Saturday, 21 April 2012

Tips for Writing Resumes (especially for newly qualified radiographers)

The most important thing you can do when applying for a job, especially your first radiography job out of university, is to have a strong resume. When you consider that everyone applying for a PDY/NPDP/New Grad/Level 1 (whatever you call it, wherever you are) Radiographer position has the same amount of clinical experience and effectively the same skills then what will set you apart is a great resume. Which is easier said than done. Here are some tips I have come across by reading a lot of resume of radiographers applying to my hospital as well as university resume courses I have attended. There is obviously no one correct way to write a resume, but there are certainly a lot of wrong ways.

Career Objective
Probably the hardest part of the resume to write. Don’t be afraid to tailor this to each job you apply for.
  •        I am a graduate of …..
  •        I would like to obtain a position where I can continue to develop my skills in general   radiography, fluoroscopy, theatre and mobiles
  •        I would like the opportunity to train in modalities such as CT and MRI so as that I can develop a well rounded skill base and be a valuable team member

Obviously if you are applying for a position  where they for example don’t have CT and MRI, it probably isn’t worth mentioning that you would like training there as it may make you look like you don’t really want the job there.
I also wouldn’t recommend writing something like “I hope to study medicine and become a doctor” because it makes you seem like you only have short term ambitions for the job, whereas most workplaces are looking for a more long term employee.

How far back you go probably depends on how old you are. If you have been out of the work force for 20 years and have just recently completed a degree, you’re high school results are probably not necessary. Since most newly qualified radiographers completed high school reasonably recently, it is worth putting it in.
Mention any notable achievements such as awards or particular high marks (e.g. high GPA or high averages across subjects).

Clinical Experience
I have found the best way to set this out is to mention responsibilities you have had across all clinical placements. E.g.
-       use of CR/DR systems (Kodak, AGFA, Fugi etc)
-       performing examinations on wide range of patient presentations from ambulatory to non responsive
-       working independently and as part of a team

It is also good to mention where you have had clinical experience as this gives an indication of what skills you have developed. With each clinical setting, mention what specific skills you learned there. E.g.
  •          final clinical placement at …. Hospital had extensive CT training and performed … procedures independently.

This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate all the training in different modalities you have gained.

Skills Summary
This is your chance to demonstrate all the key capabilities you possess which have been developed not only through clinical experiences but any other jobs you have had. A lot of job applications will mention certain skills you should have, so you should consider tailoring your resume to include these skills.
May include:

Clinical Reasoning Skills
  •  questioning/assessing patients, identifying issues with requests, modifying examinations/techniques for patient presentation, evaluating radiographers

Practical Skills
  •          experience in general, theatre, mobiles etc
  •         trauma or paediatric experience
  •         image interpretation

Professional Conduct
  •           there is probably a guide or document to reference e.g. in Australia it is the Australian Institute of Radiography Guidelines for Professional Conduct for Radiographers, Radiation Therapists and Sonographers and The Code of Ethics       
  •       awareness of patient confidentiality, OH&S, non discrimation etc

Communication and Teamwork
  •          make mention of other jobs/activities where you have demonstrated this as well as clinical settings
  •         communication and teamwork with radiographers, nurses, radiologists, referring doctors, other health care professionals

 Other Skills
  •         CPR/First Aid
  •         Other languages spoken
  •         Possession of a driver’s license

Obviously where you can demonstrate other responsibilities you have had. It is especially important to demonstrate skills, which are transferrable to radiography (e.g. communication, teamwork, organisation etc.

Don’t have to go into too much detail but it is important to show that you have a life outside of work. Mention of couple of interests you have and don’t be surprised if they are mentioned in an interview.

Transcripts/Clinical Reports
This will be expected to be included so their absence will look like there is something you don’t want them to know!

General “Don’ts” For Resumes
  •         Include a photo of yourself. I’m not sure why but employers generally don’t like this. They won’t hire you because you have a nice photo and it is generally unnecessary
  •         Make spelling/grammatical mistakes. Have as many people as possible read and correct your resume. Constant spelling or grammatical mistakes will be a definite turn off
  •         Talk yourself up to much. Find the line between demonstrating your skills and blatantly talking yourself up. You can’t be the best at everything, you can’t perform every possible examination and procedure perfectly so claiming it will only make you seem arrogant and complacent. I once read a resume which said exactly that but clinical reports said clearly the opposite!
  •         Make it unnecessarily long. Use bullet points and get to the point quickly as most employers will skim it quickly for the main facts. If it takes too long to read they won’t read it.
  •         Use a crazy font or colours. They won’t like it and it won’t help. Stick to the basics.

Hope this helps with the very difficult and long process of writing a resume. If you have any other tips or have seen something particularly terrible in a resume please share!


  1. You misspelled several words.

    such as: discrimination, pediatric, organization...

  2. I believe these tips are very helpful in inteviewing. Everyone should read this. Preparation is the key in landing that job or cereer we as radiographers work so hard to get.
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