Knowing what to put in or leave out of your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to get the best response from a potential employer can be hit or miss. Do you put in everything, even if it makes your CV eight pages long? Will the potential employer read all of it? What are they looking for? What if you have a few “blemishes” in your past you’d rather forget about? Do you construct your CV differently for a medical recruiter? Rob Rector of Pinnacle Health Group says there are definite do’s and don’ts when you are constructing your CV, whether for a medical recruiter or a potential employer. Here are guidelines to prepare the best CV possible:
Start with your full name, address, phone number, fax number, other numbers such as pagers and cell phone numbers, and your email address. If you are submitting your CV to a recruiter, include when, where, and how you prefer to be contacted.
If you are submitting your resume to a medical recruiter, follow your contact information with personal information. It is not recommended that you include personal information on your CV if you are sending it to a potential employer. By law, employers cannot ask a candidate for personal information. But if you are working through a recruiter, you may want to include information, voluntarily, that helps the recruiter to match your personal preferences and lifestyle to the opportunity. Personal information is always voluntary but helps the recruiter determine if you are a good fit for a particular opportunity. Are you married? Do you have children, if so, how many and what are their ages? What are your hobbies and interests? Personal information tells the recruiter what factors are important to you. For example, if we know you have children, this tells us schools are important to you. We also like to know if you are tied to certain geographic areas, where you are from, etc.
The education section should include as much detail as possible. List every single item, even whether you switched residencies, and if so, why. Be sure to check dates for accuracy.
List every place you have worked since graduating from medical school. Include positions that didn’t work out — it all comes out sooner or later. Reasons for leaving positions should be explained in your cover letter, not in your CV. When listing employment, start with your most recent and list all responsibilities, including procedures performed. A lengthy list of articles, CME’s, fellowship grants, and academic works are impressive, but employers will not read this information. Although this detail is nice to know, it’s best to present it once you are being considered for the position. Try to keep your CV to three pages.
Licensing and Credentials
Include states you are licensed in and board certifications including year and specialty.
Prepare three to six references including: name, telephone number, address, email address, and if associated with a company/facility. References do not have to be former employers, but they should be professional, not personal, references. Professional references may include someone you trained with, a past residency director, etc. References are not checked without your approval.
If you are a seasoned physician, it is important to understand why you are changing jobs at this stage of your career. This should be explained in your cover letter. Employers will want to know why you would leave a position after 12-15 years and what your expectations are. An example would be, “I want to continue working for ten years while my kids are in college.”Physicians who are fresh out of medical school need to be open to different opportunities, to the kinds of procedures they will perform, or the environment they are willing to work in. Don’t put information about license revocations, malpractice suits, or lost DEA numbers in the body of your CV — put it in the cover letter. Attach a photograph if you feel it adds to your presentation package. If unsure, the safest bet is to not include a photograph.
In closing, keep your CV factual and include a cover letter that helps your medical recruiter present you to the employer in the best light. Include personal information only if you are presenting your CV to a recruiter and want your personal preferences taken into consideration when matching you to potential employers and opportunities. Good luck!