how to sell yourself to potential employes

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  • 1. Stephen J. Green MD FACP Chief of Cardiology North Shore University Hospital Associate Professor of Medicine New York University School of Medicine

2. Writing a Cover Letter and CV for theReal World

  • The purpose of these two documents are to get you in the door

Real World = Your Next Job 3. What Needs to be in a Cover Letter

  • It is not your CV in text form!
  • It should not be a discussion about how much you would love this job, etc.
  • Really, the purpose of a cover letter is to answer the question.

4. 5. The Cover Letter

  • Tries to sell the potential employee that you are the right person for their job.
  • If they are looking for a person with a certain skill set, this letter should tell them that you have the skills that they require.
  • One page, maximum.
  • Its OK to specify your skill set:eg Level 2 echocardiography, endoscopy skills, etc.

6. Do Your Homework!!

  • You need to know what needs they are looking to fill.Whats their problem?
  • Dont think that the group is looking for another body, but a specific person with specific expertise.
  • You need to know who to address the letter to
  • Never put down Dear Sir/Madam or Dear Office Manager
  • Be specific; the cover letter is for that particular job (only).

7. Homework and Preparation is Essential before the InterviewYou need to know

  • What they are looking for
  • What the group is like
  • How stable is the group
  • Where are the offices, and where do the want to put you.
  • Group History.
  • How old is the groupsometimes other social, racial, religious affiliations,etc.

8. The Internet is Your Friend

  • Google to individual MDs
  • Google the office practice itself
  • Look at other internet sites- eg Vitals.com
  • How up to date is the staff listings?
    • Anyone disappeared?
    • Anyone from your college, medical school, or residency (for you to know, for them to find outMums the word).

9. What About the CV?

  • There are two basic purposes for a potential employer, after she/he looks at the cover letter to look at your CV
  • 1. Shortlisting the candidates - which have the requirements that are being sought, and which applicants should be removed from consideration.
  • 2.Using the CV as a framework for discussions at the time of the job interview.

10. What Does This Mean In a Private Practice Job?

  • Keep it Short: 1-2 Pages (Max!)
  • Make Sure It Includes the Criteria that are Sought.
  • Dont Wax Poetic About Outside Activities
  • Dont Include Potentially Irrelevant Material:
    • High School Awards and Activities are Not Appropriate.
    • College Awards Should Be Limited to Major Things (Rhodes Scholar, anyone?) not Social Chair at the Fraternity.
    • Similarly with Medical School, unless it relates to the job.

11. So What Goes In It?

  • Honors and Awards during Residency and Fellowship
  • Technical skills acquired during training
  • At the bottominterests (1-2 lines maximum); If your interests are too extensive, it will not show you are well rounded but rather imply that youre most interested in things outside of medicine (WRONG MESSAGE).

12. Format For Your CV

  • First Block:Your Demographics
    • Name, address, telephone, email address
    • Otherpotentialadditions:
      • Birthdate
      • Marital Status; children
      • Place of Birth (eg, New York, NY, not Babies Hospital, fourth floor).
      • Citizenship

13. CV Format

  • Block Two: Your Education
    • Generally does not include high school, except for a specific job, where you are trying to make a point (going back to your hometown). In that case, put it in just for those jobs.
    • Undergraduate College, with degree and year.Can included honors and major.
    • Medical School and other advanced degrees.Generally put in them in temporal order, with dates.

14. CV Format

  • Block Three:Post MD Training
    • Again in order, with dates.Be prepared to verbally answer questions regarding time gaps.
    • If this is not your first job since finishing training, you would then have a section with other (physician) job experiencesnot your pre MD jobs like dishwasher, busboy, toll collector, analytical chemist, longshoreman, or chimney sweep

15. CV:Block Four

  • Honors and Awards
    • Probably not high school awards, eg National Merit Scholar (I see this all the time).
    • Early in career, OK to list college honors, eg scholarship awards, Phi Beta Kappa, etc.
    • Same with medical school honors.
    • If you stay academic, some of this stuff should disappear from your CV over time.
    • Definitely YES to any honors or awards during residency and fellowship trainingincluding Chiefships.

16. CV: Block Five

  • License and Registration Information
    • NY State License number.
    • Other states listed if you have them
    • Certifications:
      • Flex exams etc, if you did them
      • Board Certifications, with dates.
      • OK to put non ABIM certifications such as echo boards, nuclear boards, CT boards
      • OK to put training levels within your fellowships, especially for private practice (Level II echo, etc)

17. Block Six:Previous Research

  • Dr. Tom Jones, Department of Medicine, Bay City Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine, Dates of Research.
    • Then with a little paragraph detailing what you did.

18. Block Seven: Papers and Publications

  • Abstract citations first, date order
  • Papers next, date order

19. Block Eight:Presentations

  • Abstract Presentations
  • Medical Grand Rounds Presentations
  • Not routine peer presentations; not morning reports
  • Outside Presentations, non drug company
    • If you were giving this talk, you could include it in your CV:
    • How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employees ACP Resident and Fellows Career Night, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York.October 14, 2008.

20. CV final steps

  • Outside Interests
  • Languages beyond English

21. What About the Format?

  • Many options;the most important thing is that it be short and clean appearing.
  • If for an academic job at your current institution, ask a junior faculty member (less intimidating, but more importantly, less pages) for a copy of their CV for the Bay City University official formatting. Do NOT do this for every academic job!!

22. 23. Interviewing 101 What Im Looking for During An Interview

  • Personal Appearance:
    • Dress: slightly overdressed OK, underdressed not acceptable.
    • Communications skills, degress of nervousness.
    • Confidence without arrogance
    • IS THIS SOMEONE I WANT TO WORK WITH FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS?
    • Maybe more importantlyis this someone my patients will be comfortable with?

24. Interviewing 101: Check the Cover Letter and CV

  • Recheck to see if the qualifications are correct.
  • Does the person and the CV make sense with each other?
  • Find grounds for conversation.
  • With any interview at any level, often the ease and act of conversation is more important than the information discussed.

25. First Interview The Conversation

  • In most interviews, at most levels, the act of conversation is more important that the information discussed.
  • I need to know more about you as a person (not necessarily your interests or your research).
  • Dont try to steer the conversation back to points on your CV-just let things flow.

26. After the Interview

  • If youre still interested, communicate back to the interviewer your interest.Usually not a phone conversation, unless that is what is requested.A very short written note is best