Out of Training and Into the Hunt
For the first time in a decade, my job hunt does not involve the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) nor the National Residency Match Program (NRMP). For clinicians, applying for attending positions comes with the challenge of creating a curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter that will help you stand out. Here are a few tools to get you started.
The CV. Many academic programs have a CV template that you can adapt from, available via quick Google search. At a minimum, it should contain the headings “education,” “training,” “honors/awards,” “memberships,” “presentations,” and “bibliography” (published articles). Include relevant information, listed in reverse chronological order, starting from college graduation. I recommend using a personal, professional email address instead of your institutional one (you’ll soon have many emails from recruiters). Lastly, the National Institutes of Health biosketches are another resource you may hear about.
The cover letter. This is what I struggled with the most. It is as important as the CV and helps set you apart.1 Its purpose is to highlight why you are interested in a position or the geographic area, and what special skills you bring to the practice. These are all aspects of your candidacy that are not easily gleaned from the CV. Research the organization to which you are applying, and ensure the letter reflects key attributes specific to it (be careful with cutting and pasting from previous versions or letters addressed to other institutions). Finally, always have a mentor, colleague, or friend review both your CV and cover letter for content and formatting errors.
The hunt. When searching for available positions, there are a variety of websites with job postings (e.g., the ASH Job Center). If there is an organization or group of interest, it is helpful to have a mentor with contacts at the institution reach out on your behalf. If that is not feasible, email the in-house recruiter or human resources department to inquire about career opportunities for physicians.
Best of luck with your search!
1Darves B. Physician cover letters: why writing a good one is as important as ever. NEJM CareerCenter. 2014. Last accessed July 24, 2018. Access via http://www.nejmcareercenter.org/article/physician-cover-letters-why-writing-a-good-one-is-as-important-as-ever/.