As a physician coach who works with fellow physicians contemplating career change, I keep an eye out for internet articles highlighting current thinking about helping that change be successful.
A recent such article caught my attention and then my interest. Titled “Recruiting: What do recruiters look for in a resumé at first glance?“, it dispelled much of the conventional wisdom we’ve come to accept.
These 7 points the article’s author Ambra Benjamin – a recruiter – jumped out at me:
- In the author’s words (all italicized): I don’t look through stacks of resumes anymore. I hate paper. I do everything online. So those beautifully typed and formatted resumes on heavy linen paper have gone by the wayside?
- Our world is a lot simpler than you think. “Does this candidate seem like they stand a chance of being a good match for this role? If yes, proceed to next step. If no, reject.” The key point here is that your resume needs to immediately convince the hiring person or recruiter that your experience and skillset are a match for the position. This can be challenging for physician career change when we just think of our skills as limited to doctoring!
- “But most importantly, is their most recent experience relevant to the position for which I’m hiring?” I take this to be a critical piece of information if you’re embarking on physician career change and submitting your resume for positions you have seen posted some place. This insight can be daunting for physicians changing careers into a non-clinical role for the first time AND it may explain why your resume seems to be disappear into a black hole. If this is your first move to a new and unfamiliar role, your best bet may be accessing that job via effective networking instead!
- “I don’t mind gaps so long as there’s a sufficient explanation. Oh you took 3 years off to raise your children? Fine by me, and might I add: #respect. You tried your hand at starting your own company and failed miserably? Very impressive! Gap sufficiently explained. Whatever it is, just say it. It’s the absence of an explanation that sometimes makes me wonder.” This observation is self-evident — be sure to explain any gaps in your resume, especially if you’re returning to the workplace after enforced or elective time off from work.
- “Things I rarely pay as much attention to“. This is where some of the greatest surprises lie. This section is worth reading in more depth in the article:
– Fancy Formatting
– Uncomfortably personal details
– Cover letters
- There were more surprises with “Things I wish more people would do”.
– Bring personality into the resume
– Include URLs for online footprints
– List key personal projects
- And finally, she has “Things I wish people would stop doing”. More food for thought!
I encourage you to read the full article, and to pay attention to this ever-evolving area in physician career change. The art of the resume and the best ways to engage in the job search are moving faster than we all realize!