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How to Create Your CV

The purpose of your Curriculum Vitae (a Latin phrase meaning “course of life,” or, CV for short) is to introduce yourself to prospective facilities. The CV concisely provides all of your pertinent clinical, educational, and personal information to clinical decision makers. It is an important component for securing a locum tenens – or any medical position – and should be updated regularly to reflect your medical preferences, practices and achievements.

Ideally, your Clinical CV should be about two or three pages in length although those physicians who have practiced for many years and are well published may have longer CVs.

General CV Rules:

The Format: Type and save your CV using Microsoft Word. Make sure your CV can be attached and read clearly in an email. You’ll want to send you CV as both a PDF (Adobe) so changes can’t be made on a CV once it is sent to a facility and as a Word file (so your recruiter can make simple changes for you).

The Look: Remember that your CV should look as professional as possible so when choosing a font you should use a universal one such as Times New Roman or Arial and be sure to size the text to 12-pitch. Use black ink to make your text easy to read.

The Layout: Keep your layout clean and simple. As a general rule, you should use at least a one-inch margins on each page of your CV. Employers typically use these margins for writing notes – so ample margins are helpful.

The Paper: Be sure to only use white bond paper. Colored paper does not provide enough contrast between type and paper and may come across as too dark if the CV needs to be transmitted via fax.

The Structure:

1. Contact Information
Your CV should begin with full name (followed by MD or DO and relevant credentials – PhD, MSc, FACP, FACOG,), address, phone numbers (home, work and cell) and email address. If you like, you can indicate your specialty.

2. Education and Post-Graduate Training
In reverse chronological order (most recent listed first) list fellowship and residency training, medical school, and college (include degree and major) names and locations and the dates degrees were acquired. If you did your residency at multiple locations, be sure to include the dates when you were at each institution. Some physicians choose to break Education and Post-Graduate Training into two sections.

3. Professional Experience or Employment
List your work experience in reverse chronological order as well. If you have held several positions within the same hospital organization but have not stayed in one location, make it clear that these were not separate employers. You do not want your CV to reflect short term employment with several facilities if this is not the case.

Make sure there are no unaccounted gaps between your years of experience. If you took a year off, provide a short explanation about the gap. It is helpful if you use mm/yy format to account for gaps extending over 30 days.

If you are a resident, the information in this section may be the applicable employment experience you had during medical school or college.

Locum Tenens assignments should all be listed under a separate Locum Tenens header within this section. List these in reverse chronological order as well. Include the name of the facility, city and state, agency name, and practice setting, i.e. Clinic, Urgent Care, Hospitalist, or Emergency Medicine.

4. Presentations and Publications
If you only have a few to include, you can place them between the Education and Awards/Honors headings. If you have more than half a page worth of publications and presentations (particularly since it is a Clinical CV), create a separate page for them.

5. Awards/Honors
This is where you should indicate any work-related recognitions or awards. If you received a major college scholarship, this would be the place to list that information.

6. Other Education and Training
Include any other relevant education or training. For example:

Course in Psychiatry – Family Practice, Clarke Institute, Toronto, 2012-14

Some people like to include their ATLS, ACLS, PALS, etc., information here. Indicate the specific dates so the employer knows how recent your training is. Indicate if you are an instructor in any of the areas.

7. Affiliations
This section highlights relevant Association and Society memberships held.

8. Personal/Interests
In this area you’ll put your marital status, number of children (if any) and your birth date (optional). This is the area you can use to note special interests and hobbies. Including some of your personal information can help a potential employer break the ice in your interview.

9. References
Do not include your references on your actual CV as you don’t want your references called/contacted before speaking to your first. Simply state “References provided upon request.” in this section or don’t include this category at all.Be sure to secure and keep your references on a separate sheet of paper ready to provide to facilities, as needed.

Be sure your references are aware you’ve listed them as a reference before they are contacted so they can be ready to provide positive comments about you.

[View Sample CV here]