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How to Nail Your Cover Letter and CV for Your First Physician Pathologist Job

Finding the right physician pathologist job can seem overwhelming, particularly when trying to find a position that fits your needs and meets your goals. However, looking at the process as a cumulation of smaller tasks can help prioritize what you need to focus on first. First, identify the career opportunities you want to pursue, then focus on creating a superior cover letter and CV for potential employers.

This blog outlines tips for preparing your cover letter and CV to help potential employers see why you are the best person for the job.

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Composing a Cover Letter That Grabs Attention

The goal of a cover letter is to grab the reader’s attention and convince them that you are a great candidate. Also, your letter should make them want to read your CV and contact you for an interview. The first step to a great cover letter is understanding what sets you apart from the competition. This knowledge is essential because the most sought-after jobs are competitive. Also, it will help you communicate your differences in your letter and CV.

Keep in mind the following about your cover letter:

  • When possible, address the cover to a specific person
  • Customize it for each job opportunity rather than recycling a template not specific to the position
  • Show your personality while being professional
  • Include additional information about you and your goals
  • Add detail about special skills and interests
  • Consider adding a five-year career goal statement
  • Always include it with your CV

After you’ve polished your cover letter, perform a final proofread to correct misspellings and grammatical errors, which can immediately disqualify you from consideration for a position. Also, send it as a PDF to control how it looks on a potential employer’s screen.

How to Make Your CV Stand Out

After your cover letter, your CV is your first introduction to prospective employers. A well-written CV can help move you from application to interview. Besides setting the tone for subsequent hiring steps, your CV helps employers determine your eligibility and better understand your qualifications. The following is the typical flow of a CV:

  • Heading
  • Current position
  • Practice experience
  • Post-graduate training
  • Education
  • Licensing and board certification credentials
  • Professional organizations/societies
  • Honors and awards
  • Research, presentations, and abstracts
  • Publications
  • Personal information
  • References

Also, remember: Reverse chronological order is important when describing your work experience. Start with your most recent experience and move backward in time for every subsequent position.

Then, for easy readability and scanning, include bullets, bolding, underlining, and 12-point font on plain white, high-quality paper. Also explain any “missing years” and call out your private sector, commercial, and academic/research experience. Finally, check your CV carefully for spelling and typos.

When you have finished, plan to create at least two versions of your CV: One for the private sector and one for academic positions.

Just as there is a list of best practices, you should also know what not to do when writing your CV.

  • Don’t say: “Just send my CV anywhere.”
  • Don’t add your birthdate or social security number.
  • Don’t include your photo or headshot.
  • Don’t be too creative.
  • Don’t rely on spell-check. Instead, have someone else proofread it.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to write your CV because you will need to research some information.

Check Your Social Media Profiles

Before sending out your cover letter and CV, take a minute to check all your social media platforms. According to Business News Daily, over three-quarters of hiring professionals believe checking a candidate’s social media profile is an acceptable way to vet them. Therefore, it’s best practice to keep your social media presence professional and appropriate.

When potential employers look at a candidate’s social media profile, they generally look for red flags such as aggressive behavior, offensive comments, or confidential information sharing. Also, potential employers view social media profiles to get a sense of you as a person beyond your CV and cover letter.

The following are some social media tips to consider:

  • Don’t erase your profiles because it may imply you are hiding something if your profiles appear in search but aren’t accessible. Instead, clean up your profiles and keep them up to date.
  • Don’t post anything potentially offensive. If you wouldn’t say it in a workplace setting, remove it from your social media pages.
  • Ask yourself if your posting is best for a private or public page. If the answer is “a private page,” don’t post it.
  • Keep it simple because less is more regarding your public social media profiles.
  • Never complain about past or present colleagues.

Take a minute to Google yourself and see what appears in the search results. Many times potential employers will Google candidates. If you discover something negative in search results, you can get ahead of problems early.

Getting Ready for Interviews

After preparing your cover letter and CV, continue reading for tips on How to Land Your First Physician Pathologist Job. This blog provides relevant advice about the following:

  • Planning for the Interview
  • Preparing for Typical Interview Questions
  • Identifying Red Flags

Work With a Recruiter

Feeling overwhelmed about putting the right foot forward in your job search? Santè Consulting is an industry leader specializing in the recruitment and retention of pathologists, PhD/doctoral candidates, and laboratory medicine executives. For over 15 years, we’ve helped candidates with career guidance for landing the job they want.

Whether you are searching for your first physician pathologist job or ready to make a career change in this specialty, Santè Consulting is here to help. Contact us today. All consultations are confidential. And our services are paid for by the hiring entity, not by you as the candidate.

Ready to take the next step in your career? Let’s work together.

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