If you are applying for a job you may have been asked to provide some sort of cover letter as part of the process. When I say cover letter this might in fact be an email these days or even just some notes as part of the online application process. Many doctors can be confused…
The Implications for Medical CV design, structure and content
We recently hosted an evening webinar on the Medical CV. 70 trainee doctor registrant learnt how the selection panel reviews your Medical CV.
Trainees are often surprised when they find out how little time is spent looking at their Medical CV at each stage of the process (in some cases a few seconds to minutes). This is probably even more shocking when trainees often spend hours putting one together.
Generally speaking, there are 3 phases in which your Medical CV is considered post submission.
Stage 1 Initial Review of your Medical CV
This is often done by only one person (usually the Chair of the Panel). The process can literally be a few seconds per CV. The main purpose of this stage is determining who should be interviewed and who should not. This is sometimes referred to as shortlisting or culling. Your main aim at this point of the process is for your CV to provide all the essential information required to get into the interview pile. Standing out is only a secondary aim. So make sure you have reviewed the job description and put all the essential stuff that may be required, such as medical degree, registration status, years of experience, trainee status somewhere on the front page, preferably in either the header or the career goal section.
Stage 2 Pre Interview Review of Medical CV
This is when the other panel members have the opportunity to browse your CV prior to the interview day. Some will do this in more depth than others. It's your first chance to stand out. So again a good career goal statement and a well laid out CV is essential at this point. Because they are just browsing again the front page should include all the main things you want them to know about you, as they are only likely to glance at the rest at best.
Stage 3 The Interview
Your CV (and application) will probably be sitting amidst a pile of others in the interview room so that panel members can refer to it. So why not refer to it yourself in your interview responses. This reminds the panel that its there and contains further information about you to support your candidacy.
For much more about how the panel reviews your Medical CV and the implications for structure, content and design see our video below, where we also talk about whether you need to do a cover letter or not.