As a retrospective of one’s own life, the curriculum vitae is sometimes regarded as a stepchild among applicants, an uncomfortable obligation. I’m interested as to how things went down. The curriculum vitae for doctors inside the application papers is a major step towards the perhaps appropriate place, because HR managers often try to analyze the qualifications of physicians for a certain post with a fast look at the vita. The curriculum vitae should be respected and given careful consideration.
But don’t worry: if you’re reading this, it’s because you haven’t yet submitted your medical application portfolio. So, you still have time to make any required adjustments to your resume and take a giant step toward obtaining your dream job; or you may pay someone to write your perfect résumé for you. We recommend to consult professional medicine interview tutors before you appear in interviews.
Enter your age
In times of increasing equality, the age specification in the résumé is a hotly debated topic. Some employers point out in advance that they do not want the date of birth to be given. However, if this request is missing – and this is usually the case – I recommend that you state your birthday and therefore your age.
In any case, you will reveal your age by specifying the time in your career, the position you are aiming for (e.g. assistant doctor) or at the latest during the interview in the hospital. Then you can also state your date of birth right away. You are also sure to have a few more congratulations.
Assess IT skills
Although it does not correspond to the ideal of a doctor, it has unfortunately long been standard in many clinics: Doctors are spending more and more time in front of the PC (external link). What is tragic for patients means for your perfect doctor’s vita that you should definitely state your IT skills.
Which operating systems do you master (usually Windows or Mac)? How well do you know which program? Answers to questions like these in the job interview help the head physician to assess the amount of training you would need. Are you very computer savvy and experienced with medical software? Then this is a plus.
Score with foreign languages
More than six million adults cannot understand English properly. It is, therefore, an advantage in German hospitals to be able to speak foreign languages. This is particularly true in light of the fact that mutual understanding contributes to the doctor’s healing success.
Have you spent a year abroad in South America? Do you have Arab ancestry or are you currently in the process of obtaining your license to practice medicine in Germany as a foreign doctor? Then be sure to state the languages you speak. For further classification, I advise you to evaluate your knowledge of the respective language:
- Native speaker
- Basic knowledge
Don’t state religious affiliation
The naming of a religion is voluntary; and even if we wish otherwise – a certain religious affiliation can unfortunately fuel resentment in some people. For the purposes of your application, I therefore recommend that you keep your religion secret – no matter which religion you belong to. As a rule, practicing one’s religion has no influence on work performance anyway; and you cannot gain anything from this information.
Religious or ecclesiastical employers are a major exception. According to a recent decision by the European Court of Justice (external link), employers are allowed to require their employees to belong to a religion “if this is objectively necessary for the specific job”. This is not considered discriminatory. If you want to apply as a doctor in a Protestant hospital, for example, you should ideally be a member of the Protestant Church – and include this information on your résumé.
(Don’t) clarify the family situation
In principle, your private life is nothing to do with your potential employer. However, in certain cases it can make sense for you to explain your family situation. Doctors in particular are repeatedly exposed to prejudice.
Many a clinic sees itself in competition with a 33-year-old medical applicant with her family planning. HR managers fear an imminent employment ban and the following parental leave. The childless doctor should better keep quiet about her family situation. Incidentally, she does not need to answer such questions in a medical interview. In contrast, a 33-year-old doctor with, for example, two children aged 6 and 4 would have much better chances. In contrast to the former colleague, she would do well to disclose her family situation.
It looks similar with one’s own parents. The professions of your parents are mostly irrelevant for the doctor’s position and do not provide you with any advantages. Only if your parents worked in similar positions should you mention them. In that case, you can make it clear to your potential employer that you are aware of the workload and the time required of the medical profession.
Honorary posts and social engagement
Are you one of those doctors who care about the patient as a person? Have you received a medical scholarship or do you volunteer in a social institution? Then you should integrate this section into your career. After all, doctors want to help people; and what better way to illustrate this than to work without pay?
Voluntary work can also broaden your horizon of experience. For example, members of Doctors Without Borders and other organizations report on the amount of medical experience they have been able to gain. This expertise can give you the lead you need over your competitors.
The right hobbies
Hobbies are a double-edged sword: while some hobbies emphasize your “soft skills”, others may cause you problems. Team sports, for example, are a good way of expressing your team spirit. On the other hand, the willingness of extreme athletes to take risks is poorly compatible with the professional profile of a doctor.
Hobbies only rarely make the difference when it comes to job vacancies. Nevertheless, you can score with the right hobbies. However, think carefully about which hobby you lead. If in doubt, simply leave out a hobby and only mention it when it is relevant for the doctor’s position. Do you discover common interests during the interview with the head physician in the hospital? Then would be the right time to ask him about it.