Getting the job

Tips for crafting the perfect CV: Advice for residents and physicians

A thoughtfully put together CV can help you make a better first impression and get you one step closer to your dream job.


When creating a CV, your first objective should be to make the reader’s job as easy as possible.

Will the reader find this information relevant? Let that question guide you throughout the CV-building process. Organized information and a simple layout will help you get your foot in the door.

Follow these do’s and don’ts to create the perfect CV:

These tips, tailored for physicians and residents, are from the Association of American Medical Colleges and Wanda Parker, the 2017-2018 president of the National Association of Physician Recruiters.

Do: Avoid the rejection pile

Spellcheck and a proofreader should quickly become your best friends: Bad grammar and spelling are the most common reasons CVs get thrown in the rejection pile, Parker says.

Do: Make sure to include …

  • Your name and contact information clearly at the top
  • Your board eligibility or board certification

Don’t: Include the following, to protect your privacy …

  • Your social security number
  • State license numbers
  • DEA numbers

While an employer might eventually ask for these things, they’re not necessary to include on a CV, Parker says.

You can also omit …

  • Test scores

Employers will be more interested in your board eligibility or certification, Parker notes.

Don’t include personal information like your …

  • Spouse and children
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Date of birth
  • Photo

“You don’t need to hide these things, but there’s no reason to out them on a professional resume,” Parker says.

Do: Show who you are by including your …

  • Volunteer work
  • Mission trips
  • Special interests

“These items give a picture of the individual and what he or she is involved with in the community,” Parker says.

Do: Emphasize your role by putting dates on the right-hand side of your CV, instead of displaying them above or next to your title.

Do: Take as many pages as you need.

There’s no hard limit to the number of pages a CV can be, Parker says. However, you’ll want to make sure that all of the information included is relevant, concise and necessary.


Leave a comment Please see our comment policy