Ch. 1: What is a Resume?
Here, we'll be covering what a resumé is, their purpose, why you need one in your healthcare job search, and how they differ from C.V.s. Use this guide to craft a professional document that not only highlights your accomplishments, but speaks to your style and makes a great impression on your prospective healthcare employers.
There are several elements that are often overlooked by job-seekers when drafting a resumé. Follow along as we cover those topics, as well as essential resumé tips that will help you learn to strategically formulate a winning resumé — and a winning edge on the competition.
What is a Resume?
A resumé is a brief, skimmable document — usually saved in .doc or .pdf formats — that summarizes and communicates your employment history, education, relevant skills, experiences and qualifications to a party or individual looking to fill a position. It's recommended that a resumé be one page long, but they can be two to three pages, when warranted. However, it's advisable not to go over one page, unless absolutely necessary.
Treat the space on your resumé as valuable property, and only include experiences, qualifications, and accomplishments that are relevant to the position you're interested in. You should think of your resumé as a marketing tool; it should portray healthcare and hospital career highlights — as well as life highlights — that sell specific skills to your prospective employer. We'll break down this concept a little later in the guide as we analyze exactly what makes a good resumé.
Here's an example of what a good medical assistant resumé looks like:
What is the Purpose of a Resume?
Simply put, the main purpose of a resumé is to land an interview with your desired employer, or in this case, with your ideal hospital job or healthcare career.
Keep in in mind that recruiters and human resource professionals receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes for each position they post, so it’s imperative that you create a concise and persuasive resumé that will catch the attention of those doing the hiring.
To get past stage one of the hiring process (and avoid being sorted into the dreaded "no" pile), you must portray yourself as a great fit for the position.
When showing that you’d be a great fit for your particular healthcare or hospital job, it’s important that you build a resumé that caters specifically to the position or industry that you're interested in. In essence, you will have little success if you make a blanket resumé for many different job positions.
Why Do I Need a Resume?
If you want to enter the professional healthcare world, a resumé is not a suggestion — it's mandatory. Many people think they can simply fill out applications without a resumé, but this practice does a serious disservice to the job seeker; it fails to showcase skills, it fails to set the applicant apart, and it fails to add any personalization to the application.
Resumes are necessary for:
- Showcasing your skills, accomplishments, and potential.
- Advancing your career.
- Competing in the professional world.
- Highlighting that you're the right fit for the position.
- Mapping where you've been and where you're going.
- Getting the interview!
Resumes vs. Curricula Vitae (C.V.)
Resumés and curricula vitae (CVs) have much in common, but they are not the same thing, and every healthcare or hospital job seeker should know the difference. Generally speaking, a CV is a much more detailed overview of your life and accomplishments than a resumé and is primarily used in academia. Resumés are more suited for the professional world.
With a resumé, you want to take a targeted approach, treating every inch of space on the page as valuable real estate. A concise message that tells the employer why you're the best choice for the position, and inspires them to pick up the phone to schedule an interview, is your resumé's ultimate goal. On the contrary, a CV is meant to give an in-depth description of someone's life. We won't delve any deeper into the differences in this guide, but you can learn more here: Curricula Vitae (CVs) versus Resumes.
So, what is a resumé? It's your foot in the door. It's the tool that you use to leverage opportunities and get ahead. How much time you invest into it and how well the finished product ends up being could could very well change your future, so be sure you're aware of everything there is to know about building the perfect resumé.
First and foremost, always treat the space on your first page as your most valuable resource by including only relevant experiences. Remember to try not to exceed one page suggestion, and always use an appropriate typeface. Continue with this guide to learn more about building a great resumé, along with which mistakes ought to be avoided.