The Perfect Physician Assistant Resume

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1. The resume basics

I know Elle Woods got a job by using a pink, scented resume, but please do not try that at home. Keep it simple- white paper, blank ink. Go for a simple font, like Times New Roman. Never use graphics.

You’ve heard it once, you’ll hear it again. The resume is your first impression at a job opportunity, make it a good one. Fortunately, in the physician assistant world, jobs grow on trees, but if you want the ripest job of the bunch, then you better work on that resume. Here are some tips:

2. Be as concise as you possibly can because no one wants to read a really, really long, drawn out explanation for something with unnecessary words thrown in all over the place when the phrase could have been said in two simple little words. BE CONCISE.

In a perfect world, your resume should be 1 page. If you won 3 Nobel Peace prizes, cured cancer and maintained 36 jobs, then maybe you can have 2 pages, but avoid 3 pages at all costs! Definitely use bullets points. Trust me, no one will want to read your giant paragraph.

3. Put your best foot first

The experiences that make you uniquely qualified for the position you are applying for should be at the top of your resume. Many employers don’t make it all the way to the bottom before they decide whether or not to call you in for an interview.

4. Format: Let’s make it look good

Your name and contact information should be loud and proud. Put your name, in a slightly larger font, and contact information at the top. Break your resume into sections. Some recommended sections are Education, Healthcare Experience, Certifications, Awards, and Volunteer Experience. Should you include an objective? Sources are beginning to lean towards a no. Lastly and most importantly, check and recheck that spacing. Everything should line up. It gives employers the illusion that you are organized.

5. Reverse chronological order is a must

Your entry level position from 1986 should not be the first thing employers read. Most recent information should come first within each section.

6. Time for a professional email address

The time has come to retire that high school email address and get one that uses your first and last name.

7. Pepper it with action verbs

Show your dominance; use action verbs throughout your resume. It looks like you did something. Don’t use the same action verb over and over again. Think outside the box and a thesaurus can do you wonders.

8. Proofread, proofread, proofread! Then, ask someone else to proofread. Then, proof read again

Here’s what your future employer is thinking: If you don’t notice the small details before you land the job, what are the chances you’ll notice the small details after you land the job? It’s much easier to not hire you than fire you.

9. Having references is expected these days

Don’t waste precious space on your resume saying “references available upon request.” Employers know they can ask for these.

10. Make it a PDF

After all of the hard work you put into formatting your resume, you don’t want your Word document to be incompatible with your employer’s word document. Always save it as a PDF.

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