Medical CVs: 7 obvious mistakes to avoid making on your CV

Mistakes to avoid making on your CV

For doctors, nurses or other medical professionals, it might seem unlikely that the formatting or structure of your CV can do much to hurt your job prospects. But as recruiters, we know that there are some things that hiring managers get sick of seeing, and that sometimes they can’t see past these mistakes to the capable healthcare professional the CV represents.

A good resume is like a key – it should open doors for you by demonstrating to prospective employers that you’re worth speaking with. If you’re not having any success with your job applications, it might not be that you don’t have the right qualifications, but perhaps that you don’t know how to best communicate them.

A medical recruitment agency like Beat Medical helps make sure your resume ticks all the boxes before any potential employers see it. We know what employers are looking for, and what will make them pass on you. The following are some of the major things we look at to make sure your resume won’t include anything to turn a potential employer off, they might seem simple, but they are mistakes that people make over and over again.

Missing Personal Details

This seems obvious, but it’s important to be contactable by phone and email. Make sure your phone details are correct, and that your message bank is active with a professional sounding message.

 Provide a personal email address; one which includes your first and last name is best. Inappropriate ‘joke’ email addresses are not suitable for a resume from a doctor or other healthcare professional.

Irrelevant Career Goals or Summary

This is your chance to show a prospective employer you’re interested in working with them specifically, but many people let themselves down by not tailoring it to the particular job. You need to customise this section for each application, aligning your goals and experience with the medical job on offer.

 You can use this space to both outline your career goals and summarise relevant employment history and highlights. Remember, this section should be unique to each job you apply for, and relevance is paramount.

Medical CVs that are Too Long

As medical professionals, it won’t take long in your career for your list of education, courses and training to get very long. Your resume is a summary of your education and employment – try and keep it to two pages. Sentences should be short and to the point.You don’t need to include every training course in your CV – trim it down by including only your relevant study; tertiary, specialist training, management courses and post-graduate studies that relate to the position advertised.

 Grammar Mistakes

While your spell check and grammar check should pick up most mistakes, one of the big ones we see is when candidates switch between tenses. You should use the past tense consistently when referring to previous experience and study.

 Not Following Instructions

It won’t always be the case, but sometimes instructions are given to reduce the pool of applicants – if you don’t follow them, you’ve failed the first test.

 A very simple example is when employers ask candidates to outline why they are interested in this particular job – many doctors simply send in their regular CV and ignore that request, which will instantly put them out of the running.

Inconsistent Fonts & Formatting

Formatting doesn’t need to be fancy, you’re a doctor not a graphic designer, all you need to concern yourself with is consistent formatting. Capitalisation, italics and underlining should be used sparingly and only to emphasise important points. Fonts should be plain and in a size that’s easy to read.

 Irrelevant Information

Hiring managers want to be able to scan your CV and pick out all the relevant information quickly. This is made harder for them if you clutter it up with sporting achievements, hobbies, family information, health background and other irrelevant information. If you are going for the job of a doctor, nurse or other health professional – mentioning sporting achievements or family situations is not going to particularly help your chances.

 Now, with all that negativity out of the way, you might want to know what you should be including on your CV for healthcare jobs. Read this blog post to find out if you’re covering off all the things a medical employer would expect.

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