In any industry – without exception – employers want candidates who are reliable, positive, ambitious, inquisitive, humble, industrious and determined – just to name a few.
But as a physician, you are already part of a pool of candidates who have successfully completed the arduous task of completing medical school. It’s probably safe to assume that a lot of those other candidates will have all those boxes checked. So, how do you make yourself stand out in a room full of good candidates?
It all seems to come down to that important CV.
What your CV should include
A CV should tell your story as a physician. An effective CV should list your contact information, training, work experience, licensures and certifications, research, publications, presentations and other skills and proficiencies.
More importantly, it should do so in such a clear and concise way that it gives recruiters a reason to give your CV a closer look – and hopefully, serious consideration. When creating a CV, objectivity and clarity about your experience and credentials are essential, and any embellishment should be avoided at all costs.
Making your physician CV stand out
One thing you can do to set your CV apart and get a recruiter’s attention is to tailor your CV to convey your interest in a particular position by omitting work experiences that may be irrelevant or nonmedical. For instance, when applying at a private practice, including every research paper you’ve had published may send the message you’re more interested in academia than patient interaction.
Ben Kornitzer, M.D., Chief Medical and Quality Officer of Aglion Health in Boston says, “You have to understand your audience. If you’re talking to a private practice, you may want to give them a very succinct resume. But if you’re going for a hospital or academic setting, you absolutely should keep the longer form [of a CV]. For most people going into non-academic medicine thought, the CV will be relatively short.”
You may choose to add a personal statement that includes your professional goals. While not all employers look for this on a CV, it gives the recruiter an excellent opportunity to see if your goals align with those of your potential employer.
Some physicians also choose to include personal hobbies and interests, which many recruiters like because it can give them insight into what type of lifestyle a physician desires. However, experts recommend being cautious not to include information that might subconsciously influence someone’s decision. A good rule of thumb is always when in doubt, leave it out.
Never stop refining your CV
Remember, your CV is a living document – always changing and evolving as your career progresses. To make certain your CV is effectively telling your story, don’t hesitate to ask yourself some key questions:
- Does your information flow in reverse order so your most recent practice history is on top?
- Have you highlighted recent activities that give a clear picture of you as a candidate?
- Have you avoided adding too much extraneous detail?
- Is it an honest representation of your path as a physician?
- Is your CV attractive?
- Did you proofread your CV and edit for typos?
- If you’ve been practicing a while, have you avoided unexplained gaps in your work history?
- Have you listed salary requirements that could create a problem during negotiations?
- Does your personal statement line up with the job opportunity you’re seeking?
Once you feel your is CV complete, it’s a good idea to have a trusted recruiter or physician mentor read through it and point out any needed adjustments. Their suggestions can be incredibly valuable because they’ve likely read through enough CVs to know what makes one stand apart from others. After all, making sure you have a standout CV isn’t just a good first step, it can also be the step that gets your foot in the door.
If you’re looking for more pointers for formatting and writing your CV, what to include, – and even templates and guidance for building yours step by step – check out PhysicianCV.com.