How To Write an Impact-Driven Medical CV (Plus CV Templates!)
Medical professionals use curriculum vitaes (CV) to showcase the impacts of their work. CVs tell employers, fellowship programs, and/or academic institutions the chronological story of your career. They are also a tool for keeping track of your achievements and skills. A comprehensive yet concise CV has the power to distinguish you as an ideal candidate for a position, especially when you keep it updated.
Let’s explore four different medical CV types. Or, if you’re ready to start writing, check out our professionally-designed medical CV templates.
Medical CV Types: What You Need to Know
If possible, obtain CV guidelines from several of the organizations or institutions to which you’re applying. Generally, medical CV conventions differ depending on whether you are an entry-level graduate, provider/specialist, researcher, or leader/executive. Before you can highlight the impact of your work, you’ll need to determine which type of CV is best for you.
Entry-level Medical CV
Are you just out of medical school, looking to land your dream job? An entry-level CV showcases your academic experiences. It’s important to go beyond describing your prior roles and responsibilities. Showcase the impact of your research, teaching, leadership, and community health experiences. Think: what outcomes and insights are associated with your achievements? Social impact will be a focal point of your CV. Make room for relevant licenses/certifications, awards/honors, and extracurricular interests/skills toward the end. And always end your CV with references.
Provider or Specialist CV
If you’re a provider or a specialist, your CV should draw attention to your area of expertise. First, you’ll detail your academic history and medical certifications. Next, you’ll want to emphasize your postgraduate training, including internships, clinics, residencies, and fellowships. Then list practice experience. Take this opportunity to share how this work has impacted patients or processes within your institution. Did you improve clinical care outcomes? Did you discover an innovative solution? Get specific about your type of practice, patient populations, and collaborations, as well as your clinical focus and skills. As your CV unfolds, it should reveal how your work has genuinely helped people. Lastly, include any other relevant accomplishments, appointments, publications, and, of course, references.
Clinical Researcher CV
As a researcher in the medical field, it is an absolute must to regularly update your CV. As always, a medical CV begins chronologically, detailing your education, academic appointments, professional positions, certifications, and practice experience. Relevant skills and achievements are thrown into the mix as well, such as spoken languages and the professional societies you may belong to. What distinguishes a researcher’s CV from the rest is the explanation of their research (surprise!), including both active and recently completed grants, selected publications, and selected presentations. Be sure to share potential impacts and clinical outcomes that demonstrate the importance of your research.
Medical Leader CV
Unlike most medical professionals, a leader or executive in the medical field will communicate their professional identity at the start of their CV. If this is you, begin by explaining your role and area(s) of speciality. Include a brief summary of your career highlights and measurable achievements. Then, you need to convey your executive capabilities and executive experience. Our best advice? Tell a story in bullet point form that focuses on the impacts of the actions, responsibilities, and initiatives you’ve performed throughout each role of your career. Then, build out your CV sections on education, research interests, and board & committee involvement. As with the entry-level and specialist CVs, conclude with professional references.
Ready to Write? Here’s Our Best Advice.
Now that you know which medical CV is right for you, it’s time to write strong and straightforward content. On a basic level, make sure you:
- Ensure the audience can immediately identify the role you’re applying for
- Choose a clear font and layout with designated sections and headings
- Include the name/title of people you worked with, such as researchers
- Use active verbs to describe your educational and professional achievements
- Provide a full picture of your medical experience with concise writing in mind
Yes, even medical professionals must demonstrate strong writing capabilities to succeed in their careers. The American Medical Association (AMA) suggests that you “present the most relevant information in a concise, understated manner and avoid being self-congratulatory.” Rather than boast about why you’re the ideal candidate for the position, showcase the real-time impact of your work. Save the objective and long narrative profile for your cover letter.
Ultimately, your CV is as much for you as it is for employers, fellowship programs, and/or academic institutions. If you continue to build upon your CV as your career progresses, it’ll help you keep track of your accomplishments and simplify the process of finding new opportunities in the long run.