How to Land an Interview With Your Perfect Group
You’ve found your preferred job. Use this advice to get the interview.
So you’ve found the job you want. Now you have to land an interview. First impressions are everything.
The most important interaction you have with your future group will be the first email you send, which should contain a cover letter and your curriculum vitae (CV). It is therefore paramount to showcase your professionalism in that first interaction with a future employer. The purpose of this article is to help you prepare a proper cover letter and summary of your accomplishments, which will in turn get you an interview.
Having been solely in school and residency for countless years, you may have had limited experience writing a cover letter — I know I did. In fact, you may have never even seen one. The cover letter is an introduction intended to provide a description of your qualifications and interest in the position. There are many great examples online which can serve as a launching point, such as this cover letter on the job site Monster.
A separate cover letter should be written for each application, tailored to each potential group with specific background or experiences which uniquely qualify you for that job. If the position requires mammography and you completed an unrelated fellowship, then mention the electives you did during residency and how you achieved the required mammography numbers for ACR certification. If the job you want is in a rural practice in the Midwest, mention that you grew up in a rural Midwestern town. In short, be honest and forthright with your reasons for applying to that particular job, which with luck will inspire interest from the employer and make you more memorable.
Although a CV is traditionally used only in academia, I believe it is still more appropriate than a resume when applying for your first private practice position out of training. You likely do not have a long list of previous work experience or practice building achievements. You probably aren’t even board- certified. A resume would be uninformative and noncontributory — it’s a tool that might be used in medical parlance but should never define such a crucial element of your introduction. It’s not superfluous to showcase your achievements up to this point in the academic realm you’ve inhabited.
Hopefully you’ve been maintaining a CV during your training, but if you haven’t, then it’s time to carefully catalog all of your activities up to this point. Duke University has a great online guide with myriad good CV examples. Remember that the CV is not limited in length and should be exhaustive. Even if your publication about inter-observer reliability of aortic aneurysm measurements is not pertinent to your future employer, it will at least show them that you were not doing the bare minimum to graduate from your training.
You wouldn’t show up to a first date wearing a mustard-stained undershirt and gym shorts, so don’t start off your working relationship with a typo-filled, unsophisticated introduction. Personalize a formal cover letter for each application and polish your CV to get an interview for your dream job. In the next and final post, I will talk about preparing for success in the interview.
Ivan DeQuesada, MD completed his neuroradiology fellowship at Emory University this summer and joined the Radiology Associates of North Texas in Fort Worth.