Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) is the most important tool to market yourself to new employers. We all know you are busy, but there is no excuse for a poorly written CV with spelling, grammar, or formatting issues. Here are some CV Writing Tips to ensure your application gets viewed.
Your CV should include:
- Contact information (address, phone, email)
- Special employment requirements (i.e. visa/greencard status, work restrictions)
- Training – medical school, internship, residency, fellowship (hospital name, location, dates, and specialty) you should not leave any gaps. If you took a leave of absence from training, explain it.
- Licensure/Board certification
- Leadership Positions
- Professional organizations
- Language skills
Cover Letters – Do I need one?
The real question you should ask when debating between sending or not sending a cover letter is: What else must this employer know about me? If your cover letter just summarizes your CV, you haven’t done yourself any favors. Remember, you are selling yourself against other applicants. If there is something that uniquely qualifies you for the position or a specific reason you are interested in the area, tell them! Those are examples of information the employer won’t gather from your CV, and it will set you apart from the others.
If you do include a cover letter make sure it is personal – address it to the hiring physician or recruiter. And once again, always check for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do list training and experience in reverse order. This will put your most recent activity at the top of your CV.
- Do include a statement or objective at the beginning of your CV. This will give employers an idea of the type of position you are looking for. It is also best to edit this for each position you apply to.
- Do get a second opinion. Even if writing is a strong suit for you, always have a colleague or program coordinator look over your CV for errors.
- Don’t use too many styling effects. The whole document should be in 1 font, and have no more than 3 stylistic variances (bold, italic, underline). And never use more than 1 color font – black being the obvious preference.
Over 95% of the views your CV gets will be on a computer screen. You should consider creating an online profile to supplement your traditional CV. Once created, you can include these links on your CV.
Our favorite free and easy sites are:
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn allows you to network with employers and collect online recommendations.
- VisualCV: VisualCV is a great option if you want to append letters of recommendations to your profile and other documents.
- Doximity: Besides being the largest physician social network, your Doximity profile is a great public profile to link to because it neatly organizes your credentials and work history.
- CVConnection: If you want some privacy, join this network. Only employers with accounts can view your profile and no outside third-party recruiters. Also, CVConnection will send you job matches based on your preferences – all the work of job search is done for you!
In today’s job marketplace, a recruiter spends 10-30 seconds on average reviewing a CV. The goal is to instill confidence in the reader that you are the physician he or she seeks. It is important that your CV be clear, organized, and concise.
Download this Guide: CV Writing Tips