Curriculum vitae, or CV for short, means “the course of my life” in Latin. This is your opportunity to market your efforts and show why you deserve to be accepted into medical school, receive a scholarship, or secure your spot in a prestigious program.
What is the difference between a resumé and a CV?
They are both similar in the sense that you are showcasing your hard work.
- usually used in academic settings
- broader scope (but not too much, all things in a CV have to be relevant*); shows the reader you are well-rounded
- not limited to one page, usually 2 pages long (gets longer the more experienced you become)
- no objectives section
- no reference page
- no title or cover page
- not limited to academic settings (you can send in a resumé if you are applying to be a cashier at a grocery store)
- more specific (if you are applying to be a waitress, the manager probably does not care if you mentored someone in Spain when you were in high school)
- limited to one page of content
- includes a reference page
- includes a title page/cover letter, it depends
- the first section is your Objective section/ your purpose
For the most part, your CV should have the following categories as long as you have information you can include.
- your full name at the top
- best phone number to reach you at
- your PROFESSIONAL/SCHOOL email address *please do not put an email you created when you were in sixth grade.
- address? only if you find it appropriate.
- List all institutions you have attended since graduating from high school. Include city, state, and years of attendance. Don’t forget to include summer school.
Professional Experience: Include the name of the organization, city, hours you may have worked, your role, and a brief description of your role .
- clinical observation
- any professional programs
Volunteer Experience/ Community Service: Include the name of the organization, city, hours you may have worked, your role, and a brief description of your role.
- food banks, etc.
Teaching Experience: Include the name of the organization, city, hours you may have worked, your role, and a brief description of your role.
- if you were a TA
Professional Organizations and Leadership: List the organizations you are part of, the years you were involved, and any leadership positions you held.
Honors and Awards:
- Dean’s list
You will need to narrow this list into more relevant information the farther you are along in your training. Keep the content relevant to the context and the time. You shouldn’t put you won Best Dressed in the first grade when applying to medical school.
Research/Publications: List any research work you were involved in.
- published papers
- clinical studies
- research programs
Make sure to use correct formatting on your publications and put where your name is on the bibliography in bold.
Certifications and other skills:
- Microsoft Excel certification
- CPR/AED certified
- Other languages you are fluent in
Interests: Keep this short and sweet.
- hobbies (dancing, singing)
- interests (skydiving)
- instruments you play
- relevant activities
Things to keep in mind:
- DON’T LIE. At interviews, they may or may not grill you and end up catching you in your lie, or they might just simply check if you really were President of the Anime Association in 2016.
- If you are a sophomore in college and beyond, DO NOT INCLUDE THINGS YOU DID OR ACCOMPLISHED IN HIGH SCHOOL. As a freshman, you can.
- Keep things relevant, and brief. Do not be too wordy in your descriptions.
- Try to have appropriate statistics (hrs worked, how many patients you helped/wk, etc.) in your descriptions.
- List things in reverse chronological order.
- You want this document to be pleasing to the eye.
- Use separators, such as a change in spacing, lines, or captilization in between sections.
- No color or bogus fonts.
- Print out your CV on nice, sturdy paper. Do not fold it.
Start early and keep your CV up to date. Have your unique character show on the CV, but it must be pleasing to the eye. Review your CV for mistakes. Know your CV like the back of your hand. Always have access to your CV. Place it in your email or store it in a cloud. If you are attending a career fair or an interview, print out a few copies and take them with you.
HERE IS A SUPER BASIC BUT MAIUSEFUL CV TEMPLATE WORD DOCUMENT YOU CAN USE AS A BASE!
Success is a sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.