Friday, May 04, 2012
The past few weeks I have been traveling around and speaking to a number of advanced practice clinicians who will be graduating this spring and launching their first job search. During these sessions we cover a lot of ground. We talk about resume writing, cover letters, job searching, interviewing and negotiating.
The new grad job search is similar to the job search of a seasoned clinician in many ways. Most of the standard principles apply. Your resume should be well organized and pertinent to the position you seek. Always write a cover letter. Detail your accomplishments, give specific examples whenever possible. Get your references lined up ahead of time.
Don’t bother to put your GPA on your resume. I know you are proud of it, but it doesn’t belong on your resume.
Your clinical rotations are your most relevant work experience and thus your biggest selling point. Devote the bulk of your resume space to outlining your different rotations and what you accomplished. But take care not to take up space with the mundane. Instead, you should highlight skills you mastered and that are more than your basic entry level competency. This is where those clinical logs you all complain about having to keep come in handy!
Sum up the ages, genders and cultural backgrounds you saw during your rotations. Identify specific illnesses or diseases you became proficient in treating and the procedures you mastered. Use numbers to quantify your student encounters whenever possible.
You need to have at least one faculty reference. Employers get suspicious when a new graduate does not have at least one faculty from their program on their reference list.
Previous work experience should only be listed if it is medically related. Employers don’t care about your previous career in construction or the fact that you cashiered at the local department store.