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Medical Writer Must-Have Resume Skills and Keywords

11 Jun 2021


Medical Writer

Medical Writer Must-Have Resume Skills and Keywords

Writing a medical writer resume?

Choosing the most important skills is an essential tactic to stand out in an increasingly crowded medical writing labor market. Studies have shown that employers seek out specific skills more often than others, so you’ll find out what they are.

Optimizing your medical writer resume with keywords is equally important. Hiring managers use automation to check resumes now, so having relevant keywords will help land in the “further review” folder.

In this post:                                               

Top 13 most sought-out medical writing skills

- Tips to describe 8 essential medical writing skills.

- Let’s get started.

Top 13 Medical Writing Skills

What are the most sought-after medical writing skills for resumes?

This study from the University of California San Diego helped to find the answer.  After analyzing job ads from U.S.-based employers, the study found these skills to be in the top 13.

Source: University of California San Diego

Let’s now go over some of these in-demand resume skills. We’ll show you the ways to write a resume and present yourself as an excellent candidate.

Find resume keywords at the end of each section–they help recruiters to find qualified candidates, so consider adding them to your medical writer resume.

Medical Writer Essential Resume Skills & Keywords

These are the basic medical writer skills that employers are looking for while reading resumes online.

1. Ability to Focus on Important Details in Documents

Reading, reviewing, and analyzing scholarly literature, government regulations, and other documents is a major part of a medical writer’s work.

The ability to find and focus on the most important and relevant details is critical. It’s a must to understand research gaps, relevant laws, and other things required to support doctors with the information they need for research.

Resume keywords: attention to detail, research, analysis, editing.

2. Communication Skills (Written and Verbal)

Medical writers work collaboratively with healthcare professionals, project managers, designers, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders. That means a lot of phone calls, email exchanges, and meetings.

Effective collaboration requires clear and frequent communication in both writing and speaking. Since medical writers have to communicate very complex topics clearly for readers with limited knowledge, they need to present the information in a straightforward way.

These clues can help demonstrate your verbal and written communication skills on a medical writer resume:

- Specify if you were a part of a team while describing your previous work experience,

- Identify specific project stakeholders you had to communicate with (pharmaceutical companies, doctors, etc.)

- Mention meetings with project stakeholders in your previous jobs.

Be very specific when demonstrating your communication skills to give hiring managers the most relevant information.

Bad example (vague and generic):

“Ability to work collaboratively and communicate clearly while describing complex medical, pharmaceutical, and research terms and concepts.”

Good example (specific):

“Worked closely with the principal investigator on grant application scientific writing and review of complex clinical study protocols.”

Resume keywords: writing, presentation, communication, collaboration, meeting.

3. Ability to Work Without Close Supervision

Medical writing is the fourth most outsourced type of writing.

That’s why a successful medical writer must be able to work alone. While there may be numerous phone calls and meetings, a lot of writing, researching, and editing is done by the writer without the involvement or supervision of others.

Successful autonomous work also requires good time management skills, which is another skill to mention. To demonstrate your ability to work without supervision on a medical writer resume, include:

- A project where you had to work autonomously but had to submit work for approval by other stakeholders

- Freelance projects (freelance medical writers work without supervision on most projects)

- Specify which documents, projects, or duties you took ownership of

- Any major project responsibilities involving planning, allocating resources, and scheduling tasks.

Resume keywords: independence, autonomy, time management.

4. Editing

Many employers of medical writers combine the role of writing and editing. In such companies, a medical writer is both responsible for creating original written documents and editing other writer’s work.

Editing involves checking complex, diverse texts for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, scientific accuracy, information flow, and clarity. This process has medical writers go through every sentence, looking for inaccuracies and keeping texts clear and accurate. You can also reach Typers.Net for any editing and proofreading help.

Resume keywords: editing, proofreading, accuracy, clarity.

5. Clinical Research

This is a must-have skill for a medical writer, so you need to explain some specifics. For example, include the types of documents or studies you have experience with reviewing and interpreting.

They can include:

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

Doing the research also means using the knowledge of countless terms, programming languages (SAS, R, Python, and others), and applying skills of data visualization and interpretation.

Resume keywords: clinical research, trial, cohort study, clinical study, trial protocols, programming language.

6. Journalism Skills

Medical writers produce articles for newspapers and magazines read by the general public.

The content for these publications must be written in a non-technical, simple language to help readers understand complex healthcare concepts, regulatory documents, and clinical research.

Journalism skills help medical writers to create texts for specific audiences, provide a logical structure, and support them with carefully evaluated sources.

Resume keywords: newspapers, magazines, journalism.

7. Content Marketing

Promotional writing is a sub-specialty of medical writing that involves creating educational and marketing materials for a specific brand or product. Basically, it’s “content marketing” in the medical field, with a unique set of regulations and requirements.

Unlike “salesy” and “pushy” marketing copy that many people are used to, promotional medical writing’s purpose is to educate customers about medications and treatments. This medical writing area is strictly regulated, so it has a different image than digital marketing writing.

Employers look for these promotional medical marketing skills on resumes:

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

- Writing drug monographs

- Basic knowledge of content SEO optimization

- Knowledge of regulations and laws governing medical promotional writing

- Formatting rules of health promotional materials.

Nancy Howard, a content writing expert from Supreme Dissertations, recommends giving examples of promotional medical writing in your resume if possible.

“An excellent idea is to add a link to your promotional materials on a website, social media page, or another online resource,” says Grant.

Resume keywords: content marketing, ads, social media, marketing videos, SEO, content, advertising.

8. Regulatory Writing

This is another sub-directory of medical writing and a huge part of their work. Also, it’s the most financially rewarding part, says this 2019 compensation report by the American Medical Writers Association.

Credit: The American Medical Writers Association

Regulatory writing involves researching, creating, and revising preclinical and clinical research processes and procedures, documents, study methods, and results.

To impress potential employers, you need to demonstrate the knowledge of specific study designs, procedures, medical knowledge areas, and regulations.

Sounds a bit complicated, right? No worries.

The best way to describe your expertise and leave out unnecessary details is to make every point as specific as possible. 

Here’s an example–

[a task description of a member of a medical writing team]:

“Wrote preclinical research procedures and documents for submission to regulatory authorities, including NDA documents, clinical development plans, study reports, safety summary, briefing documents, and protocol guidelines.”

Mention specific details of the studies you participated in, too:

“Wrote and edited secondary hypertension study protocols (renal artery stenosis caused by fibromuscular dysplasia and renal parenchymal disease) and literature search designs.”

Resume keywords: study documents, clinical research, study protocols, informed consent, risk evaluation, drug labels, medical directions, research results.

Medical Writer Resume Skills & Keywords: Summary

The Medical writing industry is getting a bit crowded, so improving your resume on a regular basis is a good idea. Two excellent ways are to focus on in-demand skills and add keywords to help recruiters analyze the experience quickly.

Prioritize these skills in your medical writer resume if possible:

- Ability to focus on important details in documents

- Communication skills (verbal and written)

- Ability to work without supervision

- Text editing

- Clinical research

- Journalism

- Content marketing

- Regulatory writing.

They present you as a good communicator, writer, analyst, and researcher with solid organizational skills – exactly what many employers are looking for.

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