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PT and the Greater Good

Starting Over

Published May 15, 2012 9:08 AM by Dean Metz

Graduation is upon me. I have to finish my final project and take a comprehensive examination on all I have learned in my MPH studies. All that will be done by early July. This means it is time to put a new CV together.

I've done a basic CV and sent it out to trusted friends and colleagues. The response was polite. They all praised my accomplishments and the work I've done over the past 20 years as a PT, rehab manager, blog writer and sometimes author. Every one of them has a different idea on what makes a good CV. None of their advice is bad or unwelcome; that is why I sent it out after all. I just don't know which bits and pieces to integrate.

The panel included a director of human resources, a clinical director of a health care organization, a VP at a major medical devices manufacturer, my PT mentors (when you're as old as I am, you can have two!) and a former boss. The common thread from the feedback is something along the lines of, "We don't know where you're going with this. It is too general." Those in for-profit corporations had different ideas than those in not-for-profit organizations. I'm trying to eliminate the little stuff without leaving any gaps in employment and without diminishing my accomplishments.

I'm winding up either with a tome that could better be utilized as a doorstop or a mini-leaflet on my professional life. Neither is going to work. Should I capitalize on my clinical expertise with older adults, my people-management skills or my latest internship, which is probably the only thing directly related to a new public health post that I will want?

Oh, and of course the panel is all from the USA. I still haven't gotten feedback from UK friends, which could lead to "... and now for something completely different!" (Who will get that reference?)

Back to editing for me!


Both Toni and Janey give excellent advice. I'm discovering most of my concern is for naught as most employers have templates to complete online.

I should be able to bring customized ones to the eventual interviews I'm granted! Fingers crossed!

Thanks, Dean

Dean May 29, 2012 10:17 AM

Good advice from Toni. I have two different CVs that emphasize different skill sets.

Also, good collective advice to heed: hone in on your goal. From previous posts, I'm assuming you're diving into new waters. If that's true, it can make this task more challenging. Understandably, you may be wanting to keep your options open as you enter this new arena, not wanting to narrow the field too early. However, those who receive your resume will want to have a sense of what direction you're headed.  How else will they know if you are a right fit for their open position?

A thought on resume style, which you may already have covered. The style I'm most familiar with lists experience in a timeline using employers. Given where you've been and where you want to go, this may not be the best option. Have you considered a resume that highlights your experience in terms of skills? This allows you to show your strengths while eliminating employment gap concerns. Win-Win.

Given your unique situation - changing careers and being in a different country/culture - you may want to consult with a healthcare/administrative UK recruiter for a resume critique. Few professions would have a better pulse on what elements of a CV lead to success than someone who spends their days getting other people jobs. I never had much regard for headhunters, then I married one. He hasn't done it in a long time, but when he did he helped clients present themselves in the best possible light, which included CV makeovers. If you find a good one, they'll be able to guide you in what the market is looking for. And they should be able to do that even if you don't use them to secure a job. Although, after my husband educated me in what a quality "headhunter" could do, I used one myself and was very pleased with the results.

A word of overcame impressive odds securing a job in England in a competitive field - beating out natives for the job. And not an entry level job at that, but a higher level post.

I can only imagine how overwhelming this new step must feel, but from a distant perspective it seems like you already have a considerable leg up from before you moved to the UK:

1. You've already scaled their foreign wall of red tape, which is not to say a domestic wall of red tape doesn't still await.  Seems domestic would have to be less intimidating than foreign, no?

2. You were hired in a foreign land before you spoke their dialect. Now you can hold your own while conversing over a pint.

3. You became a physiotherapist while holding a green card. Now hold UK citizenship. You aren't entering this new arena as an outsider, but as a comrade looking to enrich your shared homeland.

Best to you on your new endeavor!

Jane Goude May 17, 2012 1:46 AM

Monty Python.  

You might consider having more than one resume.  Develop one for each group you might send it to.  Instead of a tome you'll have a few stand alone chapters that highlight different accomplishments.

If you have two sparrows with a coconut between them.......

Toni May 15, 2012 8:39 PM

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About this Blog

    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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