Susan Friedman
Jul 29, 2020, 3 min read

The onslaught of COVID-19 has been a challenge for physicians on so many levels. Many providers who have been furloughed, had pay cuts or have faced closures of their private practices or healthcare systems are now seeking locum tenens as a stopgap solution.

Physicians seeking locums work find themselves competing with their peers for short- and long-term opportunities. Putting yourself out there on the locums market requires a solid Curriculum Vitae (CV) with all the trappings that medical staffing agency recruiters require.

When a locums recruiter at a medical staffing agency or a hospital system looks at your CV for the first time, what do you want them to know about you? Your CV must make a big impression in 10 seconds or less, which is the average amount of time spent reviewing a resume for perceived value. But even for medical professionals, your value isn’t always a given. We know this from experience. Our consultants have seen CVs from providers that were poorly organized and confusing as compared to CVs of their peers. The key to making your CV competitive for a physician locum tenens job is to demonstrate your value with clear, concise and defining statements.

Being overly verbose is a don’t. Recruiters don’t want to wade through lengthy explanations. They want a quick view of what matters the most. It is all about your end goal: To be shortlisted so that recruiters line up and offer opportunities that meet your needs, financial and otherwise.

There’s an advantageous way to showcase your education and skills that will lead you forward with a best practice physician locum tenens agency and ultimately on the path to great opportunities. Here are a few essentials to help boost your resume to the top of the locums list.

How To Optimize and Organize A Must-Read CV

An easy-to-read CV with structure is key to not shutting down a busy recruiter who doesn’t immediately see what they need. In competitive times it is especially important to be armed with a CV that pops. 

A few pointers for consideration:

  • Make it easy to skim. Use subheads to delineate each category, from education through to references.
  • Make certain that your contact information is clear. Although this may seem obvious, our consultants often see resumes without this detail. It is critical to include your name, title and degree at the top of your CV. Provide current home/mobile cell phone numbers where you can be reached, and your most accessible personal email address.
  • Display your education with concise specifics. Clearly spell out the details of your education in chronological order. Include where you attended college and medical school and the degrees that were earned. Use the MM/DD/YY format to define the years spent in pursuit of your education. This date format is the most commonly used style in CV writing.
  • Expedite the credentialing process by using the MM/DD/YY format. It is the preferred format for the Credentialing team because it gives them exactly what they need to auto fill/populate paperwork.
  • Be certain that your “Medical Training” is listed concisely and in chronological order, and as indicated, use the preferred standard date format (MM/DD/YY). Include your:

o  Internships

o   Residency

o  Fellowships

Work History, Bonus Elements and More

Make your current/most recent roles stand out. Under your “Professional Work History” put your most recent or currently held positions first. Use the standard MM/DD/YY format.

Distinguish your “Licensure Certifications” under a separate header. List all of your active medical licenses and certifications. To make it easier for the Licensing team to verify your credentials, it is highly recommended that you include relevant license numbers to avoid delays in processing.

To up the chances of your CV catching the eye of the locums recruiter:

  • Avoid any red flags such as an unexplained gap in your education or work history. Always include a statement about the gap, if there is one, so that a recruiter does not perceive it as a negative mark against your background. 
  • Steer clear of formatting slips. Not providing the standard MM/DD/YY format, for example, could push your CV to the bottom of the pile, virtual or otherwise.
  • Proof for typos. Be certain to nit-pick and eyeball your CV content before ever sending it to a recruiter.

Bonus elements for your CV include having an “Objective” lead-in statement with an immediate defining take on your career aspirations. This prelude to your education and positions held should be brief and succinct.

Recruiters look for pluses on a CV. You can include these “extras” after you provide your education details and positions held during the course of your career. Extras include:

Published articles in medical journals and other industry publications, plus:

  • Teaching experience
  • Medical and professional memberships
  • Honors and awards
"Putting yourself out there on the locums market requires a solid Curriculum Vitae (CV) with all the trappings that medical staffing agency recruiters require."

Sell Yourself

How you present yourself goes beyond the critical categories of academia and career roles. Distinguish yourself by citing activities and by also including references.

Activities: If you have hobbies and/or activities that enhance your background, CVs with this kind of information might supersede ones that don’t. The reasoning for including your personal interests is to help recruiters and potential future employers get a quick glimpse of who you are outside of work. As with other information on your CV, keep these bonus elements concise.

References: By providing references upfront, it’s a way to be proactive, even a step ahead of others also seeking locums opportunities. It’s recommended that you list references from your medical education, residency or recent positions you have held, depending on where you are in your career, whether you are a new graduate, mid-career or further along the path. Provide relevant contact information for these individuals and let them know that they could be contacted to provide a recommendation on your behalf.

Land The Position You Want

Let the do’s guide how you structure and format your CV: 

  • Create a document that shows your background in crisp, clear statements. It is what’s preferred by most recruiters.
  • Include a bonus statement. You can show how you’ve made an impact on a particular job, on coworkers, in your community or elsewhere.
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs or chunks of copy. Instead, use short bullet points, so that your CV will garner more attention and also make it easier for recruiters to find exactly what they are looking for about you.
  • Use bold subheads. It’s an easy way to distinguish each of the key areas you want a recruiter to be able to scan quickly.

Finally, do your research. What are the most important candidate requirements for the locums position you are seeking? Include those candidate requirements high up on the top quarter of your CV so that recruiters can instantly see that you are perfect for the role. 

By Susan Friedman

Susan Friedman is the Content Marketing Manager at Hayes Locums. She crafts content that is relevant and newsworthy for providers on the locum tenens career path. Susan is an experienced content strategist, content lead for digital marketing and an award-winning journalist.

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