We review some of the official Doctor CV Templates for Australia and New Zealand and give you our findings
As someone who advises a lot of other doctors about medical job applications I am often asked for advice about CV templates.
So I thought that I would review these for you and give you my thoughts.
The key question here is whether it is better to use the template or not?
Overwhelmingly my advice is to not fill in the template. Your CV or Resume (and we really ought to be calling it a Resume because employers do not wish to see the full box and dice) needs to stand out to improve your chances of being progressed to an interview.
So why reduce your chances by submitting a document that looks the same as a number of other people?
There is an obvious exception. In some circumstances you are required to use the template. So in this case you should obviously do so.
Notice I am saying “don’t fill in the template”. Which is not the same as not reading it. Which brings me to my first key point.
If we look at the majority of these CV templates they are really asking for some pretty basic information which would generally be covered in any typical CV format by an Australian trained doctor. In fact many of these templates bear a remarkable similarity to the AHPRA template. Which if we read the purpose of this particular template is a a “guide to what you should include in the curriculum vitae that you provide to AHPRA as part of your application [for registration]”. This document was particularly written with international health professionals in mind. To ensure that they provide AHPRA with the information it requires to make a determination about registration.
Note here that the AHPRA template refers to being a guide and the MINIMUM amount of information required, which many of the others Australian State CV templates do as well, including Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia. NSW Health does not have a template. I could not find one for the ACT or the Northern Territory. Only Victoria has a compulsory CV template, but this is only for Intern applications.
In New Zealand the ACE RMO template (the one you fill in to apply for an intern position) is also a guide. I did find that the Auckland Doctors recruitment site (which would possibly be the biggest recruitment group for trainee doctors in New Zealand) does have a compulsory template.
An interesting observation is that very few of these templates suggest or request a photo, which I am not a fan of. Even in Victoria, where the intern template is compulsory, the inclusion of a photo was voluntary in 2018.
So by all means read what is required, ensure that what you write clearly covers this (I suggest using the same headings where possible) but don’t feel you need to stick to the actual template.
Which brings me to my final observation.
With the exception of the Queensland Health template (which gets a notable mention), all of these templates are quite ugly. You can do far better in terms of a well set out, easy to read and aesthetically appealing CV or Resume.
This post is also part of a Free Introductory course about Working As A Doctor In Australia. Please click on the button to go to the next lesson.