Preparing Your Curriculum Vitae for Residency
What is a curriculum vitae?
A curriculum vitae (CV) is similar to a resume in that it documents your educational and professional accomplishments. But unlike a resume, it is typically more detailed and can also be used to highlight your personal interests and activities. Including such information is optional, but doing so can help distinguish you as an individual. When developing your CV, think about what your prospective organization is looking for in a candidate, and then try to present your competencies and experiences in a way that speaks to those needs.
Headings to Include
The following headings are typically found in a CV. At this stage of your career, some of the headings may not yet apply.
Contact and personal information
Include your full name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of the CV. If you have a LinkedIn profile or relevant personal webpage, include this information as well.
Objective statement (optional)
Limit your objective statement to one or two sentences, tailored for your prospective organization. If you choose not to include an objective in your CV, you can include it in your cover letter.
List schools attended (medical school, graduate education, and undergraduate education) in reverse chronological order, with the most recent listed first. Include the school name, degree completed, and graduation date for each.
Internships, residencies, fellowships
Include the name of the organization, the location, your specialty, and leadership roles if applicable.
Board certification, specialty, and states in which you are licensed
Do not include license numbers.
List experiences that are relevant to medicine or that show your range of experience. Be sure to include the following in the order listed:
- Organization name and address
- Dates of employment
- Short description of duties
Publications, presentations, and other activities
For publications, include complete bibliographic citations. For presentations and other activities, include titles or event names, as well as dates and locations.
Professional memberships, awards, and honors
Include full names of organizations, years of membership, and leadership positions held, if applicable. For awards and honors, include the name of the honor or award, the location, and the date received.
Extracurricular activities and interests (optional)
Although this information is not required, it can help the person reading your CV learn more about who you are and whether you are a good fit for the organization. Try to show how your activities helped you develop skills such as leadership, supervision, communication, or collaboration, if possible.
Because your CV is typically your first and only chance to make a good impression, it’s important to ensure that it is error-free and uncluttered. Ask others to proofread it several times to ensure it is free of grammar, spelling, or other errors.
- Leave plenty of white space.
- Use a simple, professional font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
- Include a name header and page number on all pages.
- Place job title, organization name, and duties on the left side and dates on the right.
- Choose a format and stick to it. Layout, spacing and structure should be consistent.
- Use parallelism: keep the structure of your phrases and/or sentences consistent throughout your document.
Strolling Through the Match
For a comprehensive guide of the Match process from start to finish -- including the timeline, process, and tips on ranking programs -- download this all-in-one resource from the AAFP.