Best Practices for Writing a Physician Resume for Locum Jobs

If you’re interested in pursuing a locum tenens physician job, one of the first things you should do is dust off your resume or curriculum vitae (CV) and whip it into shape. But if it’s been a while since you even glanced at it, a few pointers from locum staffing professionals could be helpful.

Eric Banfield, sales operations manager for Staff Care, has overseen an administrative team that supports the locum tenens agency’s recruitment division. In this role, he and his team have helped countless physicians and other providers improve their resume for locum jobs and create a strong candidate profile. He offers the following strategies to help you get started and ultimately land the locum physician assignments you want.

Learn more about locum tenens jobs.

Best practices for creating a locum physician resume

1: Ensure your physician CV is up to date.

When you’re busy working as a full-time physician, it’s easy to forget about the document that helped you secure that job. Time passes, until one day you realize that you have let your work information get out of date. So, now it is time to through your physician CV or resume and make sure that you include your most recent work history at the top, including your current position. You may also need to update your certifications, state medical licenses, awards or skills list, including specialized medical equipment that you have used.

Going forward, make it a habit to periodically revisit your resume and update it, so you won’t have to do a big overhaul again later.

2:  Include all relevant information.

When creating or updating a physician CV, you want to make sure you don’t inadvertently leave out any information that a recruiter or a prospective employer might need to know. So do a thorough review and check the details before you submit it.

Generally speaking, a physician CV should contain the following information:

  • Your full name, address, phone number and email address
  • Your educational history, including your medical school, degree and year of graduation, and your undergraduate school, degree and year of graduation.
  • All internships, residencies and fellowships, along with the location, areas of specialization, and years of completion
  • States in which you hold a current license to practice medicine
  • Your professional experience, listed in reverse chronological order, with your most recent job listed first.
  • Any credentials you hold
    Activities, committee memberships, honors, awards and professional affiliations
  • Research and publications
  • Fluency in other languages should also be noted

  • When Banfield creates presentations about locum physician candidates for healthcare organizations that are hiring, he only includes the last decade of the physician’s work history. But it’s still necessary to keep track of your full work history because it will be needed later on.

    “For the credentialing process, they will need the whole spectrum of your work history,” he said.

    3:  Use the right format

    Occasionally, a physician will submit a resume to Banfield that’s formatted more like a novel than a resume, with long paragraphs about their experience.

    Unfortunately, that won’t win you any points with a locum tenens recruiter who just needs to know where you’ve worked over the past decade, where you did your residency, and where you have a license to practice. They may not have time to sift through dozens of pages and read a detailed narrative about your professional life.

    In most cases, a concise resume that’s three or four pages long with “just the facts” is more appropriate for submitting to a recruiter for a locum tenens job. A solid locum physician resume is one that uses:

  • A clear, uncluttered format
  • Clearly titled sections with bullet points highlighting the most important information
  • A font that’s easy to read

  • Some candidates may benefit from following a physician resume template. However, if you do have a long, impressive list of publications, consider creating a second CV that details all of them. It might also come in handy later.

    Additional advice for your locum resume

    Don’t forget to proofread and check for errors after you’ve made all your updates, Banfield noted. You’ll also want to look for what’s not included.

    “Just make sure that any gaps in your work history are noted in your CV,” he said.

    It’s fine to have a gap. Many people have to take some time off to care for children or aging parents or attend to personal matters or undergo treatment for medical conditions. Your recruiter just needs to be able to account for those time periods.

    “Everybody’s not on the same track, and things do come up in people’s lives and sometimes you do have to take that time off,” Banfield said. “It’s not held against you.”

    A Brief Guide to Writing a Physician Resume, with Samples 

    Staff Care has hundreds of locum tenens jobs available across the U.S., and our team has the tools and expertise to help you secure the ideal assignment. 

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