How paying attention to the details will benefit your physician job search
As a physician, you have worked hard to be where you are at now. You have put in several years and countless hours into preparing for a successful career practicing medicine. As a result of your hard work, you deserve to find a job that checks off all of the necessary boxes in terms of your expectations and your goals for a career in medicine. Lucky for you, physicians are in high demand across the entire health care landscape in the United States!
However, just because your skills as a physician are in high demand doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get the job you want. This statement is especially true if you are hoping to land a job in a highly desirable location. Practicing medicine warrants a competitive environment.
For most physician openings, particularly those in the most desirable locations, health care employers receive interest from multiple candidates and many applications. As a physician who is looking for a new practice, you are competing with other candidates with the same qualifications and background as you. When you apply to a job, you are competing for the attention of the gatekeepers at health care organizations. When you interview, you are competing with other qualified candidates in your specialty who want the same job! As the one being interviewed, you are tasked with impressing your interviewer with both your background as well as professional attributes.
Tips for Creating an Impressive Physician CV - Pre-Interview
You not only want your CV to be polished and error-free, but also want to ensure it represents you as a physician in the best way possible. Below are some tips for creating a physician CV that is both professional and represents an accurate reflection.
- Choosing a Format: The best approach to formatting is to keep it simple. You only want to include the most important information, avoiding any fluff. Your interviewer should be able to quickly read through your physician CV and be able to have a good idea of who you are and what you have accomplished thus far. When it comes to ranking the order of information you present, here is a quick guideline to follow:
- Name and contact information
- Education, undergraduate through internships, residencies, and fellowships — including specific clinical roles and any leadership roles
- Licensure (status of applications planned or underway, if any)
- Board certification or status
- Professional experience (medicine-related only), including procedure and patient volumes, if/as applicable to the specialty, and administrative roles or duties
- Activities and committee memberships, including roles and brief descriptions of associated accomplishments
- Honors, awards, and professional affiliations
- Publications and presentations
- What to include and what to exclude:
- Many interviewers advise against the inclusion of a mission statement or an objective, as it is not of the same importance of your qualifications. Unless requested, it is advised to leave this out of your CV.
- When considering a cover letter, a good rule of thumb is that it can’t hurt. By including it, you are providing additional information about yourself that may be a deciding factor in your application.
- Birthdays, social security numbers and other security numbers should be excluded for privacy reasons
- Do not list references until they are specifically requested. Premature inclusion of references appears too eager. Additionally, the checking of references is usually not done until farther along in the interview process.
- Length of your CV: This goes back to including the most important information. If you have a long list of accomplishments, do not feel the need to hold back for the sake of the length. There is no right or wrong answer regarding the length. With this in mind, you do not want to leave the person who is reviewing your application with too many questions about your qualifications by the end of it. At the same time, you do not want them to get bogged down with unnecessary information that will take away the spotlight on your most notable accomplishments.
- Proofread: Once you feel good about the information on and formatting of your physician cv, have it proofread by someone else. As you will most likely have spent a large amount of time looking at this document, it will be beneficial to have a pair of fresh eyes to look it over and check for grammar and other errors. If available, ask someone who has a background in professional writing or editing.
After your CV is completed, there are some other pre-interview check-points to cover. The next step is to go beyond memorizing your CV and prepare yourself to provide further information about your experience as well as how you plan to apply it in a professional setting. Your CV is just facts, but interviewers want to know the why’s and how’s behind each fact as it pertains to your own personal experience as a physician. Next, you want to establish your wants and needs to clearly communicate with your future employer. Although you are the one being interviewed, do not forget that you are also trying to see if this is a good fit for you as much as it is them. This being said, always prepare questions to ask at the end of an interview. This shows further interest in the employer as well as shows that you have come prepared.
Here is a list of general questions to ask during a physician interview:
- Why do you feel there is a need for another physician to join this practice or hospital?
- As an employer, what qualities are you looking for in hiring a new physician?
- How many patients can I expect to see in an average day?
- What are the partnership opportunities available?
- What is the best attribute of working here?
- How does your hospital (or practice) on-board new physicians?
Finally, make sure you have done the proper research on the organization so you are not caught off guard by any information you receive during the interview. First impressions are important. Pre-interview preparation will better your chances of becoming a memorable candidate.
How to Stand Out During Your Physician Interview
Now the pre-interview work has been covered, it is time to discuss expectations during the interview itself. During your interview, it is important you do not sound like you are listing off memorized facts. You have spent years crafting your skill, now is your chance to share your experiences and detail how they have prepared you to enter your professional physician career. Clarify your wants and needs you previously determined. This process is a give and take, you do not want to leave your interview wishing you had said more. Do not shy away from asking tough questions regarding your income or hours expected. This is important information that will help further shape your perception. Finally, be transparent and communicate openly. As a physician, you are most likely going to be committing a lot of your time to this new job. You want to be sure this is a good fit for you, so you are able to make an educated decision when it comes time to decide.
Post Interview Tips for Impressing Health Care Employers
You have completed your interview and it is time to wait until you hear back. While waiting, write a follow-up letter thanking the employer for their time and consideration. This not only shows gratitude and professionalism, but also serves as a subtle reminder you are anticipating hearing from them. Do not take the silence as a bad thing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 14.6 percent growth in job openings for physicians between now and 2026. Let this be a comforting fact as it shows this a field in high demand and therefore increases your chances of being chosen. Realize you are not the only person applying for this job and the silence is an indicator they may have not had time to consider any applications yet.
Physicians who DON’T focus on the details of their job-search package won’t get called back. They won’t get interviewed, and they won’t get the job.
Premier Physician Agency helps physicians put together job-search plans that make good first impressions and lead to job offers.
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