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The clinical research industry offers professionals many exciting career opportunities. For those who want to get started in clinical research monitoring, securing a clinical research associate (CRA) is typically the way to go. But you can’t obtain one of those positions unless you bring the right skills and experience to the table.  

Luckily, there are a few clear options that help you on your journey toward working as a CRA. If you want to get started in clinical research monitoring, here are some paths to explore.  

Landing an Internship  

When it comes to your initial on-the-job experience, an internship can be an ideal option. It gives you a chance to cultivate critical skills, serving as an entry-level professional development role above anything else.  

Plus, with internships, employers are specifically looking for newly-minted professionals and recent graduates. In many cases, they don’t expect you to have any experience beyond what you earned while pursuing your education. As a result, an internship can serve as a springboard, enabling you to acquire valuable knowledge to secure a permanent role once the position comes to an end.  

Positions in Patient Recruitment  

One of the biggest challenges in clinical research is recruiting patients to participate. It requires a combination of skills and expertise. For example, not only do you need technical, clinical know-how, but also customer service, communication, organization, and other critical capabilities.  

As a result, spending some time in one of those roles provides you with valuable skills, some of which may make you a stronger candidate for a CRA job. Plus, you’re gaining experience in the larger niche, and that’s beneficial to your career as well.  

Allied Fields for Transferable Skills  

Similarly, other allied fields can provide you with transferable skills that make landing a CRA position easier. For example, working in a role that focuses on preclinical investigations could be a pathway to a CRA role. Similarly, laboratory, data collection, or analysis experience could streamline your transition.  

If your goal is to work in clinical research monitoring, consider the skills it takes to excel. Then, examine opportunities that allow you to develop those capabilities, favoring those with medical, scientific, or clinical components. That way, you’re increasing the relevance of your skillset, increasing the odds that a CRA hiring manager will see you as a viable candidate.  

Working with a Recruiter  

When you want to secure your first CRA position, working with a recruiter is a smart move. Recruiters are well-connected in the clinical research industry, giving them access to more opportunities. Plus, they can provide you with recommendations for elevating your resume and shining at the interview, increasing the odds that you’ll be selected.  

If you want to land a clinical research monitoring position and want to have a recruiter as a job search ally, the team at Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our recruiters today and see how our job placement services can benefit you.  

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