I’ve got to change my ways, dress for business every day

I regularly have to look at CVs for new doctors looking to work in the hospital. In many of them, the candidates point out that they are “proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.”

Well done! That’s great! However, in this day and age, claiming in a CV that you can use Microsoft Office is equivalent to saying you can set a video recorder. There was a time when it was impressive, it’s not impressive anymore.

What does it mean to be “proficient”? You can open a document and save it? You can insert clip art? Can you put a calculation into an Excel cell? If you do not know that F5 can start a slideshow in PowerPoint (and in my experience, NOBODY seems to know this amazingly useful tip) then you are not proficient.

So, instead of claiming proficiency in a bloated piece of productivity software (that should have died years ago, but its monopoly ensured that it didn’t), what could you say as a young, dynamic doctor on your CV about tech and IT, that might give you an edge?

– Facebook: the danger of Facebook is, you know, it’s Facebook. I know some people who have separate personal and professional Facebook pages. It can be difficult to maintain a professional one if you are so early in your career that you have forged enough of a professional profile to warrant it.

– Twitter: I have yet to meet a CV that has someone’s Twitter ID on it. It’s only a matter of time, I suppose. To be honest, I don’t know if I would ever put my Twitter handle on my CV. I’m not concerned if an employer sees it, I just don’t see how promoting a Twitter feed of “#nowplaying Mr Blue Sky” on my CV is of much use. Stay true to the maxim that you shouldn’t put anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t say loudly in a crowded pub.

– LinkedIn: I think that by now every CV should have a LinkedIn page. I remember one candidate in the past year where after the interview I wanted to find out more. They were on LinkedIn but had absolutely no information there – which somehow seemed worse than not being on LinkedIn at all.

– Blog: If a candidate wants to go beyond LinkedIn, and demonstate they have a bit of ability, a blog is a useful tool. They have never been simpler to put together, even a simple Tumblr page can act as a roll call for medical ideas and thoughts.

– Podcast: a huge amount of time and talent is needed to orchestrate, manage and edit a podcast. However an appearance on someone else’s medical podcast is worthy of a line on the CV.

Any other ideas and opinions on this out there?

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