Attn! people who hire other people! Resume structure, what should I include?

Your advice and experience would be very much appreciated!😩I've been applying to jobs for what seems like forever without any success, not so much as an interview. I know that the best way to get a job is through networking but COVID makes that pretty difficult (I am still doing cold calls). I have a feeling that my resume isn't putting my best foot forward. I used a template that my school gave but it doesn't have an area for "skills" and it's also very stark. I have an MD, MBA, and am in the last stretch of a master's of Business Analytics so I'm acquiring coding and analytical skill to go with the softer MBA type skills and medical type skills. I'm applying for jobs that I really think I'm a good match for but I'm getting nothing, I would be grateful for any advice or encouragement right now. Thank you for your precious time! * I've included a picture for reference and this link should work
Specifics will depend on the types of roles that you're applying to, but the one thing that stands out immediately is the lack of numbers!When reviewing resumes, I find this to be extremely helpful because it helps contextualize the scale of your experience. A lot of these can be simple tweaks across all of the points. For example, you say you "recruited patients for randomized control trials". How many patients? How big was the department? How long was the trial?
Hi LizThat's a great idea! I'll add those in. Thank you!
Don't have specific resume insight, but I noticed you're Ontario based and would be happy to chat sometime about applying to/interviewing with startups in general if that's any help (I'm in Toronto and have worked for a B2C and B2B startup here).
Hi Megan, I'd love to chat, I've been having a hard time understanding the Canadian start-up world and would love your insight! What's the best way to chat for you? Thank you!
Send me a DM and we can set up a video chat for next week!
A note that the photo attached is quite small, so you may want to share a link instead! :)
I didn't want it to seem like I was advertising so I just posted for the general layout. But I'll post a link as well!
Ah gotcha, thanks for being considerate! I had thought maybe you were looking for advice about specific points on your resume as well. Whatever you feel comfortable with, do that :)PS. the new link you shared via Share Point requires sign in that's not open to the public
I think I fixed in now, thank you for letting me know!
Works great now, thank you!
I’m also having a hard time seeing it, but one general piece of advice is human cover letters make a huge difference to me when I’m facing a pile of resumes. Not buzzwords about being passionate, adaptable, etc., but something that shows me the applicant actually looked at the role and our company, and has thought about how it might fit into their experience. I always get on the phone with folks that write a great cover letter, even if their experience isn’t a perfect fit for the job.
I totally agree! A thoughtful, specific cover letter written by a human can go so so so far.
Hi Arielle,I definitely struggle with cover letters. I want to be authentic but at the same time, I feel the need to fit into the conventional professional box. How do you feel about video cover letters or being more story-driven?thank you!
oh interesting! I’ve never gotten a video cover letter before but would definitely be open to it. I will say that it doesn’t need to be out of the box to stand out. something decently well researched that sounds like a human wrote it with good grammar does stand out these days 😂 if you DM me, would be happy to provide you an example of a great one I received lately (with identifying info removed for everyone’s privacy)
Arielle, would you be open to sharing with me as well?
Hey Dr. Baillie, would love to help out! And it's good timing — @Andy and I just finished building out an online workshop for writing better resumes and cover letters so I've been thinking about this stuff A LOT these past few months. Thanks so much for uploading a pic of your resume. It's so helpful and super loaded! I have no doubt you're a great match for lots of jobs. I encourage you to start tweaking the layout and content with the following in mind: 1. Skimmability. This sucker is pretty dense (not a lot of white space) and the organization was tough for me to digest at a glance — Experience vs Clinical Medical Experience vs Clinical Medical Research Experience; a mix of sentences, bulleted lists, lists with pipes, lists with commas, etc. At the skim level, my eyes go from Education down to Clinical Medical Experience (the first Experience header gets a little lost) then back up to Sonya Roe Jewelers (p.s. double-check if you have a typo there with Jewlers), which took me by surprise since they seem so unrelated. I suggest ruthlessly editing this sucker down to make it easily skimmable and so the eye goes to the most important information first, the second most important second, and so on. Feel free to delete anything that isn't directly related to the job you're going for. Resumes don't have to be a log of every single thing you've ever done — they're ideally just a document that showcases how you're a great fit for the open role you're applying to.2. Tailoring it to the job or type of job you're applying for. The resume seems designed with a medical career in mind, but your MBA/MBAN and Sonya Roe experience suggests that you might be shifting interests? If the latter is true, I think you can condense a lot of the medical content down — someone hiring for an analytics role isn't going to be all that interested in your curricular and elective clinical rotations, and there are 8 lines dedicated to that on your resume.One thing you could try is what Andy and I call "mining the job description." Try reading through the job description and highlighting any patterns, repeats, and standout words. Use that highlighted list to summarize two or three big takeaways — what is this job really looking for in a candidate? From there you can examine your resume and determine if the content supports those big takeaways. If not: revise, tweak, delete, add, and re-arrange as necessary. 3. Impact. Like lots and lots of resumes out there (including a bunch of mine) this version does a great job of telling a recruiter or hiring manager what jobs you had — but not if you were any good at them. And that's the information they're actually after. They want to know: Will this person do great at the job I'm hiring for? I echo what @liztsai mentioned about the lack of numbers. I'm craving the context of all the tasks and responsibilities you had with each of your roles.I also recommend underscoring your impact by updating your experience bullets using the "PAR" strategy, which stands for:Problem: Identify a responsibility or issue at workAction: Discuss how you addressed itResults: Describe the outcome of that actionFor example, your bullet on closing communications gaps — P: What was at stake? A: How did you close them? R: How did you know you succeeded in closing them? Infusing the answers to each of those questions within the bullet will help the person skimming through your resume understand how you'll slot into their open role and drive success within the team. Hope this is helpful! We wrote more about all of these things in a newsletter you can read here:! Shoot me a DM or email ([email protected]) if you're interested in taking the course. Happy to send over a coupon code for $100 off. You can preview the course here: thebent.thinkific.comGood luck!!!
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This is so helpful! I've been so in need of a critical eye on this, I can't tell you how much appreciate you taking the time to give me this feedback. I will definitely check out your course! Again thank you !!
Are you currently looking for jobs in the medical field? If not, I might recommend swapping the education to the BOTTOM of the template, adding a summary or skills section at the TOP, and pulling your most relevant experience UP. When I'm scanning resumes, if I see Education as the first thing, my brain processes this as "fresh out of school" and it subtly, subconsciously changes the way I read into the Experience section. Of course, you'll want to make customized versions of your resume, tailored to each job you're applying for, highlighting only the most relevant skills. That may mean elaborating more on recent experience and dropping irrelevant certifications or volunteer experience from the page.One more weird nit, but is that spelling of "Jewlers" correct? I know sometimes words are spelled differently in different versions of English, but that strikes me as potentially a typo?
Hi Melanie, Thank you so much! I've been thinking that I should move education, but I want to work in HealthTech and do want to keep my medical experience and knowledge visible but I definitely don't want to give the impression that I'm "fresh out of school". Thanks again for your insight!
Hi!Thank you for posting! First piece of feedback, you should drop the Dr. title it's a little too impressive ... KIDDING! Obviously Don't do that :-) Okay back to serious: 1) one word IMPACT! Your resume lists the things you do but without showing the impact (quantified) that you drove. e.g your most recent role at Sonya Roe Jewels, built an ecommerce go to plan, why does that matter, was it the first one ever? how was it different than what they were using and how did it improve the business? 2) You are clearly very smart (not a lot of people have that amount of degrees) and have a wealth of expertise but that is actually what might be causing you some issues. What roles are you applying? If you can focus on experiences that are directly related to the roles you are applying to, because what I might be worried is the lack of consistency among the things you've done. But don't worry this is easily fixable, think about the story you want to tell your employer and why they should get excited about YOU vs someone else! 3) make sure the formatting is spot on, the border/margins look off from the PDF link you shared
Hi Iynna, I know you're joking but should I consider removing the Dr.? Could it be off-putting? Thank you for the advice! I have a lot of work to do! :)
NOOOO It was 100% a joke! Don’t remove!
I echo that! Companies love to have someone on the team who can wear that cape!
Hi there! I think your resume really depends on the type of job you want, type of company, and level. I work for a health tech company and we always look for folks with a clinical background, but they also need to have a solid few years within business/tech experience as well to qualify for a manager level or above. Even though your background is quite robust in the clinical/research side, you would probably only qualify for an entry level role within a tech company (as ridiculous as that may be). Also, you'll want to make sure your job titles align with the titles you are applying for, or at least have some of the keywords. For example, if you were applying for a UX role, you would need the term UX sprinkled liberally through your resume, ideally within the job title. Recruiters usually spend about 60 seconds looking at your resume. You may also benefit from an "about" section at that top, that explains in 2-3 sentences why you want to transition from a clinical role to a more general business position (if that is indeed what you want to do). This information is if you are interested in tech - I couldn't speak to other industries. Hope that helps! DM me if you would like to chat further.
Hi Danielle,I'm not opposed to entry-level, I'm happy to start anywhere I need to. Thank you for the advice and insight, I'm definitely going to add an about me section, and try to add in the right key words!
Hi! I've hired in multiple industries, so I hope I have some gems to share!As some other folks have mentioned, I would move your education down and remove your title from your name if you are not looking for a job in the medical field. It sends a confusing message to the reader. On that note, it is ALWAYS helpful to spend time crafting your story: where do you come from (intellectual/interest background, not your life story), what did you experience, where do you want to go? It's hard for me to glean that from your resume. This is especially crucial when you switch industries: medical to jewelry/e-commerce (I went through fashion/law/finance/crypto myself, so I'm no stranger to these types of pivots).I'd also like to point out that you have typos in your resume – not a strong start to any hiring manager's eyes, unfortunately! A thorough spell-check is a must, as is consistent formatting.Happy to chat one-on-one if you're open to it! I help with resume building and interviewing skills at my alma mater and just within various networking groups. Would love to help out more people in the startup space!
Thank you! I'll DM you.
I agree with the other people, but I think it would be helpful to add a Summary that brings your experience and whole person to life! Your elevator pitch that shows what makes you YOU!
Thank you!!
Remove home address and location for all of your roles. And for goodness sake run the spellchecker your resume is fraught with typos and would not make it past most viewers because of that. Good luck.
Hi Sherie, I've had so many "friends" proofread it! 🤦🏼‍♀️ They are all fired. Thanks for the location advice as well!
Hi Baillie, I agree with the opinions above, and I would suggest to break down your resume first and then reconstruct. I'm kind of in the same situation as you (seeking opportunities during a pandemic), here is one method I have tried:Often we do a lot of different tasks in a role, especially if you work in a startup or small company. Maybe try creating a master document and listing all you've done in different roles, then mix&match your achievements according to the job description, because you are supposed to provide relevant experiences. For example, if you are transforming your career and going for a different direction, try listing something from your previous job that can speak about your abilities that are useful in this new field. And to echo the opinions above, a short summary at the front telling your story would be a great idea too. Hope these make sense! Best luck on the job search!
Hi Doyle,Thank you so much! I love the idea of a master list and using that to rebuild.
Googling “executive resume” will produce good examples of clean resume structures designed to highlight your accomplishments rather than your titles. This pdf is designed to assist in answering executive competencies for employment in American government, but offers resume examples that are pretty good for general content and structure (beginning on p. 33):