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Tips For CV Preparation


The purpose of a CV or resume is to get an interview --- it is not the place to tell your life story. You want to convey to the recruiting party that you can fill their need.


  • Identify the kind of position you're seeking. If you are a family physician seeking an strictly outpatient practice, specify this in your objective. If you are an orthopedic surgeon who wants to do only spine cases, specify this.

  • Accurately present your credentials, background and experience.

  • Show what your special skills and talents are.

  • In the Personal section, present a glimpse of who you are outside of medicine. A prospective colleague who views your CV may be intrigued by your shared passion for jazz, gourmet cooking, or church life.


The days seem to be over where a CV is presented on white linen stationary. Most people will now want your CV sent to them online as a Word attachment. If your workstation is a Mac, handle the Word conversion before sending your CV off so others can open the attachment.

Do, however, have some nice hard copies of your CV on hand when you interview.

Be Succinct

Try to keep your CV to 2 or 3 pages. If you are a new resident, you may be able to accomplish the job in one page. Exhaustive lists of presentations and publications are typically not needed for jobs in private practice and are best presented upon request and as an addendum to the CV.

Explain Yourself

If you have any breaks in the chronology of your education, training or work life, it will need explanation. A change in residency programs also warrants clarification.

Insert a note where the chronological break occurs. Examples might be:

March 2003 - September 2003 Maternity leave with the birth of first child
July 2001 - November 2001 Traveled with family and studied for IM boards
June 2004 - Present Working locum tenen assignments while conducting search for new full-time practice

Regarding training program changes, possible explanations for a change might be:

  • Program closure
  • Change in specialty
  • Illness or disability
  • Family needs
  • Academic suspension


It is the industry standard to supply references upon request. However, if you are a graduating resident, a list of your training references may be listed on your CV. If you are a practicing physician, supplying references on your CV could potentially violate the confidentiality of your search or prompt calls to references without your knowledge and prior permission.

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"Keep your CV to 2 or 3 pages."

"Explain breaks in your CV."

"Beware of listing references."
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