Creating a Physician CV
The physician CV is the most important document that practices/institutions use to select candidates. At a glance, hiring managers and physicians must be able to quickly assess your background, skills, and knowledge. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and stand out from competing applicants.
Physician CV Best Practices
Hiring managers must go through many applications, and errors are a quick way to weed out a sizable percentage of them.
As a standard, your CV should be clean, concise, inclusive (no gap in dates), and up-to-date with current employment and educational information. The purpose of your CV is to create further interest and secure a telephone interview!
What to Include on a Physician CV
The information you include will depend on what position you are applying for. For example, academic positions have different requirements than private practice positions. Be sure to incorporate — and highlight — the most relevant information to support your candidacy.
Generally speaking, a good CV will include:
Contact information & personal information
Your CV should start with your contact information: name, address, phone number, and email. Include any visa requirements you have. If you would like to include more personal information such as your age, marital status, or children, then be aware that potential employers have the right to ask you about any information you include. If you don’t want to be asked about it in an interview, don’t put it on your CV.
Education, training and qualifications
List institution names and dates you attended in reverse chronological order. Start with your Fellowship, then your Residency, medical school, then finally Undergraduate. This is also the best place to list any academic achievements or awards you may have received throughout your education.
Academic achievements and awards
Academic awards and achievements always look good. However, if you were a chief fellow or chief resident, that can also be listed in the section above. This is also the best place to list any academic achievements or awards you may have received throughout your education.
Work experience and employment history
Like your education, it is best to list your employment history in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent place of employment and work backward. The bare minimum of each entry should include the name of your employer, your title, and your primary responsibilities. If you had any noteworthy accomplishments during your time with a given employer, be sure to include them here.
Not all jobs should be treated equally. Spend more time on your most recent positions, filling them out with more detail. As a rule, only include relevant medical work and medical volunteer experience.
Skills & training
Include as many relevant skills in your CV as you can. This is an excellent place to differentiate yourself from other candidates with things like foreign language skills or specialized EMR/software training. All skills should be relevant, but don’t leave out any non-medical skills that can help you in the course of your work. Remember the goal is to be invited for a telephone interview!
Professional licenses, certifications & memberships
It is wise to include any state licenses and certifications you’ve gotten throughout the course of your career. Everyone understands that state licenses can take some time, so go ahead and note that you’ve applied for one even if you haven’t received it yet. This will let employers know you are serious about pursuing jobs in that state. Once you’ve secured the license, don’t forget to update your CV. This also applies to board certifications.
Finally, include any professional memberships or societies you might belong to. Anything that can show you are engaged with your field beyond what the average applicant might be is extremely beneficial.
You should keep your biography brief. The most important information will have already been covered in the initial sections, namely, work and education experience, so this is your place to include anything else that may make you an interesting candidate. Mention hobbies, interests, or anything else you want employers to know that didn’t fit neatly in any of the above categories.
Scholarships and grants
A good way to call out scholarships and grants is to give them their own section. Technically, you could include them in the Education section, but giving them their own space ensures they don’t get lost.
It’s important to note that research looks good on any CV, but is most relevant for academic positions. You don’t need to skip these entirely if you are applying for a private practice but keep the section shorter.
Research, publications, presentations
Conducting research looks good on any CV, but especially for any academic position. Be sure to link to any papers you published that resulted from your research.
Many hiring managers like to see candidates with experience teaching others, especially if it is in a classroom or hospital setting. Don’t hesitate to include any presentations or lectures you’ve given, as they show you have public speaking skills and experience.
You may be asked (or choose to) include a statement if you are applying for an academic position.. There are a few different kinds of statements, each with a different purpose:
- Areas of Interest
- Short- and long-term goals, and your plan to achieve them
- Philosophy and approach to learners
- Activities that demonstrate a commitment to teaching
- Tailored to the institution you’re applying to
- Contributions to promoting diversity
- Statement of willingness
What Not to Include
Here is a quick list of things NOT to include in your physician CV. This information is either not relevant to the hiring manager or may actively hurt your chances of getting hired.
Do not put any of the following on your CV:
- salary history
- reason for leaving previous positions
In regards to references, have them prepared on a separate sheet of paper and only give them to potential employers upon request.
How Long Should a Physician CV Be?
Most CVs should cover no more than two pages unless you are applying for an academic position. These can be longer, given the requirements for applying for one of these positions. Considering the volume of possible information we listed above, it may be necessary to cut out some of the less critical information. Your goal is to ensure that the content of your CV is clear, structured, concise and relevant.
In some cases, you may be able to save space by using a bullet point format as opposed to a paragraph format. Use bullet points vs. paragraph format to minimize word usage. Your CV should be easy to read and give the prospective employer enough information that they want to speak with you further.
Need More Guidance?
At U.S. Renal Link, our goal is to connect hard-working, qualified physicians with the best practices all around the country. A big part of that is making sure that you feel completely equipped for the application process.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team!