Many students believe that their resume for medical school is not something that is given a lot of attention in terms of how medical schools decide to give interview invites. Having helped with the admissions process, I know that this is not true at all. MCAT scores and GPA are very important but remember there are thousands and thousands of students with similar scores so how do admissions officers decide to differentiate between applicants? The premed resume and the personal statement play a large role in this decision.
Start Working On Your Resume Early
Writing your premed resumed can be a daunting task and for me the best advice I ever received was to have a document saved on my desktop that I just list activities/awards/experiences as I participate in them. This is such a great way of not forgetting activities that you have participated in. If you wait until the last minute to try and come up with your resume, you will most likely forget things.
I came up with a system that would help me remember to write things down. What I did was at the end of the semester when I was finished with all of my exams, I would take some time to write down my accomplishments from that semester. I would write down volunteer activities, participation in clubs, awards, and shadowing since it was easier to remember what I did that past semester. Also, I would make a note of different aspects of each of the activities I did that may be noteworthy so that in the future filling out AMCAS would be a little easier. Making little notes under each activity was also very helpful when trying to think of different topics to write about in my personal statement.
Starting early with your premed resume makes the task less daunting and decreases the chances of forgetting something that you did. And when you take a look at your resume at the end of your 3rd year, all you will have to do is rearrange the information and input it into AMCAS.
Whoops…I Waited Until The Last Minute To Write Up My Resume
So if you are one of these people, that’s okay because there are a lot more students who wait until the end than those who prepare their resume from day one. The best way to write up your resume if you are doing it the summer before you will be submitting AMCAS is still do no wait to do it the night before you would like to submit your application. Give yourself at least a couple of weeks so that you can remember things that you have done. As days go by, something may prompt you and remind you of an activity that you did. If you wait until the last minute, you will definitely forget to write down things and not give yourself credit for some of the stuff that you have done.
If you are really pushing your deadline close and need a fast way to remember activities you have done, ask some of your closest friends if you can take a look at their completed/in-progress resumes. Being able to look at someone’s resume will give you the ability to remind yourself of activities you yourself have done. Also, if you know someone who is in medical school or is a year above you, you can ask to take a look at their resume to get a good idea of how to format your resume.
And if you waited until the night before, the best thing you can do is search for premed resumes on the internet and you will come across a whole bunch of resumes from students all over the country and the world. These will help you to add things on your resume that you may not think are noteworthy of adding to your resume.
What Your Premed Resume Should Look Like
You will find many different ways to format your resume and there are a lot of correct ways of doing this. But you can also run into some trouble if you try to make your resume look “different” so that they remember you. When you input information into AMCAS, there is really only one way to input the information so you cannot go wrong in terms of formatting. However, you should have copies of your resume with you at an interview so that if someone asks you for a copy you have a resume. And this resume that you have on hand is not a printed out version of what is seen on AMCAS. The resume should be professional and follow all the guidelines of a resume.
Each activity that you list should have a little blurb of information with it so that it tells the reader exactly what they want to know about the activity you have listed. This does not have to be an essay detailing everything you did but just a couple of sentences describing the activity and specifically your role in the activity.
Your resume should not be a compilation of lies. You hear this all the time and you would think why would anyone lie on their resume? Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who lie on their resumes and it can totally destroy your chances of getting into medical school. Some people think that they chances of them getting caught is so slim that it is worth it to lie. I hardly believe that because what you do when you lie is pretty much put your hard work in the past 4 years on the line. Getting caught would ruin your chances of pursuing a career in medicine.
In Medicine, we like to think we are honest, caring and professional people. For the most part that is true. Some of the most honest and hardworking people that I have met have been through medical school. If you are trying to go to medical school, try not to let yourself be dishonest in an attempt at that dream.