A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume remains the most important tool for job searches despite social media profiles receiving a disproportionate amount of attention. For physicians, a good CV or resume can display their top medical skills and professional qualities, as well as most recent work experience, in a page or two of content. In this article, we’ll look at some of the key strategies physicians can use to improve the quality and impact of their CV or resume.

An article from the New England Journal of Medicine Career Center provides several key tips for creating a physician CV or resume that shines:

  • Ensure the content is polished and error-free, particularly as it relates to the accuracy of employment and schooling dates
  • Feature everything that is on your work calendar, including a brief description and timeline of those roles and assignments
  • Focus on differentiators like committee work, involvement in quality-improvement initiatives, medical student teaching or mentoring, and assistance on hospital IT projects, to name a few
  • Showcase examples of dedication and persistence that led directly to successful outcomes
  • Save the career statement or job objective for a cover letter or email note, unless specifically requested to be part of the CV or resume

In terms of structure, the article offered content order tips for trainees seeking an initial practice opportunity, but that can also be applied to a practicing physician’s CV or resume:

  1. Name and contact information
  2. Education, undergraduate through internships, residencies, and fellowships, as well as specific clinical roles and any leadership roles
  3. Licensure, including status of applications planned or underway, if any
  4. Board certification or status
  5. Professional medical experience, including procedure and patient volumes as applicable to the specialty, and any administrative roles or duties
  6. Activities and committee memberships, including roles and brief descriptions of associated accomplishments
  7. Honors, awards, and professional affiliations
  8. Publications and presentations

By implementing as many of these tips as possible, you’ll help make your CV or resume stand out against those of your peers. With your CV or resume in order, it will also be easier to utilize those elements in building an effective social media presence.