Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Art of Transforming a CV into a Resume

Author: Jocelyn Clarke, SPHR

Bottom line: To transition to a non-clinical job, a physician must build a resume that artfully describes a complex career trajectory using the language of business.

As a practicing physician, you likely had a CV in your back pocket. It cleanly laid your education, residency and experience, confidently listing your research/publications/presentations, licensure, and memberships. Through their CV, a physician constructs a representative identity based on medical practice and knowledge, but as you transition into a non-clinical field you must create a document that conveys business value.

Most physician CVs are simple (yet lengthy) documents that outline the facts of your career, with little embellishment and personal marketing. Using this type of CV to apply for jobs in non-clinical fields requires hiring executives to extrapolate how exactly you might fit into their organization and what value you would bring to their organization. A well-tailored resume, on the other hand, will address these issues head-on and get to the heart of your value proposition.

Both the CV and the resume represent the ‘science’ and the ‘art’ of job search materials, respectively. A CV maps out the facts; a resume champions your capabilities and translates these into future value.

As a former physician recruitment director and HR professional, I’ve seen the best and worst of physician CVs and resumes, and have identified three leading practices that will help you fine tune your job search materials:

1. Use Their Corporate-Speak and Value Terms
When identifying opportunities, research the essentials of the organization so you’re familiar with their business model and leadership team. Reach out to your personal network to get inside information and assimilate their corporate-speak.

2. Leverage Your Cover Letter for the Personal Touch
Write an impressive cover letter that confidently explains your unique fit with the organization and why the opportunity to work with them excites you. Let this document convey your opinions of the value of your potential partnership.

3. Re-contextualize Your Experience and Tailor to Fit
Brainstorm the unique ways you might add value to their bottom line, and customize your resume and highlight how your experience will service this purpose. Think outside the box as necessary; many of your skills will be transferrable, but may not immediately resonate. Go back to the #1 tip as you’re editing.

By insightfully composing your cover letter and resume by addressing your inimitable ability to enhance an organization’s effectiveness and bottom line, you’ll push your agenda forward in the minds of hiring executives. You win the game when you generate ‘buzz’ about your candidacy before you even show up for an interview.

About the author:

Career coach Jocelyn Clarke is the seasoned former Physician Recruitment Director at a major academic medical center. She gives her clients an unparalleled “Insider’s Advantage.” Her passion for physician career development services stems from repeated observations of talented and capable doctors losing out on amazing opportunities because of easily avoidable deficiencies in their personal presentation skills. Jocelyn helps her clients more quickly and easily achieve career success by developing world-class job search materials and improving interview skills.

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