When you are a medical professional working a competitive job market, one of the best things you can do is keep your resume updated. Although you don’t have to do this every month, it is a good idea to update it at least once a year. So, since the month of September is International Update Your Resume Month, take this opportunity to freshen up those latest skills, workplaces and achievements.
Having a resume handy is nearly a necessity these days. There aren’t too many jobs out there that don’t require a well written and executed resume that fully explains your job history, your unique skill set and why a potential employer should choose you over a handful of eager candidates applying for the same job. Do you wish you put more effort into creating one? Now is the time to take a second look at your own, or have a friend, family member or even colleague review it for grammar mistakes that you didn’t catch or things you can improve upon.
Even though a resume is a necessary item in today’s employment industry, it hasn’t always been. Have you ever thought about when the first resume was created? When resumes became a more required item during a job interview?
The History of Resumes
The first ever-recorded instance of a professional resume being created dates back to around 1482 when Leonardo da Vinci made a decision to put his personal accomplishments on paper. Although it was written in the form of a letter, da Vinci made an attempt to secure his employment for the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, as a military engineer.
After da Vinci came up with what would become one of the biggest assets in landing the job of your dreams, here is a history of how the resume evolved:
- 1500: A traveling Lord in England offers a handwritten letter of introduction to acquaintances and calls it his resume.
- 1930: Resumes were just formalities; most wrote them on scraps of paper over lunch with employers.
- 1940: Resumes are like Facebook profiles; they include weight, age, height, marital status and religion.
- 1950: Resumes become less of a formality and more of a requirement to land a job.
- 1960: Resumes start to include outside interests like sports and clubs.
- 1970: Digital typesetting and word processors make resumes more professional.
- 1980: The first VHS portfolios are recorded and used; books on resumes and career counseling boom.
- 1985: Online background checking begins.
- 1986: Microsoft releases an RTF universal doc.
- 1987: Fax machines are created and people send resumes via fax as the new trend takes off.
- 1994: The Internet and World Wide Web go public; Monster.com goes live and CareerBuilder is founded.
- 1995: Email begins to become the more mainstream way to send a resume.
- 2002: Resumes start to become more interactive with links to email, etc.
- 2003: LinkedIn, a career-based social media platform, launches.
- 2005: Optimal Resume releases an online resume builder.
- 2006: Video resumes pick up, more and more high school students begin sending them to colleges.
- 2007: Potential employees begin to upload their video resumes to YouTube.
- 2008: Summaries and position statements become the new way to build up your resume; social media hits the Internet and LinkedIn begins to dominate the employment and networking arena; Potential employees also begin personal branding via SEO and keywords are used.
- Today: Resumes contain social media links; Depending on the type of resume, they are typically shorter but with more visuals and multimedia. Digital CV’s and Infographic resumes are trending.
Typically, depending on the industry that you are trying to work in will determine what type of resume you will need. A nurse’s resume will obviously look different from someone trying to get a job in advertising. So, it’s important to research and make sure you aren’t sending a resume that looks too different from other potential candidates.
What Your Resume Should Look Like
As previously mentioned, your resume should reflect the type of industry that you are seeking to attain a job in. However, you can essentially narrow today’s resumes down to four basic types: chronological, functional, combination and targeted. Chronological resumes present work history, personal achievements and education in chronological order, whereas functional resumes take the focus away from work history and put an emphasis on skills and abilities. A combination resume is just like it sounds – a combination of work history, skills and abilities to allow employers to see everything equally. Lastly, targeted resumes allow applicants to customize their resume according to the position being applied for.
While most of the time it’s up to the individual to choose which format best fits them, sometimes the industry you are applying for fits a better mold of a specific format. Regardless, your resume should always look professional and easy to read. It’s always important to be consistent, and to focus on the information you are trying to present to potential employers.
When writing a resume for the medical industry, you should keep in mind that it is different from other resumes as it relates to a specific field that is complex, demanding and inclusive of many kinds of specialized skills.
As your resume reaches the desk of the human resources department of a hospital or other health care network, here are a few tips that you will want to keep in mind:
- Include good contact information: Be sure to keep your medical resume up to date with current phone numbers, email and fax information, as well as your full name and other important identifiers.
- List your education: When applying for a job in the medical industry, it will most likely require some form of education level and certifications; be sure to showcase your relevant degrees, certifications and other formal education towards the top of the first page of your resume.
- Create good objectives: Although objectives are pretty common in most resumes, for the medical field, it should be a way to explain exactly what you want to do within a very diversified work environment. For example, surgeons and other kinds of doctors will often include objectives related to skilled inpatient or outpatient procedures, along with good patient communication. Other professionals will highlight objectives related to reaching out to the public in a healthcare setting.
- Detail your relevant skills, tailoring your medical resume to a specific job role: Not all medical jobs are the same, and in fact, many of them fall into several distinct categories, which you can use to your advantage when crafting a particular resume. Having skills in a surgical area, skills related to various components of general surgery, or even routine care skills such as phlebotomy, can make a job applicant more qualified. If you work in medical environments handling complex insurance statements and billing documents, this can be extremely helpful and valuable to list in your resume as well. Lastly, if you have prior proof of your skill in reaching out to patients, this can make your medical resume more appealing and attractive to potential employers.
- Include extracurricular information: While it isn’t always necessary, adding extracurricular information that is relevant to the position you are applying for can make your resume appear more well-rounded to an employer.
- Assess your resume for length: It’s a good idea to limit the length of your medical resume in order to make it easy to read and gives the reader a better chance of going all the way through it.
- Do a final edit: It’s always a good idea to check and re-check your final resume for grammatical errors or to make sure you included everything that you need. Having someone else cross-check your resume is also a good idea as sometimes we don’t always catch our mistakes.
Whether you are trying to search for a new job or just think your resume could use a little touching up, it’s never a bad idea to do some research and fix up your professional resume. Polishing up your resume with everything listed above can help alleviate anxiety when opportunity comes knocking or unfortunate events occur and you realize your resume needs major updating. Having confidence in your resume can also help boost your confidence in an interview. So, take this time – during International Update Your Resume Month – to freshen up that professional resume.