, send LinkedIn “Inmail” to employees of companies you want to work for. Politely as if there are any medical writing jobs or opportunities available.
Try and avoid the tactic many recruiters use – which is to add someone as a connection and post a job ad, or request for work in the connection request message. This is a legal form of spam in my book!
Look for medical writer jobs with pharmaceutical companies
Pharma companies outsource a lot of their health and medical writing work. And, these companies often have reasonable budgets and good processes.
However, you have to be comfortable writing promotional health content. For some people, this type of medical writing job is an ethical barrier – though others wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
Consider how you feel about pharma and medical marketing. Then, do some research on companies located near you, or companies you think you would enjoy writing for. Send these companies emails with examples of your writing.
I have worked with freelance medical writers who have contacted me this way in the past. But I always work with those who go the extra mile and make the effort to impress.
Contact the editors of health magazines and newspapers
I’m not a huge fan of this option unless you’re ready to pitch your health article ideas. Writing for magazines is one of the first jobs every medical writer considers – and, without direction, your voice won’t be heard. Magazines, particularly the top health and lifestyle publications, receive medical writer CVs from budding writers on a daily basis.
Chances are, the magazines you’re contacting already have a strong network of freelancers to choose from. So, to improve your success of breaking through the slush pile of freelance CVs, come to editors with strong pitches. Sell yourself and sell your ideas.
Don’t just send in your CV and wait for them to contact you, because they won’t. Be proactive.
Go hunting, the old-fashioned way: Online job ads
This is the more traditional route of looking for work, where you’ll find medical writer job ads but also heavy competition.
Register for email alerts from relevant jobs websites in your country. Also, check websites that amalgamate listings from around the web, like Indeed and Trovit – this is an easy way to keep up to date when new listings pop up.
It’s a good idea to register for several medical writer job alerts so you are covered for a variety of sources.
Marketplace websites, like Freelancer and oDesk, can result in quick and easy work – though, often, people just want the cheapest medical writer. These outsourcing websites can be competitive, and you need to be prepared to compete on price.
There are plenty of websites like the Australian-based Sourcebottle which often call for writers. But their jobs are mostly unpaid, so I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re trying to build your portfolio.
Do you have any hot tips on where to find medical writer jobs?