Tools & Tips

Building Your Medical Resume: A Lifelong Endeavor

Guess post by Monica Gomez

It is a standard procedure for health care graduates to work on their medical resume when seeking a first job. Many see that exercise as a one-time event they are glad to get past. However, the reality is that resumes and CVs are important parts of advancement throughout a career. In fact, many larger corporations expect employees to prepare resumes when seeking a new position internally.

Telling Your Medical Career Story Effectively

Successfully progressing through a series of positions and responsibilities is seen as especially important in many sectors of the medical profession. Developing a resume that reflects the full scope of experience, achievements and capabilities is an important and ongoing task that takes careful attention and planning. A recent career focused infographic from Carrington College underlines this and other important facts about resumes in the medical field.

The health care industry is increasingly fragmented and specialized, and potential employers are often looking for very specific skills and experiences. This fact is borne out by one of the statistics showing that 87 percent of employers want to see a resume tailored to a specific job opportunity. Taking the effort to do so helps overcome the chance of getting rejected in the very few initial moments (less than 5 minutes) many companies spend reviewing a resume.

Choosing the Resume or the Curriculum Vitae

The importance of emphasizing relevant career details carries into the decision to submit a standard resume or a CV. While many people consider these terms interchangeable, they do communicate different types of information about an individual’s career.

A resume is generally a 1 or 2 page document that briefly summarizes past jobs, education, and specific skills and certifications. Of course, successful applicants know (as the infographic shows) there is no standard resume. Moreover, using certain methods, such as bulleted formatting and chronological organization, provide a solid edge to a medical resume. A resume will often be the appropriate choice for management and administrative openings in the health care industry.

The CV, on the other hand, is a far more comprehensive document. Many positions in doctor’s offices, academic institutions and research organizations require the submission of a more detailed work history. Such CVs will include the applicant’s

  • Full academic work
  • Research projects
  • Experiences with teaching and training
  • Other details relevant to the specific position being sought

Paying Attention to Important Details

While numerous studies show that initial resume screenings are very fast and cursory, it is the details that are important once an initial cut is made. These details include the physical appearance and preparation of the resume. Driving this point home is the fact that 93 percent of potential employers say that simple resume errors negatively impact the decision to move to a candidate toward an interview.

Paying attention to the details includes carefully selecting keywords and phrases that relate to the open position. For example, including the phrases “grant writing” and “fundraising” can be beneficial for certain research and academic positions.

Presenting an effective resume requires appropriately updating your experience to reflect your progress within the medical community. Updating in an intentional, thoughtful manner will make you a more attractive candidate for a specific position in the medical field.



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