The application folder: tips for medical professionals

Your personal future can depend on the few pages of a cover letter. It pays to make an effort here! Nevertheless, the application should not remind of an advertising campaign . Tips and tricks for the application portfolio – from A for cover letter to Z for character set.

Application folders - Photo: Jeannette Dietl,

An art in itself

Writing a good application is an art in itself: with the help of just a few pieces of writing, you have to convince the chief physician that you are the ideal candidate for him or her. Presenting yourself confidently enough in your written application to stand out from other applicants – without coming across as arrogant and chummy – is often time-consuming hard work. Since the letter of application is a very individual "marketing", there is unfortunately no royal road for it. Nevertheless, you should take a few things to heart when putting together your application portfolio.

The form must be correct

Many applicants disqualify themselves in the first round because of serious formal deficiencies. One can arrange an application folder very differently, the documents must be however absolutely in impeccable condition, clearly and without large trouble to be read. You should always have the stressed boss in mind, who has little desire and time to rummage through an application – great packaging art is not required here! "Whether the application folder is made of plastic or cardboard is unimportant," says Prof. Claus Spieker, Chief Physician of Internal Medicine at the Raphaelsklinik Munster. "The overall impression is decisive."

Spelling errors must be avoided at all costs. Even if you’ve read your application a hundred times, at least one more person should review it. It is difficult to convince the recipient that the applicant will do his job conscientiously if he is not even able to write without mistakes.

Concise, but substantial: the cover letter

Every application consists of three parts: the cover letter, the CV and the attachments.

The Cover letter Lies loose on the application folder and is never longer than one page. About five to six short sentences must be enough to arouse the boss’s curiosity. Every sentence should have substance – prefabricated sample formulations and copied phrases from guidebooks are absolutely taboo!

"There’s no point in rattling everything up and down that supposedly belongs in an application," warns PD Dr. Letterio Barbera, head of vascular surgery at Bremen-Mitte Hospital. "Instead, it must show a person with his own profile, someone who thinks with his own head. The applicant should definitely be honest." For Prof. Spieker, motivation is a crucial point that should definitely emerge from the cover letter: "Why this particular field and with what career goal?"

Also personal skills, such as social competence, the ability to work in a team and the assumption of responsibility are important. These should be supported in the cover letter by concrete examples, such as: "As the leader of a sports group, I have learned to act responsibly."

Most bosses consider a completed – or nearly completed – doctorate and professional experience abroad to be major plus points. Even activities that have nothing to do with medicine are sometimes beneficial, such as a stint in broadcasting. You can show that here is someone who is not running through life with blinders on. For example, there is the story of a surgeon who, after a year as a tango dancer, successfully applied for a job in surgery again.

First inform, then write

You should inform yourself well about the company and the department in which you want to apply. "From the research may arise Points of contact for the cover letter", says Christian Kersting, assistant physician in pathology.

A personal connection to the clinic or department, for example through dissertation, clinical elective or PJ tertial is certainly optimal. But even without such a connection, the cover letter should make it clear why you want to work at this particular clinic and nowhere else. Johannes Menke, assistant physician in internal medicine, recommends that the Something special about the clinic to mention, for example, a wide range of medical conditions.

Before you go to the PC to formulate your cover letter critical self-assessment useful. PD Dr. Barbera recommends asking yourself the following three questions in front of a mirror. First: Who am I? Secondly: What can I do and what are my strengths?? Third: What do I want to achieve?? This is also a good preparation for the interview.

Life on a page

How the curriculum vitae is designed is Taste – Headings can be italicized, bolded, underlined, written in a larger or different font than the rest of the text. However, the form once chosen should be kept, as well as the decision for or against the new orthography. A CV should only be handwritten if the employer explicitly requests this.

As a rule, the "curriculum vitae" comprises one page. "If the activities are very interesting, however, I don’t mind a second page," Prof says. Spieker. In any case, the curriculum vitae should be complete – changes in studies, idle periods or curiosities should be listed, preferably with conclusive reasons.

In general, the following applies to descriptions of individual activities: The longer they date back, the shorter they can be. In the structure you can proceed classically chronologically.

The following points cause headaches for some applicants "special knowledge" and "hobbies and interests". In any case, business and computer skills as well as foreign languages should be mentioned – a self-discovery course in India and the VHS course in nude painting are better left unmentioned. With honorary offices and social commitment one can assume that they are positively evaluated. In the case of political activities, one should keep in mind that one is treading on thin ice here, depending on the orientation of one’s boss.

Star portraits

The application photo does not come out of a vending machine, but from a professional photo studio. It is worthwhile to dig a little deeper into your pocket here. You should also keep in mind that bosses are often under time pressure and usually only skim the numerous applications. An attractive and meaningful photo increases the chance that the employer will take a little more time for the applicant.

Before writing, you should ask your reflection three questions: Who am I? What can I do? What do I want to achieve?

In the classic version, the photo is pasted on the top right of the resume. In the meantime, however, it is also common to arrange it on an extra cover sheet in front of the resume. Many prefer the following structure: The reason for the application is written in larger letters and centered, such as "Application from Karl Muller". The photo is pasted, also centered, below or above the text. Since the cover page offers enough space, the picture may now be somewhat larger. However, it is also important here The right size. A photo that is too large is intrusive.

Behind the curriculum vitae

It is best to arrange the attachments According to relevance, for example: license to practice medicine, certificate of medical examination, specialist certificates, clinical traineeship certificates and then the school leaving certificate.

References can be useful if they say something special about the applicant. Johannes Menke suggests that medical students have a certificate issued for each clinical traineeship and each PJ tertial with specific information about the person. This is certainly worth more than the usual certificates, whose statement does not go beyond the mere confirmation of attendance. A personal recommendation from the doctoral advisor can also help.

A fad of the last years is the Personality profile, an extra page after the resume. Here the applicant can again in detail the own motivation for the subject or special to the person kundtun. He can also use the site to explain career oddities. The personality profile is only recommended if there is really something of weight here – otherwise it is better to do without it. PD Dr. Barbera warns of inflated marketing, behind which is only hot air.

Online and unsolicited applications

In some professions Online applications now common – not in medicine. Most chief physicians would like to have folder in the hand so Christian Kersting strongly advises against it: "An online application is even more impersonal than an application sent by mail. In addition, you have to reckon with the fact that the chief physicians are rather of the old school and can do with it little."

Also Prof. Spieker and PD Dr. Barbera are not convinced of this. This form of application gives the impression that little work is done and applications are sent indiscriminately throughout Germany.

With an Unsolicited application If one applies, although no job is advertised. PD Dr. Barbera evaluates this form of application consistently positively, because it shows the enterprising spirit of the candidate. Even if there is no immediate vacancy, you may be able to fill it at the next opportunity – for example, if an employee falls ill or changes jobs.

Reward for the effort

The costs for a letter of application can be Tax deductible. Also from the employment office there can be money. "If the applicant is registered as unemployed or looking for work, respectively, we can up to 260,- Euro per year reimbursed, not counting travel expenses," informs Werner Marquis, spokesman for the NRW Labor Office. "The same is true if someone is employed with compulsory insurance but is threatened with unemployment – that is, if they practically already have their notice in their pocket."In all cases the employment office can pay, but does not have to – a proper portfolio remains in the hand Discretionary application. Werner Marquis recommends contacting the employment office and explaining the personal situation.

But no matter how much money and effort you put into your application portfolio, there is no guarantee for success. Since a chief medical officer is only human, his or her choice can be very subjective.

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