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Resume Tips: How Consistent is Your Formatting?

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Today, we wrap up our look at the standard principles behind writing resumes, principles that should be applied in most, if not all, cases, especially as you polish up your resume before sending out an application. Once again, we found these Resume Tips in an article titled “5 Quick Fixes for Physician CVs” over on the American College of Radiology website. (The article was originally printed on thedoctorjob.com/careercorner.)

The final question the article asks about your resume is, How consistent is your formatting?

Here’s what the author means by consistent formatting: “If you bold your job titles, then you should also bold your degrees. If you put a colon after some of your headings, it should be after all of them. If you use a dash between some dates, make sure you don’t write the word ‘to’ between others.”

We know what you might be thinking: “Picky. Picky. Picky.” Or: “C’mon. They won’t notice details like that in 15 to 30 seconds.” Our response is: Do you really want to risk that? Which stands out more? A sloppy room or a clean room?

Before we get into an existential debate about the varying definitions and perceptions of “sloppy” and “clean,” for the sake of this discussion, to the majority of people a sloppy room stands out every time.

Such is the case with your resume. If your formatting is askew and random and haphazard, you run the risk of that being the first impression an employer will have of you. As the article states, “That is not the first impression you want to give to a prospective physician employer.”

As we recommended in a previous installment, “It’s always a good idea to get a second pair of eyes on your CV before sending it off. If you’ve been working on it a while, or you’ve had the same format for ages, you might be missing something that is glaringly obvious to someone else. The best person to look at your CV is someone who is unfamiliar with your career history. Ask this person if anything is unclear or if they have any questions about what is on the page.”

Remember: Unlike the questions that you’ll be asked and the environment and the atmosphere in which you’ll be interviewed, the quality of your resume is the one aspect of your job search that you can control.

Once again, the article: “Putting in a few extra minutes to make sure your CV looks impressive will save you a lot of time down the road because you will find a great job that much sooner.”

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, what resume tips would you offer? What are some ways in which you’ve changed your resume over the years?

Feel free to comment below or you can email me at pfernbaugh@alertservicescorp.com. Simply let me know in the email if I can use or reference your story or experiences in an upcoming post, anonymously or otherwise.

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