Not Proofreading for Grammar and Typos

A good rule of thumb is to have at least a couple of other people review your CV. Suppose you can hire a professional copy editor; the more eyes, the better. You can find well-qualified people at affordable prices on freelance marketplace sites such as UpWord and Fiverr.

Not Following Proper Formatting

Akin to not looking for grammatical errors is the failure to format your document correctly. There are many templates to help you format your CV. Here are two sample templates we like the best:

Also, keep these formatting pointers in mind:

  • Make it easy to read. Don’t use hard-to-read fonts; stick with the basics, such as Times New Roman, Verdana, or Trebuchet. Also, incorporate white space to keep it accessible to the eye.
  • Maintain consistent formatting. If you bold one headline, then bold all headlines. If you indent bullet points in one section, do the same in others. Consistency will contribute to a more robust presentation and make a more favorable impression.
  • Place dates to the right. Which do you want the employer to focus on, the date or the accomplishment? Put the most critical information on the left side and leave the right for the date.
  • Put events in reverse chronological order. The term “curriculum vitae” is Latin for “course of life,” so it makes sense to first show your most recent accomplishments.
  • Get rid of the clutter. The first draft of your CV will likely contain lots of clutter – vague words, non-essential details, bloated sentences – which you will want to trim in the second draft. Keep the text clean, clear, and precise. Never submit the first draft to an employer; always rewrite, revise, and polish first.
Not Filling In The Gaps

Residents Medical, a site that helps residents navigate the path to placement, said that 70 percent of Program Directors listed gaps in medical education as an essential factor when choosing who to interview for residency. It went on to say that applicants with significant gaps in their CVs will not even have the chance to prove themselves.

“Don’t make the mistake of letting gaps in your medical education upset your chances at residency,” the site advised. “Whether you are currently applying to the Match or are planning to apply in the upcoming years, make sure your CV is consistent and be smart in your preparations.”

Making Your CV Too Long

Experts say that a two-page CV is standard. As a resident, you shouldn’t need to go beyond that length, as doing so may lend the impression that you can’t distinguish what’s important or that you are attempting to cram everything in to look more experienced.

Including Untruthful Information

A Reuters Health article cites two studies that found many residents lie on their CVs. Honest mistakes are one thing, but lying on a CV is something altogether. It’s a matter of integrity and credibility. Don’t risk putting your career in jeopardy due to a lie.

Not Tailoring Your CV To The Employer

Don’t think for a minute that one CV will fit every situation. Each is unique, so you should tailor the CV to the role you are applying for. That’s not brain surgery either; look at the specific job requirement and work from there.

Not Including Your Correct Contact Information

Don’t make it hard for a recruiter or employer to contact you. Be sure your contact information is up-to-date.

Including References

Listing references is not necessarily encouraged. You don’t need to say, “References available upon request.” If a recruiter or employer wants references, they will ask for them.

Not Including A Cover Letter

While cover letters are not required, they might be an item you consider including. Cover letters have a unique purpose: breaking the ice. It can be your opportunity to make an excellent first impression. It doesn’t have to be lengthy – three-quarters of a page is sufficient.

According to the blog Physician Career Planning, if you have a cover letter, you should include the following information:

  • Introduction – Briefly outline the job for which you are applying.
  • Objective – Include a summary of your career objectives.
  • Strengths – Discuss why you are the person ideally suited for the job. Highlight your strengths but keep it accurate.
  • Education – Again, not a rehashing of your CV, but some educational accomplishments relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • Personal – Include characteristics that make you suited to the job.
  • Ties to the area – Many residents miss this, says Adventures in Medicine. Stating your links to the site can set you apart from the other applicants.
  • Closing – End by reiterating your interest in the position

Visit our blog for more tips on embracing your transition from residency.