This is some of my best advice. Read it, use it, call/email me if you have questions.

What's the most difficult interview question.... "Tell me about yourself." If you'll follow this simple outline and keep your answer under 30

seconds (preferably 30-45 seconds), you'll hit a home run every time:

  •  Who I am
  •  What I've done
  •  What I want to do
  •  How I can help you

Your objective is not your life story or everything you've ever done. Simple and cogent, and if they're interested, they will ask for more. That's your chance to elaborate.

Return phone and email messages. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I constantly receive emails from physicians expressing their desperate desire to find a non clinical career, but it takes me two weeks to get them to return a phone or email message. If you're genuinely interested in career change, be responsive.

Never turn down anything but an unacceptable job offer. Let me explain, too many clients say, "I'm not sure I want that job, so I don't want to talk with 'them.'" First, you need the practice of talking about your value proposition, second, great differences can exist between job postings and actual jobs, third, jobs descriptions often change based on the candidate pool and the candidate selected. So always stay in the process to the very end. Then you can ask for concessions and decline the opportunity if it's not the right fit..

Have an understandable email address. I won't list some of the email addresses I've seen physicians use because I don't want to embarrass anyone. However, if you think you have a cute or funny email address change it or better yet, get a new address to use just for your job hunt. Acceptable email addresses are first initial, last name, MD/DO; "dr" first or last name @; or your full name if abbreviations aren't available.

Business-like voice mail message. I've had to listen to university fight songs, Broadway tunes, and seven children give me their names before being able to leave my message. Please don't make me or anyone else do that. "This is doctor LAST NAME, Please leave a message."

The ball is never in "their" court. Similar to being responsive, I too often hear, "I told them to call me back..." Never end a job or network inquiry message, voice, email, snail-mail with anything other than, "I'll contact you..." It's your career change, it's your job to be in control.

CV's versus Resumes. learn the difference

Know what you want to do - even if it's wrong. When asked what they want to do many physicians say simple, "I'll do anything where I can use my knowledge and experience in a positive way." With that "job focus" no one can help you (except me - because that's so often my starting point). It's better to tell someone, "I want to improve quality in an insurance company," or "I'd like to help educate other physicians about new pharma developments," or "I'd like to be involved in making quality and efficacy decisions with a biotech start up." Those areas not only make sense, but they can get the wheels turning for others to offer those, "have you thought of...." comments. So even if what you offer isn't where you end up, it's better to be wrong than to be vague.

Don't think you can rely on recruiters. This isn't a clinical job search, and executive recruiters don't focus on currently practicing physicians to fill nonclinical jobs. That simple.