There’s plenty of “must-do” advice on the Internet to help shape your perfect resume, but what should GPs (or in fact anybody else) NOT do? Here are a few pertinent pointers from recruitment consultants Daniel Waldron and Scott Keatings from E4Recruitment.
1. Don’t send exactly the same resume you sent 2 years ago
If you’re actively seeking a new job, don’t sell yourself short; you want any prospective employer or recruiter to see the best of you.
This means if you have recently become a member of the FRACGP or have completed your moratorium, update this on your resume; if you have completed a certificate in cosmetic procedures, put this on your resume. Don’t wait till the recruiter or practice manager asks the question because you could be overlooked for possible positions.
Some people have a core resume, and then tweak its contents and move items around to highlight certain areas upfront, e.g. you might highlight your recent QI & CPD course in COPD when applying for a job in a practice that specialises in respiratory health.
2. Don’t select “all send”
The job hunt can be daunting at times, especially when you are looking for a specific type of practice, and it’s tempting to take a scattergun approach and fire off your resume everywhere.
But be mindful of who you are speaking with and who has your details. This is especially important when dealing with recruiters. Ensure your resume and details aren’t sent anywhere without your prior approval.
Practices that have had your resume from 10 different recruiters might not think your interest in their practice is true and it does come across like you’ve selected “all send”. A medical practice wants to feel like their practice is a real option for you and not the 20th on the list.
3. Don’t write a long-winded resume
After years in general practice, you will have clocked up many accomplishments, qualifications, course attendances and clinical skills. But recruiters and employers need your resume to be easy to digest and compelling enough to call you for a conversation.
The ideal resume should be a clear checklist of your achievements, qualifications and work experience and registration status to show that you are the right GP for the job. A resume that is 20 pages long is too long!
4. Don’t play with fancy layouts
Your resume should be noticeable but not fussy.
Present your accomplishments in a logical order, with headings and bullet points, and plenty of white space.
Choose a professional font. It should be very clear to read so whoever is reading can clearly see where you are working, where you previously worked, your qualifications and registration without this being difficult!
5. Don’t forget to sell yourself in a cover letter – or even an introductory paragraph
Some online application platforms may not provide an opportunity to submit a cover letter; however, writing a small paragraph at the start of your resume could help you find that perfect practice.
It can outline what kind of practice you are looking for, and what specifics you are looking for right now, as well as potentially in the future. For example, you might want partnership opportunities in the future, or to get involved in skin work, or work on integrative medicine. All these details can help an employer see if you are going to be a good long-term fit at their practice.
Use this paragraph as a chance to stand out from the crowd and show a little of your personality. But keep it succinct and clear.