CV Writing Refresher Tips
Fall is quickly approaching, which means applying to opportunities for many physicians. In the past few months, I have reviewed hundreds of CVs, all in varying states of "ready to submit", so I think it's time for a quick refresher on CV writing and to answer some basic questions with CVs.
Contact information is important!
Your CV should list at least two forms of contact information on it to ensure a potential organization can reach out to you. Why two forms of contact info? Because I have ran into multiple CVs where an email address is no longer being used or there is a firewall issue, or the phone number is out of service. Make sure that as you are listing out your contact information that you are putting down contacts that you use regularly.
Question: "Do I have to put contact information on my CV? I don't want to be contacted by organizations or recruiters constantly."
Answer: Yes! Omitting contact information from your CV may result in you not being contacted about your perfect opportunity. You can go to sites like Yahoo or Gmail to create a free email to be used specifically for recruitment.
Organize your CV in an easy to read manner.
Keep in mind, many recruiters are looking for key information on your CV, i.e. work history or licensure, so you want to make it easy for them to find. Make sure that each section header used makes sense for the information you are putting underneath. If the information is scattered throughout the CV it will become consuming for the recruiter to look for, they may come back to your CV later when they have more time to read through it. You should also add page numbers to your CV to help keep the CV in order if it should get out of order.
Question: "Do I need section headers throughout my CV, or can I just list the dates for everything out?"
Answer: Yes, you need to put section headers throughout your CV even if you have dates for all of your information. This makes it easier for recruiters to review your CV, and it helps you to make sure that you have the necessary information.
Make sure that you are including pertinent information.
This is one that some physicians struggle with because it's really easy to provide too much or too little on a CV. I have seen CVs that include information like "Out on maternity leave" or "Traveling to the United States", you do not need to put that information on your CV. Recruiters will ask about any gaps they find between opportunities or training. Also, watch descriptions throughout your CV. Including too much information about a past experience, volunteer experience, or award can add unnecessary length to your CV.
Question: "Do I need to include the dates on all of my opportunities? I don't remember the actual month I started/ended for some of my opportunities"
Answer: Yes, you need to include dates (mm/yyyy) throughout your job description. Not only does this give the recruiter a better look at your work history and how long you were in each position but will help you when it comes time to credentialing. Do the hard work now so you don't have to search for the information down the road.
Keep your CV easy to read.
This comes from a combination of organizing your CV, listing pertinent information, and formatting. Your CV should range anywhere from 1-5 pages if your CV is over 5 pages due to publications, presentations, or extensive work history select the items that are most recent or most relevant to the opportunity you are applying to and list as "Selected Publications" or "Selected Presentations" and keep the rest in a separate document to send over when requested. Also, make sure to use an easy to read font and color. Do not try to make your CV stand out by using hard to read fonts or bright colors.
Question: "My CV has all of my presentations and publications listed if I edit this list down will they think this is all I've done?"
Answer: By labeling the section as "Selected" this will give the indication that there are more publications, articles, presentations, etc.... Having a large CV does not mean that you have a strong CV, remember it's about quality, not quantity.
Even though there are other CV items not listed in this article, you can check out the Career Resources section to read up on more CV tips! Have a question about your CV or want a free review? Email us today!
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