With the world abuzz about AI, are you looking for a competitive edge to help ensure you can AI proof your Physician Assistant resume and land a job offer for your dream job?
This article quickly outlines how AI is increasingly used to screen and rank Curriculum Vitae and the six things you can do to position your CV for the best possible outcome.
In today’s competitive job market, AI resume screening has become a common tool used by employers to quickly sift through the large volume of job seekers.
But, what exactly is AI resume screening, and how can you ensure that your CV passes this screening?
About AI Resume Screening
AI resume screening is the use of the algorithms to filter professional experience and rank job applications. Companies can influence the algorithms by selecting predetermined criteria of desired skills or attributes.
This technology has become increasingly popular among human resource professionals and recruiters. It’s a way to streamline the hiring process and identify the most suitable candidates without opening and looking at each individual CV.
The Process of AI CV Screening
AI resume screening automates the process of looking at CVs by using machine learning algorithms to analyze CVs from online applications. These algorithms look for certain attributes, transferrable skills, and clinical experience in order to identify the most relevant candidates.
In its most simple form, AI resume screening works by scanning for keywords that identify a wide range of medical skills and Physician Assistant qualifications that match the requirements of a Physician Assistant job description.
As algorithms expand, they can also take into account factors such as previous employers, job experience, education, and other relevant information.
For example, algorithms can begin to identify the candidates that are most successful Physician Assistant / Nurse Practitioner and use attributes on their CVs when ranking applicants – schools attended, prior employers, etc.
By automating the initial screening process, Physician Assistant recruiters can engage more time with the most promising candidates – leading to faster and more efficient hiring decisions.
As the technology continues to evolve, it is important for Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners to approach AI resume screening as a tool that will play a role in their hiring.
Cons of Using AI to Screen Resumes
While AI resume screening tools can be beneficial in helping to streamline the initial stages of the hiring process, they are not without limitations.
Some critics argue that these tools may inadvertently discriminate against certain groups of people, as they may not account for non-traditional career paths or experiences.
Additionally, there is the potential for biases to be built into the algorithms themselves, which could further perpetuate existing hiring inequalities.
AI Resume Screening Tools
The vast majority of medical practices utilize some type of software with AI resume screening algorithms to relevant skills and identify the best candidate for the position through the use of key words.
These are referred to as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Most ATSs utilize AI when reviewing your CV.
ATS systems can quickly compare your CV to the job (assuming you applied directly to a job), manage the application process, and have searchable databases of all CVs that search professional resumes in their database based on keywords and other Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant qualifications.
Many employers use ATSs looking for relevant certifications, transferable skills, and resume samples of ideal candidates for AI matching.
Generally, the companies enter 6-12 skills and find as many matching impressive resumes from ideal candidates.
Machine learning algorithms can analyze resumes to identify keywords, soft skills, and phrases that align with the Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant job description. This helps to ensure that the most qualified candidates are brought to the attention of the hiring team.
While most likely today the focus is on words matching skills, AI is growing rapidly, and you can expect the algorithms to mature to consider other attributes including:
- the average time spent working at previous employers
- the value of certain names of your previous employers
- giving more credit to certain institutions or certifications programs over others
- volunteer experience and level of assistance to patients
Public job boards also have ATS functionality. When you upload your professional resume to a job board (to apply to a job or be found by a medical practice), most job boards build AI into their CV search engines. This allows employers to match your CV to their open jobs that are posted on that job board.
So, how can you ensure that your standout resume passes this AI screening?
6 Tips to Build a Physician Assistant CV That Is AI Ready
In today’s digital age, companies use AI screening tools to sift through CVs quickly. Your focus is to ensure that your CV stays near the top. As these tools are programmed to perform matching functions, it crucial to optimize your CV to get past these AI gatekeepers.
If you’re struggling to get your resume noticed by these AI screening tools, here are six tips to help you build a resume that showcases your relevant experience and gets past the initial screening process:
1. Think About What Matters Most to the Medical Practice
It does not matter how great you are, it matters how great the employer thinks you are. Start by using the employer’s view before considering any online application.
- Consider the point of view of the hiring managers. What are the attributes in a Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant the hiring manager wants most?
- Use your experience at your current practice to identify them. Patient volume, clinical experience, transferrable skills, complexity of cases, progression of learning? Did you address each item?
- Go back through any prior interviews and consider questions you were asked. Are those items detailed on your CV in simple sentences?
- Look for any potential red flags on your CV and decide how and where to address them – gaps in employment, not located in the hiring city, lack of relevant experience, etc.
2. Focus On the Specific Job Description for Relevant Keywords
When searching for a job, it’s important to focus on the specific job description to ensure that the role aligns with your transferable medical skills, soft skills, and experiences.
By understanding the specific requirements and responsibilities of the job, you can tailor your application and prepare for the interview more effectively.
The job description is a valuable resource that provides insight into the company’s expectations and the qualifications they are looking for in a Physician Assistant. It details the specific duties and responsibilities of the role, as well as the qualifications, skills, and experience required to be successful in the position.
Include non-medical ancillary items such as willingness to be on call, work weekends, handle a standard patient volume, and medical foreign language skills. All of these extra requirements are usually including in the job description.
By carefully reviewing the job description, you can identify keywords and phrases that you can use to showcase your transferable medical skills and experience in your application and during the interview process.
It also allows you to assess whether you have the necessary skills and experience to excel in the role and to determine if the position is the right fit for you.
What If the Job Description Is Weak?
But, here is the problem. Many employers write very mediocre Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant job descriptions that convey few clinical skills or diagnostic tests required for the job. What do you do?
Try using AI to beat AI. Use Bing search engine (which has AI built-in) and enter in some simple questions like –
“What are the top 5 medical procedures performed by a Dermatology Physician Assistant?”
- Skin Biopsies
- Excisions and Surgical Procedures
- Acne Treatments
If you don’t want to use AI, you can search job boards for similar job titles and review those job descriptions for specific keywords.
You now have some great keywords (which needs to be reviewed for accuracy based on your professional knowledge / experience) to sprinkle into your CV.
These tactics of using AI, Bing, and job posting reviews can work for almost every Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant job to develop a resume that exceeds the expectations of their potential employers.
Here is a good list from a random Urgent Care Physician Assistant position that lists a valuable set of clinical experiences.
- Must be able to see and treat patients of all ages.
- Must be able to perform minor procedures, such as: foreign body removal, suturing, and I & D of abscesses and Paronychia’s.
- Must be familiar with management of minor dislocations and fractures.
- Should be able to perform basics of EKG and X-Ray review.
- Should be able to multi-task and manage time well.
- Family Practice, Emergency Medicine, or Urgent Care experience preferred.
Here is an example of a random Urgent Care Physician Assistant position with much less detailed clinical experience.
- Provide comprehensive medical care to patients under the supervision of a physician.
- Perform physical examinations and take detailed medical histories.
- Order and interpret diagnostic tests, such as medical imaging, to aid in diagnosis.
- Prescribe medications and develop treatment plans for patients.
- Assist in surgical procedures and provide post-operative care.
- Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to coordinate patient care.
- Educate patients and their families about medical conditions, treatment options, and preventive measures.
- Conduct research and contribute to the advancement of medical knowledge.
By reviewing multiple job descriptions, you can begin to use multiple Physician Assistant job descriptions to help build out the more exhaustive list of clinical experiences for your online application.
Understanding the specific job description, reviewing the job descriptions, and developing keywords, can also help you to prepare for the interview.
They allow you to anticipate the types of detailed questions that may be asked during the interview. Now, you can tailor your responses to demonstrate how your skills and experience align with the requirements of the role.
3. Fancy Formatting Can Cause Problems
When it comes to producing professional and effective CV, formatting is essential.
Proper formatting can make a CV easier to follow and understand, which is crucial when trying to convey your Physician Assistant qualifications.
How to Select a Font
One of the most basic but important aspects of formatting is consistent use of fonts, font sizes, and spacing. A document that switches between different fonts and sizes can be jarring and difficult to read, while inconsistent spacing can make it hard to follow the flow of the information.
Try to use one well used font such as:
- Times New Roman
Different font size between the header and body is standard. By ensuring that these elements are consistent throughout the document, you can create a more cohesive and polished looking piece.
Headings, Subheadings, and Spacing
Another important aspect of formatting is using headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break up the text and make it easier to digest.
This can help the reader to quickly navigate the document and find the information they need, without having to sift through a wall of text.
Pay attention to the use of white space. White space, or the empty space around and between elements on a page, is a powerful tool for improving readability and drawing attention to important information.
By carefully considering the spacing between paragraphs, bullet points, and images, you can create a document that feels less overwhelming.
If you are lacking white space, you may have too much included in your CV and may want to consider eliminating less important items.
Consider Your Resume’s Layout
In addition to these basic principles, it’s also important to consider the overall layout of the document. This includes factors such as margins, alignment, and the use of columns and tables.
Your CV will be scanned into a ATS and parsed (where the ATS selects aspects of your CV like name, email, phone number and places them into specific fields in the ATS). Make these details easy to find.
Overall, formatting plays a crucial role in the overall effectiveness of the parsing process in the ATS and the AI process. Some suggested formatting items include:
- Use a standard chronological CV format.
- Submit in a standard format such as PDF.
- Do not use the header / footer sections if you are submitting a Word Document.
- Avoid formats that divide your CV into columns on a page.
4. Does Your CV Match the Job Descriptions?
When applying for a job, it’s important to remember that no one-size-fits-all approach will work for your resume. Each Physician Assistant job posting is unique, with its own set of requirements, qualifications, and responsibilities.
This means that if you want to land your dream job, you’ll need to tailor your resume to each specific job description.
This seems like a lot of work, but most people don’t apply to that many different specialties jobs and most Physician Assistant jobs can be grouped by specialty (Dermatology, Orthopaedics, etc).
We covered how to identify keywords / items in the above section. Tailoring your resume means grouping the jobs you find interesting and writing CVs for each of those groups.
In doing this, keep your CV in a chronologic order, but ensure that each section of your CV is modified based on the specialty you are pursuing.
This way not only shows the employer that you have the specific qualifications they’re looking for, but it also demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to thoroughly understand the job requirements and are truly interested in the position.
While it may be tempting to send out a generic resume to multiple job postings, taking the extra time to customize your standout resume can increase your chances of getting noticed.
With many applicants vying for the same position, a compelling resume can help you stand out from the competition and show that you’re the best fit for the job.
Finally, it’s important to remember that tailoring your key achievements doesn’t mean embellishing or exaggerating your qualifications.
Your goal is to get an interview and you will need to answer for what is listed on your CV. Instead, it’s about showcasing the most relevant and compelling aspects of your professional background in a way that resonates with the specific job requirements.
5. Old Resume Advice Is Still Widely Applicable
In the fast-paced and ever-changing job market, the advice on how to create an effective resume may seem to evolve just as quickly.
However, the “usual” resume advice is still widely applicable and can make a significant impact on the success of job seekers.
A classic piece of advice is to keep your resume clear, concise, and easy to read. Reviewers generally take seconds to scan your CV.
Organize and Proofread Your CV
Using bullet points, organizing information into sections, and choosing a clean and professional font can all help to make your resume more reader-friendly.
Proofreading and editing your resume is crucial. Even a small typo or grammar error can detract from your professionalism and attention to detail – and a Physician Assistant is a profession about details.
Taking the time to carefully review your resume and possibly having someone else look it over can help ensure that it is polished and error-free.
Showcase Your Accomplishments
It’s also important to showcase your achievements and accomplishments rather than simply listing your job responsibilities.
By quantifying your results and highlighting specific accomplishments, you can provide concrete evidence of your value as an employee and make a stronger impression on potential employers.
While new trends and technologies may come and go in the world of resume writing, the fundamental principles of crafting a strong and effective resume remain the same.
By adhering to the timeless advice of customization, clarity, achievement showcasing, and proofreading, job seekers can increase their chances of standing out in a competitive job market.
6. Trying to “Beat the System” Can Backfire
In today’s fast-paced and competitive world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to “beat the system” in order to get ahead.
Whether it’s finding loopholes (search resume white fonting) in the rules, or pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable.
Your goal is to present the best real you in order to have a meaningful dialogue with your future medical practice. Just because you don’t get the job today, you want to be considered next year when you are more ready!
Are All Applications Reviewed by AI?
While many fields use AI extensively, PAs and Nurse Practitioners are in such high demand that your CV may see the light of day without pumping it full of keywords if you’re a strong candidate or you apply to a smaller practice.
Here’s how it works:
- AI CV screening is used the most by hospitals and medical practices and solid AI strategy if important when applying to larger practices / hospitals.
- Smaller practices will most likely look at every Nurse Practitioner / Physician Assistant CV regardless and proceed with those they find most qualified.
- While you need to customize your CV for each job / specialty, maintain a well written compelling online resume on public job boards – you never know who may reach out with a great opportunity!
Frequently Asked Questions
Want to dig a little deeper? Here are some follow-up questions that may provide more information.
Is There an “Official” ATS Physician Assistant Resume Format?
No such thing really exists – this is not like passing PANCE. Basically, a CV that is formatted properly, contains all necessary contact information, and is a great representation of your education, key qualifications, and professional experience.
What Is the Most Widely Used Physician Assistant CV Format?
We look at many resumes from multiple specialties. Reverse chronological is the number one format with a couple of exceptions.
First, if you are a recent Physician Assistant graduate you want a new graduate format.
Second, is if you are very niche and need to demonstrate a number of specific skills for your niche, you may want to use a reverse chronological but also include a list at the top that addresses your skills or procedures.
How Much Personal Information Do I Include?
Personal information is generally limited to your name, professional email, and phone number. Most people include their city and state, but do not include your home street address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, also include your LinkedIn URL.
Do Physician Assistant Resumes Need a Summary?
The Resume summary is a hot discussion topic: include / exclude / what to say. Deciding to write a summary will be the last section of your CV to complete.
First, you want to include all of your experience in sufficient detail with the appropriate keywords to identify specifically for that practice / role.
When you finish, look at your CV and ask if the summary can add any value. If it does, either add a summary or consider a more in-depth cover letter.
For example, you are applying for a managerial role but your CV does not list any managerial experience; you may want to expand on why you want the managerial position.
A second example is that you speak intermediate medical Spanish that was not drawn out in the CV detail or you received awards for your performance as a Physician Assistant.
What Information Is Included on the Professional / Employment Section?
If you are working on your experience section, here’s some extra tips. For professional jobs, you want to include:
- Practice name and location including their city and state.
- Dates of employment (month and year) – red flag if you list only the year.
- Your Title. Include keywords if necessary. Let’s say you are a Dermatology Physician Assistant and your employer’s name does not include the word Dermatology. You title needs to be Dermatology Physician Assistant to get that keyword associated to the job.
- Bullet point key job duties. If you’re uncertain of what to put, use AI to list the top procedures for your specialty and include the ones you are qualified to perform.
- Include patient volume as most practices want to know the volume of patients you see daily.
- Always include any extra language skills and your level (beginner / medical / etc).
- Consider awards if the title seems meaningful. Employee of the month is probably not worth including.
Why Are New Graduate Physician Assistant Resumes Different?
As a new or recent graduate, you do not have the experience and patient volume of an experienced Physician Assistant. You are looking for a practice that is able to provide you with the training and mentorship as you quickly gain the medical experience.
- As a recent graduate, your Physician Assistant resume focuses on your education and clinical rotations. Generally, the clinical rotations listed at the top – often in a reverse chronological resume order.
- Below the clinical rotations, include any preceptor jobs that provided you with medical exposure. Do not include jobs that have no direct medical experience or your undergrad summer jobs, etc.
- Follow with your education degrees. Include the name of your university, what degree you received and what your actual or anticipated graduation date is or will be.
- Consider a custom summary or cover letter to describe the type of opportunity that interests you the most. Customize the summary to fit the the practice type. Don’t use a generic summary and apply to an Orthopedic practice – write a summary explaining why you are passionate about orthopedics.
What Professional Qualifications Are Included on a Physician Assistant Resume?
This really depends on your experience. The more experience that you have, the less important listing general Physician Assistant certifications. For example, if you have five years of cardiology experience, the practice knows you are a licensed Physician Assistant. If you are a recent graduate looking for Orthopaedic opportunities, indicating that your NCCPA status as well as any relevant professional memberships that pertain to your desired specialty like Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery (PAOS).
Should I include a Physician Assistant Cover Letter?
Generally, the cover letter communicates items not covered in a well written standout resume – especially items that the hiring manager may question when comparing your qualifications to the open position.
Most applicants don’t need to include a cover letter. If you believe something needs more explanation, a cover letter is a great option for you.
Stress your strengths and address anything seen as a potential weakness. Find a way to present yourself as in alignment with their needs despite any potential failings in your past.
For example, if you changed your career goals, you want to move into a new specialty, you are moving to a new location or you left a previous role unexpectedly.
If You Do Include a Cover Letter
- Always include your contact telephone and email on the cover letter to help ensure that the Applicant Tracking System associates both the CV and the cover letter to the same record in the software
- Customize, customize, customize. Not just the name of the practice – but let them see your passion for working with their medical practice.
- State your points as concisely as possible.
With Physician Assistants in High Demand, Won’t a Person Look at Every CV Regardless?
Saving the best question for last – the answer is most likely yes! Your CV will make it into the hands of a recruiter or hiring manager. Particularly, if we put it on their desk for you.
Are you looking for a new job as a PA? Explore the opportunities we currently have on offer in our job seekers database.
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Who is Lynda Gregg?
Lynda Gregg practiced as a PA in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology. She desires to help, heal and network. It is no wonder that Lynda has progressed from practicing as a PA to serving PAs. She is a tried and true connector with a passion for the industry and for helping medical professionals flourish in their careers. Click here and connect with Lynda on LinkedIn.
Not only can a dedicated medical recruitment firm help you launch your career with a great job, but they can also support you on the journey, working to determine what is the best job for you. Click here to read “How to land the best Healthcare job, the first time!”
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