Making the Jump: Crafting a Winning Medical Resume for Career Changers

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By Marilyn Royce

A healthcare industry offers a stimulating work environment, opportunities for professional growth, satisfaction from helping others, and good pay. Moreover, according to BLS, employment in healthcare occupations is expected to grow by 13% by 2031. All these and many other factors make healthcare a popular career option, both for young professionals and career changers. If you have decided to pursue a healthcare job after some other industry, you need to work extra on your resume to prove that you have the needed skills to succeed in a medical field. 

Today, we will share professional tips for creating a strong medical resume if you are pursuing a career change. 

Writing a career change resume requires a strategic approach, and you need to be very selective about what to include. If you do not want to miss great opportunities because of the issues in your resume, consider working with a medical resume writing service writer. Seasoned healthcare resume writers can recommend what to include on your career change resume and how to emphasize your skills to get noticed by potential employers. 

9 tips to create a winning medical resume 

Consider a combination resume format

If you don’t have relevant experience in the medical field yet, a chronological resume is not the best idea. Your resume might seem irrelevant to hiring managers and they will most likely toss it. 

Instead, opt for a combination resume format, where at the top you add a summary of qualifications and a list of skills/competencies. Thus, you will draw attention to the skills you already have, and what you can bring to the healthcare setting if hired. 

Put your education above the fold

If you have just graduated from your medical school or completed clinical rotations, put the Education section right after the summary and skills. Be detailed about the program, coursework and what you’ve learned. 

If you have some academic accomplishments you can brag about (a high GPA, graduation Cum Laude), or publications in medical journals, mention them as well. Short-term training, such as online training or certification programs, are important for entry-level nurses, physicians, and pharmacy technicians as well. 

Make sure that you meet the qualifications minimum 

In healthcare jobs there is a qualifications minimum that you should meet to be considered for the role. This may be a specific degree (Bachelor’s, Master’s, or else), a few years of experience, or a license in your state. If you do not meet these criteria, it is best not to apply as your application won’t be considered and you will waste your time. 

Include relevant skills

When listing skills in your career change medical resume, focus on the job-related qualification that your employer specifically asks for. For example, a nurse should list such skills on their resume: 

·      Patience & empathy

·      Critical care

·      Patient relations

·      EMR systems

·      OSHAA compliance

·      Cross-functional team communication

·      IV therapy

·      Pain management

·      Cultural sensitivity, and more. 

In addition to your hard skills, emphasize transferable skills as well. These are skills you’ve gained in your previous career, study, or while completing volunteer projects. Examples of these skills are customer service, team leadership, employee training, and communication. Be sure to underline them on your resume, with examples if possible. 

Emphasize internships and unpaid experience 

Unless you’ve gained paid experience, focus on volunteering projects, clinical rotation and other projects related to your future healthcare profession. 

List your unpaid experience as you would describe a full-time job. Add a job title, list your responsibilities and contribution, and add a few accomplishments if possible. 

Write your resume with ATS in mind

98% of Fortune 500 companies use applicant software, and smaller companies follow their example. Your resume needs to use specific keywords to pass the software before a human hiring manager reads it. If it lacks keywords, it will get tossed by software. 

The easiest way to spot keywords is to read the job posting carefully, paying attention to skills and qualifications the employer asks for. Then, include these qualifications in your resume, using the same wording. If this sounds challenging, an experienced medical resume writing service writer can do it for you. Cheap medical resume writers can adapt your resume for a specific job posting, increasing your chances to get shortlisted. 

Create a persuasive summary 

If you are changing careers, adding a short summary at the top of the resume is a must. It allows you to underline relevant qualifications and skills you’ve gained in medical school, as well as explain your motivation for changing careers. 

Keep this section 3-5 sentences long. Mention your relevant skills, accomplishments, and how you can add value to the prospective employer. If possible, use figures and percentages to show your impact. It is also helpful to ‘connect the dots’ for a recruiter, showing how your past career prepared you to excel in this role. 

Attach a customized cover letter

When a hiring manager receives a resume with no relevant experience, they’ll wonder if you have right qualifications to excel in the role. This is when your cover letter can make all the difference. In it, you can explain what pushed you to retrain and start a medical career, and what makes you a valuable candidate. 

Keep the letter concise – 3-4 paragraphs are enough to present your strengths to the employer. Focus on your healthcare-related qualifications, and mention your previous career only to explain how skills you’ve gained there will help you succeed in a medical role. 

Proofread for perfection 

59% of recruiters will reject a candidate if a resume has typos or grammar mistakes. It is essential to proofread your resume multiple times to ensure it has perfect grammar, punctuation, and each bullet makes sense. 

You might use an online spell checker to speed up the process. Yet, manual proofreading is a must, since the software cannot spot all errors. Print your resume on paper and read it aloud – thus, you’ll be focused on resume content and correct more issues. Ideally, show your resume to an editor who can polish your resume professionally. 

Need further guidance with your healthcare resume? 

Entering a competitive medical field is challenging, but with a resume that effectively sells your value, you’ll get noticed faster and get more interviews. Use the tips suggested above to improve your resume and get it more structured. It is also advisable that you show your resume to a professional consultant before sending to make sure that it has no ‘red flags’ which can turn off recruiters. Take care of your resume in advance and good luck with your job search!