Crafting a strong resume or CV is essential. After all, it has the power to influence the career trajectory you’re envisioning for yourself. Whether you’ve just completed residency or are a seasoned veteran in the medical field, the key to creating a successful physician resume requires brevity and a compelling list of accomplishments.
Keep Structure In Mind
While some sections of your resume can be assembled into broader categories, the following items are imperative to delve into. Following your contact information, help the decision-maker check their “is this person qualified?” boxes quickly and easily.
Here’s what to include using a reverse chronological order format:
- Education details (i.e. School name(s) and location(s), attendance dates and degree(s) earned that covers your undergraduate education through internships, residencies and fellowships)
- Licensure & board certification (include the status of any pending applications)
- Professional experience (include type of practice, patient and procedure volumes, and a brief description of your role/accomplishments)
These items should close the resume:
- Professional memberships
- Publications and presentations
- Language skills (if applicable)
As you tweak and finesse your resume, be sure to keep style top of mind. From a holistic perspective, aim to keep the formatting consistent, ensure the document is free of grammatical errors and create an overall aesthetic that’s professional looking.
Showcase Your Strengths
The goal of any recruiter or hiring manager tasked with reviewing your resume is to determine whether or not you’re qualified for a particular role. Your CV should be tailored to highlight your strengths and accomplishments in a manner that’s relevant to the specific job’s responsibilities and requirements. By doing so, it’ll make it easy for the employer to ascertain how you’d perform if hired and picture how you’d help move the needle in the right direction for the organization.
Be sure to conduct a bit of research on the hospital or facility and carefully read through the job description to gain a firm understanding of what they’re looking for in an ideal candidate. When writing your resume, piggyback off of these learnings to emphasize skills and experience that are relevant to the position. You’ll want to either minimize or omit irrelevant details altogether.
Do they showcase being data-driven? Then bullet point key metrics (patient volume increased, patient safety improved by X%, revenues streams grown by X, etc.)
Essentially, focus on your accomplishments and quantify your achievements whenever possible. For instance, “Increased referrals by 18% by actively networking with physicians and medical professionals in the local area.” Or, “Reduced surgeries by 21% by discussing alternative treatment options with patients.”
Focus on Formatting and Accuracy
As a general rule of thumb, strive to limit your resume to three pages, with less being more.
If you have an extensive list of publications, presentations, research grants or continuing education details to include, highlight your most recent and relevant criteria and add a note advising that additional information can be provided upon request.
Always double and triple-check your CV for accuracy before sending it. It’s also a good practice to have a trusted friend or mentor proofread and review your resume as well. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, “And although it may be tempting, don’t inflate your CV. The Society for Human Resource Management found in a survey that as many as 60 percent of human resource professionals discover ‘inaccuracies’ within the resumes that they review.”
And thus yours will end up in the round file cabinet under their desk.
Go the Extra Mile
In order to secure the job you have your sights set on, you’ll need to paint a clear and compelling picture of why you’re a good fit for the role. The goal is to stand out from the competition, not get lost in a pile of resumes. To do so, consider including hobbies, volunteer work, or personal interests, as these details provide recruiters with a deeper understanding of who you are from a cultural perspective. Should you include this information, brevity is imperative – keep it to two lines maximum.
You may also want to consider drafting up a cover letter. A cover letter provides you with an opportunity to convey why you’re interested and well-suited for the position while allowing a bit of your personality to shine. This is where you can delve into what you can bring to the table that would separate your candidacy from other physicians. Whether that be IT or practice improvement experience, skills in patient counseling, or population management work.
Looking to kick off the New Year with a new career? Contact the Polaris team today to learn more about how we can help you take the next step and find rewarding opportunities that fit your needs.