If you look at sample doctor resumes online, you’ll see a very mixed bag of OK, good, and so-so resumes. Some are all right, some look very nondescript, and others really don’t look like much more than also-rans, with nothing much to recommend them or make them stand out.
There’s another problem, which is much less obvious. The information quality on these resumes varies, from highly focused to almost vague. If you use an expression like “general patient medical care” in your resume, what does it tell your reader? Very little, is the short answer.
You may know that it covers a huge range of medical services and incidents, but is it really telling your reader something they couldn’t guess for themselves? You’re a doctor. You provide medical care, by definition. You need to be more informative.
Doctor resumes overview
Depending on the type of work you do, your resume will include:
The type(s) of information you need to provide naturally affect your resume structure. This information needs to be included, and it needs to be easy to find.
A conventional mainstream resume layout usually isn’t very effective for doctors. It’s OK for basic information but that’s all. If you’re going for a job in a specialist clinic or doing anything more than absolutely basic medical work at entry level, the best resume layout isn’t very good.
As a matter of fact, it’s a possible liability. Imagine – You’re looking at resume for “John Smith MD”. This resume simply plods through the applicant’s work history, responsibilities, skills and roles and does no more than tell you that Smith MD seems to do some sort of general, almost unspecified medical work.
Would you want to interview this person? No, of course not. Why would you? You have very little information to go on. That, however, is what’s wrong with many doctor resumes, particularly online examples.
- A good resume needs to deliver a lot of information, targeting relevant job requirements.
- Never mind theory, this is practice, and you need to get your resume in to very good working order.
Basic doctor resume structure and information
The basic resume structure, fortunately for a complex profession, can be pretty straightforward:
- Name and contact details – Include the MD in your title. It looks bad if you don’t.
- Profile – This is all about who you are. You’re a GP, a specialist, a clinician, or whatever, but you need to establish your identity as a doctor. This is your “niche”, and it tells people in the industry and other professionals a lot about you.
- Skills – You need to manage this core, very high value information well, making sure that all your skills are clearly and accurately visible to your readers. Experienced doctors may have a lot of skills, so take the time to put together a section which showcases your range of skills appropriately.
- Qualifications and certifications – Show your qualifications exactly as per traditional academic forms, that is: Qualification, honors, institute issuing qualification, and year format. For certifications, show a list in the same basic format. If licenses are involved, show the license information.
- Work history – Keep this section clear and functional. Include only relevant work history. Detail may or may not be required, talk to your contact person about what’s useful and what’s not on your application if you’re not sure.
Now- Edit. Anything missing? Anything which could be better expressed? Any typos you’d rather not have to think about after you put in your application? When you’ve got everything looking good, you’re ready to submit your application.
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