Medical recruiters or practice owners might spend as little as two minutes reviewing your resume so it’s crucial to make the right impression fast, says founder and director of Dr Recruitment Lawrence Eadie.
While there are never hard and fast rules that will create the perfect resume, there are some general principles that will get it noticed, he says.
Here’s a useful checklist to ensure your medical resume hits the mark.
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1. Make it short and sweet
Standard job applicants are often told to keep their resume to a single page, or two A4 pages at most. However medical professionals may need to add a little more.
But no matter how many accomplishments you have, keep it short and sweet so it’s easy for recruiters and medical practice owners to read, Eadie advises.
Ideally, keep your resume to a maximum of five or six pages.
2. Don’t forget the must-knows for recruiters and employers
If you are applying online and have no opportunity to send a cover letter with your application, include a personal statement upfront.
This is an at-a-glance guide for recruiters and employers that clearly explains why you are the best person for the job and offers a flavour of who you are. Some people include their short- and long-term goals here and a brief paragraph about their skills and (work-related) passions.
Eadie recommends injecting a little of your personality here as this section is likely to be read first. “This will give recruiters and practice owners a good insight into how you would fit within the practice team environment,” he says.
Your resume should include:
- Personal details, including abbreviated qualifications and contact details
- Current employment and work history – include key locum and / or permanent roles that are pertinent to the job and key skills pertinent to each role
- Education and qualifications – but you can leave out your high school achievements
- Clinical skills and areas of specialty or special interest(s)
- Courses, meetings and conferences, including current and relevant QI & CPD courses and clinical audits
- Teaching and supervising roles
- Publications and research
- A mention of referees – you can either state that references are 'available upon request', or include the name, job title and contact details of referees, with the first usually being your current employer and the second a previous employer
- Your LinkedIn or online profile address – if you use online media – so that people can find out more about you.
“If you follow the steps above, your resume will be a much simpler document for practice owners and medical recruiters to read and digest,” Eadie says.
3. Start with the most recent facts first
Medical recruiters and practice owners are more interested in what you’re doing now rather than your past achievements.
Eadie says: “I’ve spoken to multiple practice owners across Australia and the most important thing for them is your recent work history. This helps them determine if your experience is applicable to their medical practice.”
Start with your most recent employment and achievements and work backwards chronologically.
- Most recent employment, followed by your history – include the location, grade and specialty for each position, highlighting the most pertinent experience to the job being advertised
- Most recent qualifications followed by your past qualifications – include the educational institution and year of qualification
- Recent conference attendance – some people keep a separate list of all the courses and conferences they have attended and include only the most recent or most relevant ones for each job application. This avoids a long list that may bury the relevant facts.
4. Showcase your clinical skills
Depending on your specialty or areas of interest, you may find it beneficial to expand on your clinical experience and skills, says Eadie. Some people add a section on clinical skills or special interests in their resume, such as men’s health, dermatology or respiratory disease.
5. Be open and transparent about what you want
Being open and transparent with your search criteria and requirements enables recruiters to find you the work you want. They will match and present you with practice owners that fit your wants and needs, says Eadie. “For example, if a GP comes to us and tells us they like a particular job but the travelling distance is a concern, we can then find a similar role in a clinic that’s closer to them,” he says.
Eadie also advises being upfront about your financial expectations – and says recruiters can be a useful resource for GPs when it comes to potentially awkward conversations.
“Tell us exactly what you want and we will have that conversation with practice owners to ensure you speak only with practices that can offer you what you are looking for. We can let the practice owners know where you stand and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you get the best deal,” he says.
Eadie’s advice is to take advantage of the benefits recruiters can offer.
He says: “Recruitment agencies such as Dr Recruitment speak to thousands of clinics across Australia and no two practices are the same. Have an open and confidential conversation about what you’re really looking for and we’ll find you the work that you want.”
Download a handy template for a successful resume here.