Grace, a Microbiology BSc student, shares how she cracked the code to becoming a medical writer while staying true to her passions in life: science and health, content creation and writing, and supporting children.Virginia Chachati – Editor at Write Clinic
Having been actively interested in pursuing a science/medical communications career for the last three years, when I came across an exciting medical content writing/copywriting role, for a rapidly growing digital health start-up, I jumped at the opportunity!
I loved the sound of the company and the role; they really excited me and honestly, seemed like a perfect fit.
Interested in applying for a medcomms position yourself?
I’m here to tell you about the recruitment process that led me to landing the role of Medical Content Writer at Little Journey!
Here’s a summary of the job recruitment process which took around 3 weeks:
- CV and Cover Letter
- Phone Interview
- Writing Task
- Virtual Interview
I found the medical writing role on LinkedIn
I first came across the role on LinkedIn and after reading the job description and checking out the company profile, I felt excitement building up inside of me, desperate to apply.
It encompassed my three passions in life: science and health, content creation and writing, and supporting children. Furthermore, the start-up nature of the company sparked my entrepreneurial spirit.
I met all of the job requirements, including the desirable requirement of a year’s experience in healthcare communications (thanks to my industrial placement), and being in my final semester at university, I was on my way to securing a degree in a scientific subject (another desirable requirement).
However, the job description stated the role was for immediate start, full-time, but this didn’t deter me.
I contacted the company directly
I reached out to the company via their website, explaining that I was still finishing up my degree but had a very keen interest in the role and had a lot of relevant experience.
I inserted a link to my LinkedIn page and a few days later, I received a LinkedIn message from their Editor-in-Chief, asking to arrange a phone call in the following week.
She also requested for me to send across a CV and cover letter; I tailored these to the role and company, and checked them over for clarity, structure, and any spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) mistakes.
A call with the Editor-in-Chief
The phone call was informal and lasted around 20 minutes. The Editor-in-Chief was very friendly and interested in my experiences, especially my final year public engagement project (a video communicating the science behind cervical cancer and the importance of cervical screenings) and entrepreneurial educational platforms, Bio Brigade and Career Junkie.
The company were keen for the person who got the role to start as soon as possible but they could accommodate any time I needed off for my final university campus sessions and exams, if I got the role.
I had to complete a writing task
The Editor-in-Chief finished the phone call by stating she’d be sending across a writing task for me to complete and would organise a virtual Microsoft Teams interview.
I had one week to complete the writing task which tested creativity, attention to detail and editing, and writing for a target audience.
I really enjoyed the task, especially the original writing piece, and this cemented how much I wanted to get the role even more.
My virtual interview
Shortly after submitting my writing task, I had a virtual interview over Teams with the Editor-in-Chief and company CEO, which lasted around one hour.
Similarly to the initial phone screening, this interview was also very relaxed and felt more like a conversation, where I got to share my experiences.
There were a few more technical/knowledge-based questions, such as about publication guidelines, but there were no formal (and, what I personally find to be, tedious) competency questions like ‘give me an example of when you worked in a team’.
They said I would hear back by the end of the week at the latest.
An emotional win
Just a few hours later I got an email from the Editor-in-Chief, stating that I was the last candidate they had interviewed and so they were able to make a quick decision…
…I had got the job!
I was absolutely over-the-moon, and I couldn’t hold back the tears!
At the time I was with my boyfriend on a late and quiet train back home after visiting our families, so I tried to suppress my tears and excitement, but it was emotional.
Reflecting on everything that I did led to this moment
Over the past few years, I have spent countless hours:
- attending careers and scientific/medical communications events online and in-person
- working hard on my placement year to develop my skills
- developing my personal brand on LinkedIn and educational platforms Bio Brigade and Career Junkie
- working multiple jobs at one time at my university
- researching companies and writing roles
- attending company and medcomms information webinars
Now, by no means am I saying you need to do all that to get a job in medcomms or as a writer producing scientific or medical content for a company, but I really have worked hard to set myself up and I enjoyed all my experiences, so I knew this was the right route for me.
After all this I have landed an absolute dream of a role with an amazing company. I couldn’t be happier. You really can achieve anything you set your mind to and work hard for.
Good luck with your journey into medical/scientific communications!
Feel free to reach out using the links below if you want any advice or support, or would like to hear more about my professional journey!
About the author
Thank you Grace Pountney for writing about your journey to Little Journey! You can connect with Grace on LinkedIn, check out Grace’s link tree or watch her video about cervical cancer screening on YouTube.
Headings and minor edits by Virginia Chachati – Editor at Write Clinic.