Physicians Career Change: Resume Needed


Physicians who are considering a career change transitioning into a non-clinical career will need a resume as opposed to their CV.   How can physicians change their CV into a resume that works? Here is what Deb Dib, the CEO Coach, recommended at the SEAK Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference:




Use a resume format rather than a traditional CV for most transitions.

Use a resume when you are shifting your professional focus from direct health care to business performance such as consulting, CEO/President or other management position. A CV would be appropriate if applying for a position as Chief of Medicine at a hospital, in medical research or to teach at a university.

Determine your career target(s) before you begin writing your resume.

To craft a powerful and effective document, know what your professional interests are. Focus your resume on a particular objective.


Identify skills relevant to your new career objective / industry target.

Do not focus on your direct clinical skills. Instead paint a picture in words of how you want to be perceived. Tailor your resume to specifically emphasize information about your background that relates to your target career. Omit information about clinical skills that have no meaning to the target position.


Create a document that communicates and promotes the value of what you are offering an employer.

Know what differentiates you (your personal brand) from other candidates. Include quantifiable results or the outcomes of your contributions. If you increased revenues, state the percentage. If you improved productivity, state the percentage. If you created a new program, state the end results of that effort.


Research and compile key words for your career target(s) and industry.

You want to convey a specific message so that employers and recruiters will find your resume when conducting an electronic search. Find key words by reviewing advertised positions and analyzing the qualifications, soft skills, experience and other requirements they are seeking.


Focus on major management achievements.

Include new programs development, cost savings, technology advances, efficiency and productivity improvements, special projects, new products, consulting, training, human resources and other leadership initiatives. Avoid detailing responsibilities. A few stats on revenue created, budgets managed, and profits grown tell more than a paragraph of “responsible for…”


Organize your resume into consistently formatted sections for impact.

Use highly visible headings in a larger point size and place employment dates at the right side of the page. Be consistent with format structure such as placement of employer names, titles, and dates.


Use the function you are transferring to as your title to demonstrate level / role.

For example, if you are a primary care physician in private practice and also the Partner/Manager or President, list your title as President if that is the role you are seeking next.


Make your resume readable!

Use plenty of white space, adequate font size (at least 10 point) and a logical flow of information from start to finish. Create a print, electronic and possible web formats. Secure a private email address with your name (example:


Know your greatest selling points.

Avoid details about your background that are not relevant to your job target. Make certain to prominently feature your greatest points—don’t bury them in the resume. Use bullets to draw the reader’s eye to key information in your experience.