In your job-hunting journey, your curriculum vitae will usually precede an in-person meeting with a potential employer. You may have only a few seconds to make an impression. A friend and CEO of a hospital in a popular location told me he receives stacks of CVs, most of which are discarded immediately. Your CV may be in that stack. It’s in your best interest to take great care with your CV’s appearance and content.
The list of your accomplishments is one of the most important but challenging sections. You may be prone to grandiosity or to understatement. In either case, you are not representing yourself at your best. There are some accomplishments which are easy to eliminate. No potential employer has ever wanted to hear about me taking first place in the city chess tournament when I was 11, or that I came in second in croquet. Those you might reserve for the interview. One CEO had an interest in amateur photography and wanted to talk about my former life as a photojournalist. (If you are invited to interview, scan the room quickly when you enter – that’s how I spotted his photos.)
There is probably much about you which you didn’t perceive as accomplishments. Some advice which has been given about this section is to see your career as a series of accomplishments. Keep in mind that a potential employer is interested in RESULTS! As much as possible, be specific and use measurable units. These are some questions to consider:
- Have you improved patient satisfaction and safety? What quality indicators did you use?
- Are there fewer complaints to and from your staff? Have wait times decreased?
- Have you invented a new product or procedure?
- Were you a keynote speaker at a major conference in your specialty?
- Have you been asked to represent your specialty or speak about pertinent issues within your specialty on television, radio, or other media?
- Have you decreased unnecessary admissions or early return to inpatient status?
- Did your team, provider, or office moral improve?
Be Ready to Talk Business
You will probably (even mostly) speak with business administrators. They may be more impressed by monetary achievements:
- Have you been the driving force in a merger or acquisition?
- Has productivity increased, despite cutting back on personnel or other resources?
- Have you entered a new market, improved market share, or surpassed the revenue in settings similar to yours?
Use Dynamic Words,,,
Use dynamic words to present your accomplishments:
- Challenged by …
- Faced with …
- First to …
- Created …
- Developed …
- Designed …
- Spearheaded …
- Engineered …
But Go Easy on Synonyms and Superlatives
Padding your words with synonyms, too many superlatives, or the obvious is annoying:
- Designed and developed (or created) … pick one or those verbs.
- Established the first ever … first is enough.
- Successfully managed … would you be listing it if you weren’t successful?
When you think that you’ve finished composing you CV, put it away overnight. Reread it the next day. Find your typos, awkward phrases, and redundancies. Put it away for a few days; proofread it again. Put it away… you get the idea. Have someone (friend, family member, co-worker read it several times. Do the same with a CV which you had prepared by a resume service. If there’s a typo in the final iteration the service will not pay for the error as dearly as you may pay.
Periodically review and update your CV. If you do it frequently, it takes little effort.