No matter where you are in your career progression – whether you’re a new resident or a physician with years of practice, you’ve got to be sure that your resume is strong if you want to continue to advance professionally.
Your resume or CV is the first glimpse that recruiters and employers have into who you are and what you’re capable of. Because it’s so important to nail this first impresison, here are some common mistakes that you can (and should) avoid so that your CV isn’t holding you back.
You should be contstantly updating and customizing your resume for every position that you apply for, even if you’re applying to multiple positions at the same facility.
Pay extra attention to highlight experience that is relevant to the position you’re applying for; make sure to include specific keywords that will make you stand out to the recruiter, since they’ll most likely be pouring over dozens (or more) resumes and CVs. Making sure to include these keywords is especially impostant, because a growing number of hiring even managers use software to scan through resumes looking for these keywords in order to determine which ones actually get forwarded for further review.
These systems are programmed to look for keywords or phrases that are important to the organization; oftentimes, these keywords are also part of the job listing. Read through a job post and identify keywords that stand out to you, and make sure to fit them into your resume in a way that makes sense.
No matter how skilled of a physician you are, a resume that’s riddle with grammatical mistakes, spelling mistakes, and poor punctuation can (and often will) lead a potential employer to pursue a different candidate.
Even if you’ve read your resume a dozen times, take a few minutes and read it again; read it out loud, have a friend read it, and if you can, wait a few days then read it again before applying to the position. The more frequently you read it, the more chances you have at catching a could-be career altering misplaced comma.
While trying to craft a well-written resume that stands apart from the crowd, it can be tempting to add additional personal flair – graphics, unusual fonts, or colors. While this personal touch on the resume may look creative and nice to you, to a hiring manager, it can be an eye-sore.
Complicated resumes become a burden to look over for a hiring manager, so they often they get put to the side in favor of easier-to-read resumes.
Resumes and CVs are unique documents, and a resume should never be as long as a CV.
While a CV is required for locum tenens positions as well as applying for academic and research jobs, anytime a resume needs to be submitted, it’s best to keep it short. Your professional resume should never be longer than 2 pages, and each position or certification should include the bullet-point highlights, rather than a comprehensive summary of activities.
Keeping an up-to-date resume on hand is a great way to take advantage of any openings or advancements that open up. There are resume writing services available if you don’t feel confident in your own skills, but sometimes all you need is to have someone in your field proofread and give feedback on your resume before you submit it.