Your resume is the first impression you make on prospective employers. To do so, one generally has about 7 seconds, as was highlighted in a study by the BusinessInsider in 2012. How do you make the most of that time? Well, while your qualifications, experience, and professional skill level might be above par, this alone won’t be enough to save your CV from being discarded in the ever-mounting junk pile. In the end, it all comes down to the bare basics; how well one lays out the content, displays relevant information, follows the right format, and avoids common pitfalls. Here are the 5 most frequent mistakes applicants make, avoiding which is sure to increase the likelihood that your CV will catch the attention of employers manifold.
You should consider the rules of formatting your resume as the Holy grail to ‘an almost perfect’ application. A well-formatted resume can take you to the next round, even if you are not the most experienced applicant for the job. Organize your resume so that it is readable and the presentation is uncluttered. Using bulleted lists, headings and consistent font will capture the attention of the reader. While your resume is your first impression to your employer, the formatting is the first impression of the resume itself.
2. Relevancy to the Job Designation
If you are sending the same resume to fifty similar positions, human resource managers have years of experience to identify this practice through your resume. Many healthcare organizations have incorporated the use of software that detect relevant keywords to facilitate the hiring process. Customize your resume according to the employer and the position and specialty itself. For example, if you are applying for the position of an orthopedic physician assistant, include keywords like ‘casting’, ‘intraarticular injections’, ‘orthopedic care’, ‘arthroscopy’, ‘first assist’ and other procedures. This will help you improve your relevancy score in the hiring process.
3. Customize your Objective
Instead of using generic objective statements, capture the attention of the reader by clearly defining the job designation. Support it with certifications and licenses (if any) that make you a perfect candidate for the position. After all, your objective is to excel; why not provide them with a glimpse of your accreditations right at the beginning.
4. Details of Experience
While applying for a healthcare profession, avoid using mundane expressions in your resume especially in the experience section. The terms such as ‘duties included’, ‘daily activities or tasks’ clearly show your prospective employer that you do not have much worth mentioning about your previous job. Quantifiable achievements such as ‘responsible for first assisting in surgeries in 10-20 cases per week’ are appealing and show your confidence about your expertise.
5. Order Matters
Employers that are healthcare professionals give the most ‘weightage' in your resume to your experience. While listing your experiences, make sure you do not overshadow the most relevant ones that might make a difference. Play with the order a bit, not adhering to the chronological order is not noticeable, but hiding away your most commendable experiences will definitely go against you.