Writing a resume
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for Public Health professionals are estimated to grow 17% by the year 2030, more than most other professions (2022). Yet a well constructed resume will still give you an advantage in securing your job of choice.
Do your research
When searching for jobs in public health the range of qualifications required can feel daunting. From environmental to research, from global to community, you simply can’t meet all required qualifications with a standard resume. For your resume to stand out to a future employee, it should be tailored to the job position specifications. Do a little investigating into the company to understand particular skills they might value (Hiration, 2022). Will the company be a good fit for you? If you have not kept a running inventory of all of your achievements, start now. This will be useful to draw from when tailoring your resume and for writing your CV (Gillings School Career Services, n.d.). Leave out information that does not correlate with the job description.
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A brief summary of no more than 5 sentences should introduce your resume. The Hiration blog on resumes recommends using a cause and effect format to highlight your core expertise (Hiration, 2022). For example, state how your experience in health management enables you to deliver improved patient satisfaction.
Resumes are generally organized in two ways: reverse chronological and functional (MacCarthur, 2022). Deciding which format to follow depends on your situation. If you have a strong professional history, consider using reverse chronological. This is the format most employers are familiar with. Start from your most recent job and work backwards to demonstrate your professional development.
Photo: resume samples | Hiration.com
If you have had gaps in your work history or are recently completing a degree, a functional resume is a good choice. List relevant achievements, awards, licensure, certifications, skills, internships and volunteer experience. Again, leave out the information that cannot be tied to public health or the specific position in general (Publichealth.org, 2022). Be sure any required and preferred qualifications you have are easy to distinguish. Also clarify why a particular skill will make you a good candidate (MacCarthur, 2022). If you have completed a public health project, emphasize your teamwork abilities. Record work history after your qualifications.
Photo: resume samples | Hiration.com
A resume should be professional and easy to read. Bullet points keep it concise and readable. Make sure you have someone else proofread for typos. Write in third person-don’t use personal pronouns. A street address should be left off, and your email should be professional sounding (ie just something simple like your name). You may be a highly qualified applicant, but still keep it to one page (MacCarthur, 2022). Include a tailored cover letter that pairs with each resume. Personal information is not appropriate for a resume. Additional information can be included in your CV.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
How do you know when you should submit a CV over a resume? David Wiecek quoted to Madell in the US News and World Report:
“Whereas a resume is a synopsis or targeted snapshot of your professional life that is tailored to a particular job, a CV tends to be a more comprehensive document that captures everything and the kitchen sink: not just work experience and education, but all of a candidate’s credentials, licenses, public speaking engagements, exhibits and installations (for artists), publications and so on.” (Madell, 2022)
A curriculum vitae is literally interpreted as “the course of my life” (Van Bavel, et al.). The goal of a CV is quite specifically to construct a scholarly identity. Thus, your CV will need to reflect very specifically your abilities as a teacher, researcher, and publishing scholar within your discipline (The Writing Lab, 2018). The goal of a CV is to highlight your work experience and make your published work easily accessible. The Purdue Writing Lab even suggests a Google Scholar profile to create an online presence. Remove irrelevant/less prestigious work as you build your CV.
A CV is used for academic, educational, research, or science positions. Below is a list from the Gillings School of recommended inclusions in a CV.
- Dissertation/Thesis topic
- Postdoctoral Training/Fellowships
- Teaching Experience
- Abstracts and Presentations
- Professional Affiliations
- Research Grants
- University Committee Appointments
Remember that with any job search, a careful look at the job listing online should provide instructions as to what types of documents are requested. If you do your research, prepare with professional development, and follow the guidelines on composing your resume and CV, you are bound to get a call back.
Gillings School Career Services. (n.d.). Revamp your resume or CV. UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. https://sph.unc.edu/students/revamp-your-resume-or-cv/
Hiration. (2022, January). Public health resume: the 2022 guide with 15+ examples and samples. Hiration, Inc. https://www.hiration.com/blog/public-health-resume/
MacCarthur, S. (2022). Resume writing for public health. MPH Online: a Red Ventures Co. https://www.mphonline.org/public-health-resumes/
Madell, R. (2022). What is a Curriculum Vitae or CV? US News & World Report. https://money.usnews.com/careers/articles/cv-vs-resume-whats-the-difference
Publichealth.org. (2022). How to write a public health professional resume. Public Health Resume Guide. https://www.publichealth.org/resources/resume-writing/
The Writing Lab at Purdue OWL and Purdue University. (2018). Writing the curriculum vitae. Purdue Online Writing Lab. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/resumes_and_vitas/writing_the_cv.html
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, April). Health education specialists and community health workers: job outlook. Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Predictions. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm#tab-6Van Bavel, J., Gruber, J., Somerville, L., H., Lewis, N., A. (2020, January). How to write a clear, compelling C.V.-Letters to young scientists. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aba8977