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The Benefits of Having an Opening Paragraph on Your Résumé

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In our last post, we discussed the interest healthcare employers have in evaluating a physician’s personality on a job interview and determining how well that personality will mesh with their culture.

As Anish Majumdar, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and owner of ResumeOrbit.com, writes over at PracticeLink, your personality is represented on you CV/résumé before the employer ever meets you in person. Therefore, it’s important that you represent yourself in the best possible light, even though it’s easy to dismiss the CV/résumé as only a piece of paper that lists your education and work experience.

However, Majumdar writes, the CV/résumé is the perfect place where you begin to show your sense of self.

He advises physicians to develop a “succinct and focused opening paragraph at the start of a CV” as a “way to establish a framework for the document and communicate what sets you apart.”

He offers this opening paragraph as an example:

Board-certified Non-Invasive Cardiologist with 7 years’ experience launching successful Cardiac MRI and Cardiac CTA programs, recruiting physicians and medical staff, and implementing viable protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Specialist in deploying a multidisciplinary approach to addressing patient needs such as heart disease, diabetes and metabolic disorders. Internal Medicine Residency: University of Alabama. M.D.: University of Oklahoma. Available 4/13.

Notice how “the basics” establish the foundation for the paragraph, and by basics, one physician recruiter advises including “specialty, subspecialty, and training. Also, if you have a work-visa issue or won’t be available until a certain date,” the employer needs to know.

Following this, Majumdar continues, include “three to four key areas of excellence that can then be expanded upon within the work-history section of the document. For candidates with a limited work history, it is perfectly acceptable to offer a quick rundown of particular areas of interest.”

The opening paragraph is also a good introduction for employers who may not have time to thoroughly read all of the CV/résumés sent to them. Looking at the paragraph above, there are many details about this physician candidate that might capture an employer’s attention.

As physicians who are looking for jobs, does your CV/résumé include an opening paragraph? If so, how does it show your sense of self and an awareness of what your purpose and focus as a physician is?

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