If you are a medical professional on the hunt for a new job, you need a quality CV to land that perfect position. Many people are under the impression that a medical CV is the same thing as a ‘standard’ CV, with the exception of the title. You may be surprised to find that they are actually quite unique, both in structure and information.
A ‘standard’ CV is a short, concise, typically one – two page information sheet that highlight recent education and experience, and focuses on overall skills and knowledge. While a medical CV will often exclude irrelevant information, a medical CV details all education, work experience, certifications, publications and presentations. The term Curriculum Vitae comes from the Latin, and literally means “the course of one’s career.” The trick is to format your CV so that a potential employer can quickly and effortlessly locate the information that they are looking for – while highlighting your qualifications in a clear and concise manner.
The first section of your CV should include your basic personal information including name, address, email address and phone number. Unlike a ‘standard’ CV, it’s useful to include your ‘Career Aim’ and extra-curricular activities.
Within your personal details, be sure to include details of your Medical Defense Union membership (if applicable) and your GMC status. Employers want to know if you are registered with the GMC or eligible once you have passed your PLAB test.
Stay away from fancy fonts, and stick to the basics. Although fancy fonts may look interesting on your computer, those fonts may not look the same when emailed, and may print completely different. If you are using a font that a potential employer does not have installed on their computer, the computer program will automatically substitute a different font in its place – sometimes even making the text illegible. Can you imagine spending hours compiling your CV, only to have it sent to the employer as an unreadable mess? To remedy this, choose a common and easy to read font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
The next section should include information about your employment experience, listed in reverse chronological order. List your most recent position first, and then move on to your previous positions. To assist potential employers with locating pertinent information, keep this section short and “to the point.” Don’t make any exclusion or have any gaps in your employment history. If you took a one year break to volunteer at a clinic overseas, put this on your CV.
Employers want to know everything you have done from the time that you graduate until the time that you apply. If you leave holes in your CV, employers will wonder if there is something that you are trying to hide.
The education section should also be in reverse chronological order, with dates included. If you completed a fellowship, this should be listed first. Following this should be information regarding your residency and internships while also including degrees earned and honours received. If you are currently studying, include your completion date.
Teaching / Management Experience and Audits
Mention all details of formal or informal teaching experience; maybe you’ve taught medical students during ward rounds? In addition, any management experience should be highlighted – particularly if applying for senior posts.
This is where you can include details of your recent publications. You may also include a list of your professional memberships, honours or awards, and any additional language skills that you possess. Depending on your preference, you may include references or simply add a line that says “References available upon request.”
Your CV should be professional, with no typos or inaccurate information. As your “lifeline,” you should spend several hours checking and rechecking the document until it is perfect. Try to look at your CV from a potential employer’s perspective. Is the information easy to locate and understand? Does the CV flow smoothly from one section to the next? Is there anything on the CV that would be a cause for concern? If you ask yourself these questions, and critically evaluate your CV from an outsider’s view, you will be able to rise above the competition.