Getting personal: Three items you want to reveal in your CV

How much and what type of personal information should you give prospective employers?

Paula S. Katz | May 21, 2015

Prospective employers want to know more than where you went to school and did your residency. But how much and what type of personal information should you give prospective employers?

Include a cover letter for more emphasis on your wants and needs.

You probably know not to list your date of birth or social security number on your CV. But discussing certain personal issues in your cover letter can give you a leg up on getting the job by explaining why you’d be the best fit.

1. Make a tie to geography, if applicable. “Say, for example, ‘I was born in Chicago. My parents, siblings, grandparents are there and that is where I want to work,’” says Regina Levison, vice president, client development, Jordan Search Consultants, St. Louis. “There’s a higher prospect that you’ll stay long-term if there’s a family connection.” If you have no family connection, discuss why the community is of interest to you. That also indicates that you’re planning on putting down roots.

Include your hobbies if they relate to the location. If, for example, you want a job in Colorado, note that you like mountain biking and hiking, advises Tommy Bohannon, divisional vice president, Merritt Hawkins, Irving, Texas. “But don’t devote two pages to why you like cricket and walks on the beach,” he warns. Include just enough, he says, “to give them a sense of who you are.”

2. Discuss your children and their ages. Knowing what the area offers your family assures employers that you know about the community, cost of living and housing. Also, just mentioning that you have children indicates that “you’re settled down and are not the party boy going clubbing every night,” Ms. Levison says.

3. Note if your spouse or significant other works in health care. The organization interviewing you might also be looking for a nurse or another physician. Having someone who could fit that bill could bump you to the top of the pile.

Given the costs of filling openings—Ms. Levison says that placing a primary care physician can cost upwards of $250,000 by the time the person is up to speed—employers want to know you’re ready to make a commitment.

So if you’re not married, it’s particularly important to show you’ve done your homework on the community, she says. “It’s especially important for physicians who are single to give a reason you want to be there because employers know you’re very mobile,” she points out.

Your cover letter can also say a lot about you in a short space. According to Dotsy Mallone, manager, physician recruitment, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center, a cover letter that highlights specifically what your interests are and what you are looking for will allow recruiters to best match you with their opportunities. Watch the video for more hints.

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