As the new year approaches, it is a good time to think about updating your curriculum vitae (CV) to ensure all information is current. In addition to emphasizing your work history and education, your CV can be used to highlight personal interests, volunteer work, publications, and other items that distinguish you as an individual. CVs do not have length restrictions; however, the general trend is 2-3 pages. Your CV should include information on each of the following (source: aafp.org):
Include your full name and contact information (address, telephone, and email address). If you choose, you can also include your LinkedIn profile or personal website in this area.
Always list items in reverse chronological order, with the most recent experience first (medical school, graduate education, and undergraduate education). Each entry should include the school name, degree completed, and graduation date.
Internships, Residencies, Fellowships
List the organization name and location, your specialty, and any leadership roles you held.
Board Certification, Specialty, and State License(s)
Listing license numbers is optional but not necessary.
List experiences that are relevant to medicine including the organization’s name and address, your position, dates of employment (month and year), and a brief description of your duties.
Most healthcare employers require an explanation of any gaps in employment or schooling. It is good practice to be proactive and list all employment/schooling gaps right in your CV or cover letter. A few of the most common reasons for time gaps include taking time off to travel, being a stay-at-home parent, etc.
Publications and Presentations
Include all relevant information, including complete bibliographic citations for any publications. Information on presentations should include titles and event names, as well as dates of presentation.
Professional Memberships and Awards
Close your CV with any membership or honors you have received. Include all relevant names and dates.
It is not necessary to include your references in your CV, but you should keep them up-to-date in case a potential employer requests them. Review your references periodically to ensure that they remain current. Guidelines for listing references are as follows:
- For credentialing purposes, most facilities require 4 professional references (which should only include peers or supervisors).
- A peer is defined as an individual in the same professional discipline with essentially equal qualifications. (MD and DO are considered equivalent; DDS/DMD for DDS/DMS: PhD for PhD, etc.)
- Each reference should have personal knowledge of your current (within the past 6 months) clinical skills, abilities, judgment, professional performance, and clinical competence or have been responsible for professional observation of your work.
- Include the following information for all references:
- Full Name
Formatting Your CV
Keep formatting professional by using standard fonts such as New Times Roman or Arial. Using bold or italicized lettering can help words stand out – just make sure to use a consistent layout throughout the document. Because CVs span multiple pages, it is also a good idea to include a name header and page number on all pages.