When hospitals and other healthcare facilities hire locum tenens physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, they hire people, not those people’s curriculum vitae (CV). However, a carefully crafted and compelling CV is often what gets a foot in the door when a practitioner is exploring new opportunities.
A great CV summarizes your best qualities while encouraging a staffing manager to want to learn more about you. It should be easy to read, concise, and full of accurate information about your goals, education, and history as a medical professional.
Although many medical professionals have years of experience and the best intentions, they still make common CV mistakes that threaten their chances at potential job opportunities.
For locum tenens providers, having the just-right CV helps ensure your agency can accurately and efficiently find the best placements for you. To that end, we’re sharing six of the most common CV mistakes so you can avoid them when creating and revising your own:
1. Having the Wrong Content
A CV is meant to summarize your professional experience so that a staffing manager can get a snapshot of who you are. This is nearly impossible to do on a few pieces of paper, which is why it’s essential that you get it right. A perfect CV for medical professionals should have these sections:
- Contact information.
- Licensure and certifications.
- Education and medical training.
- Professional work history.
- Teaching experience (if applicable).
- Professional memberships.
- Additional accomplishments.
- Research and publications.
- EMR competencies.
- Personal interests.
- Professional references.
Barton Associates offers a template for creating a perfectly formatted CV here.
2. Inconsistent and/or Unorganized Formatting
You can include all the necessary information and check for grammar and spelling, but still have a less-than-stellar CV. Why is that? Often, it comes down to formatting. Format your CV in a way that makes it easy to read for anyone who comes across it.
The text should be big enough to see and laid out in a clear font. Large blocks of text can be broken up with line breaks and bulleted lists. Create contrast between sections by using formatting or styling (e.g., bold, italics, and section headers) to differentiate between them, but make sure to stay consistent! You don’t want to overwhelm the reader with fonts, text sizes, and colors.
3. Neglecting to Account for Employment Gaps
If you took time off at any point in your medical career or education, it’s important to account for these gaps on your CV. For example, if you attended medical school several years after graduating college, what did you do in between?
Residents Medical reports that 70 percent of program directors listed unaccounted gaps in medical education as an important factor when choosing who to interview for residency positions. Although staffing a locum tenens provider is a different process than filling a residency, it’s still a good idea to address any gaps in your CV.
4. Making Your CV Too Long
You may have enough experience to fill ten pages, but this amount of information is overwhelming and difficult for someone to digest. The point of a CV is to get information across quickly, so keep yours short to make it easier to skim through. Most staffing managers recommend that your CV be at least two pages, but no more than four.
5. Sending Your CV to the Same Place Twice
As a locum tenens professional, your recruiter may be submitting your resume to a number of facilities on your behalf. However, it’s important to maintain an accurate list of where your CV has been submitted. You don’t want to confuse staffing managers or create a conflict between yourself and your locum tenens recruiter. As long as you maintain a list, you’ll be able to easily assess which positions you have and haven’t applied to.
6. Not Asking for Help
Being the independent professional you are, you may be tempted to create a CV without showing it to friends, family, or colleagues. Don’t! It’s important to have others review your CV and give you feedback because it will be seen by people who don’t personally know you. If your friends and family won’t be objective, then considering staffing a resume specialist or asking your locum tenens recruiter to review your CV and offer advice.