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How To Write A Goldfish-Proof Medical CV Summary

Goldfish-Proof Medical CV Summary

recent article revealed that the average human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the past fifteen years. In contrast, goldfish are thought to have an attention span of around 9 seconds.

While there may be a range of explanations for this, you need to consider this when you’re applying for your next job as a doctor, dentist, physio, or nurse.

One of the keys to an excellent medical CV is a concise, well-crafted summary at the start of the document. The reason it is so important is that it gives the recruiter, admin person, or consultant assessing your application a quick snapshot of who you are, and where you’re going. As an experienced recruiter, I read over a CV in a few seconds, as I am really just looking for keywords. I know it’s probably a bit depressing to read that after the many hours you spent on your CV, but that’s the reality of a competitive recruitment process.

We get a lot of questions about what to put on your CV summary, and it’s actually pretty straightforward. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, it’s not just a space for a career objective, although that is part of it. The conventions for CVs vary from country to country, but if you’re writing a medical CV for an Australian employer, this is a good guide.

Think of your CV summary kind of like the abstract of a journal article. You should pretty much get the gist of the document just by reading that introductory paragraph.

This should be the structure of your CV summary:

  • State what your current position is, and how much experience you have had in that position
  • Provide a highlight of specific achievements, interests, projects, or research
  • Say what makes you different to other candidates
  • Give an explanation of what your career objective is
  • A statement about your values and how that aligns with your career

So, a working example might be something like this:

I have been completing advanced anaesthetics training since 2013 as part of the North Hills Network. I have a special interest in paediatrics, and recently completed a research project on XYZ, and was the recipient of the Smith Prize for excellence. I recently completed a volunteer fellowship in neonatal anaesthetics in Canada, which gave me a unique level of experience in the field. It is my intention to specialise in paediatric anaesthetics, with a particular emphasis on XYZ cases. I am passionate about accessible healthcare, and I am committed to spending a significant amount of my time in public cases.

It’s important that you don’t just make it a superlative soup. The reader wants to know genuine information about you in order to make a quick judgement on how to proceed with your application. And, remember, it is a summary, so keep it brief.

Having an attention-grabbing CV summary is one way of making sure your CV goes to the top of the pile for your next job application. If you don’t have a summary on CV, now is the time to get started! Keep in mind that it should evolve with you and your career, and may even change from application to application.

If you’re in need of more assistance with your CV, and your career in general, become a Beat Medical Insider to download our free CV and Interview eBooks. You can also make time to talk to one of our expert recruiters to discuss your options.

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