Refreshing Your Physician CV: Dos and Don’ts

PS&D senior recruiter Amy Knoup weighs in how to keep your CV updated and relevant — at any stage in your career.


Your CV — or curriculum vitae — is often your first introduction to a recruiter or potential employer. Because it is a snapshot of your accomplishments as a physician, you’ll want to be sure it’s up-to-date and helps you stand out in the applicant pool.

Whether you’re a new physician, looking for a mid-career change, or eyeing your last job as you head toward retirement, there are key elements that will make your CV appeal to recruiters and get the results you want.

“Your CV is a powerful tool that can really tell the story of your qualifications,” says Amy Knoup, senior provider recruiter with Provider Solutions & Development (PS&D).

Below, Amy shares physician CV must-haves and how your CV might change based on your experience. She also offers dos and don’ts and a physician CV example.

(Are you thinking about the next step in your career? Contact one of our recruiters today.)

Four CV Must-Haves

There’s no right or wrong length for your CV, but length often is what differentiates a new physician from one with more experience.
Amy says there are four things she expects to see on each applicant’s CV, regardless of CV length or career stage:

  1. Board certification
  2. Current and previous practice experience
  3. State licensure
  4. Training

Tips for Each Career Stage

Early-career:

If you’re just out of residency or early in your career, your CV should highlight specific experiences that could give you an edge over other candidates. For example, an Oncologist might call attention to a residency or fellowship program that offered many opportunities to perform a specific procedure.

Mid-career:

By the time you’ve hit the “mid-career” stage, your CV may expand to include details about association memberships or appointments to editorial boards. And don’t leave out departmental or hospital leadership experience, like roles on engagement, safety or quality committees.

Late-career:

A senior physician’s CV may be long. But you can share your decades of experience in far fewer pages than you might think. Pare down your full CV to a shorter document for job applications. Eliminate pages by including experience most relevant to the position you desire. If you’ve had a productive research career, consider highlighting only your most significant publications and providing links to your other citations on PubMed.gov.

(Are you a resident just about to start your job hunt? If so, connect with our Resident Advisors for a complementary CV review.)

CV Dos and Don’ts

You may be just getting started on your first CV. Or maybe your CV has gone untouched since you landed your job 20 years ago. Regardless of your starting point, it’s important to take a close look at what you have. Amy says to consider these dos and don’ts as you build or update your CV.

CV Dos

  • Do remove items that pre-date medical school and medical training.
  • Do list experience and training from most current to oldest. This reduces scrolling for recruiters and potential employers.
  • Do list immigration status.
  • Do include hobbies and interests, and all languages that you speak.

CV Don'ts

  • Don’t use cloud tools or links when sharing your CV with potential employers. Convert your CV to a Word document or a PDF. Saving as a PDF preserves your document’s formatting.
  • Don’t include an objective statement, your marital status, a photo or your social security number.
  • Don’t overdesign your CV. Keep CV design simple and easy to read. Many word-processing programs have embedded tools to help with CV design and formatting.
  • Don’t forget to proofread. Recruit another set of eyes to review your CV before you click submit.

To see how this all comes together, check out this template and full physician CV example.

Beyond Your Job Search

Once your CV is current — even if your job search is over — remember to regularly review your document and make updates. Keeping your CV fresh can help beyond the job hunt.

“Your up-to-date CV is a great resource for your employer as they create online bios and marketing materials,” Amy says. “Keep your CV in an easy-to-access location so you can quickly add important milestones.”

At PS&D, we've helped thousands of physicians and advanced practice clinicians update their CVs, brush up on their interviewing skills, negotiate with hiring managers and take their next step with confidence. We work with a diverse range of healthcare partners, and we can help you find the right fit — the first time.

Resources:

  • Explore our partners. We've carefully selected the best healthcare practice partners from across the country that share our values.
  • Contact us. Tell us about your specific needs and we'll meet you where you are with customized resources.