As head writer for The Doctor Job, I see many physicians’ resumes on a daily basis. While not every resume I receive requires a complete overhaul, for the most part virtually every physician I work with makes one or more of the following mistakes, which may be preventing them from securing their dream jobs:
1. Resume is too long.
The first thing to note is the difference between a CV and a resume. Each document serves an important purpose and is desirable to a different audience. While the detailed and comprehensive nature of a CV may be appropriate for applying to academic and research positions or when completing grant application materials, they are no longer appropriate for most clinical positions. The managers who are charged with staffing a practice can receive hundreds if not thousands of applications for one position, and a 14-page comprehensive summary will, for better or worse, feel like far too much work to read.
Your resume is a powerful marketing tool, but only if someone actually reads it! You should strive to make this document a one-page summary of your education, work, and accomplishments. It should not only tell the hiring manager how qualified you are for the position, but also generate curiosity to learn more about you and what you can offer the practice.
2. Inconsistent or Confusing Format
I often come across resumes that categorize experience into clinical, academic, and research appointments, rather than following a traditional reverse chronological format. While a functional resume can be preferable in some situations—such as when one’s work history has large gaps or several short-term appointments—in most cases it is more appropriate to list your medical experience and training in a streamlined and orderly fashion.
3. Typos and Misspellings
It’s funny how often I see a resume that has correct spelling for words like “atherosclerosis,” yet misspellings of simple words like “research.” An error-free resume shows you are detail-oriented and organized. If you’re not the greatest speller or grammarian, it never hurts to consult with someone who specializes in those areas.
4. Inconsistent Citations
If your resume includes peer-reviewed journals articles or published abstracts, it’s a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of AMA citation format. At the very least, ensure that your bibliography has a consistent format.
5. Too Much Information
…And I do mean the personal kind. I have seen resumes that list marital status, date of birth, hobbies, favorite books, and even grammar schools attended. Of course your potential colleagues will want to get to know who you are, but some information is best conveyed in an interview.
If all this sounds like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be—the experts at The Doctor Job can help. Contact a specialist today to learn more!