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CV prep

8 physician CV tips from PracticeLink

Table of Contents

David Townsend, director of PracticeLink’s physician relations team, speaks with thousands of job-seeking physicians on the phone and at the more than 20 specialty conferences we attend each year. Here are some CV tips we often share.

1. List your degree

You worked hard to earn your degree, so be sure to list “M.D.” or “D.O.” after your name at the top of the page.

2. Don’t forget your contact info

Under your name, always list your email address and whichever phone number you’d like recruiters to use when contacting you.

3. Share a little personal information

It is OK to include the following in your CV: honors, special skills, language proficiency, and if references are available. It is also OK to list hobbies.

4. Watch the length

Try to keep your CV to one or two pages if possible, unless you are applying for an academic position.

5. Personalize your cover letter

Always keep your CV relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you personalize your cover letter. Include the name of the company/hospital/ practice you are applying to, and when possible, the name of the person who will be reviewing your CV. Also include why you would be interested in that particular job and/or area.

6. Make it email-friendly

Your CV will be received mostly via email, so be sure it is in a file that can be easily opened. Word is the most common, but a PDF is acceptable as well. Never paste your CV into the body of an email; always send it as an attachment. There is no set rule on the cover letter being an attached document or the actual email itself. If you print your CV, use whatever stock paper you’d like—but don’t use colored paper.

7. Be clear

When giving your CV to a search firm, be sure they only send it to opportunities that you have discussed and approved.

8. Spell check

The number-one tip of the century: spell check! Misspelling your specialty might not make you any less of a physician, but it could tell a recruiter that you aren’t detailed. Be sure to have someone else read through your CV before you send it out.


David Townsend

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