How to Create a Physician CV That Will Stand Out


Writing a physician curriculum vitae (CV) can be a difficult task, especially for a physician beginning their professional career. How can you craft a CV that will land you an interview when hundreds of your fellow and resident peers with similar experience are also vying for the same position? We surveyed our recruiters and asked them for their top physician CV suggestions so we could create a physician CV template based on feedback they have gained over the years from medical employers.

First, it is imperative to keep your physician CV succinct while showcasing how you differentiate from other applicants: volunteer work, special projects, and academic teaching with medical students are all solid attention-grabbing elements you should include on your resume. Like a cover letter, it should also be tailored to suit the position you are applying for. It is also important to ensure that you have included all of the essentials:


  1. Contact information
  2. Personal Statement/Objectives/Profile
  3. Work Experience
  4. Education
  5. Skills


In the contact information section, at the very top of your CV, include:

  • Your full name
  • Your job title
  • Phone number
  • Personal email address
  • LinkedIn profile
  • (Optional) Professional website
  • (Optional if relevant to your profession) Other social media handles


Keep it short: a 2-to-4 sentence paragraph at the top of your CV. The purpose is to provide the practice a synopsis of your career, list your top skills and achievements, and show your future employer what you can contribute.

  • 2-3 skills
  • 1-3 achievements
  • What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?


List your applicable past and current positions in reverse chronological order. In each entry, include:

  • Position
  • Company Name
  • Dates Worked
  • Up to 6 bullet points outlining your responsibilities
  • Key Achievements


Related resource: Letter of Intent vs. Employment Contract

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In reverse chronological order, include:

  • Fellowship
  • Dates
  • Degree/Subject
  • The name of the institution

For example:

2016-2019 Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship, Harvard Medical School

2010-2013 Internal Medicine Internship and Residency, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Menter

2007-2010 M.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Place your education section above your work experience for entry-level CVs with little work history. You can add:

  • Your honors
  • Your dissertation title
  • Relevant coursework
  • Your best achievements
  • Extracurricular academic activities


  • 4-8 skills relevant to your career
  • Soft skills
  • Job-specific skills and procedures
  • Indication of your proficiency level (Basic, Advanced, Expert)


Salary requirements and reasons for leaving a previous commitment

  • Physical address – just include a mailing address
  • Date of birth
  • Your work email address or any other current business-contact info
  • Your photo
  • Your marital status
  • Conference attendance
  • References, unless required – you can add a “References Available Upon Request.”
  • Past positions that have little or nothing to do with the position you’re applying for


  • Stick with traditional black font with a white background
  • One font choice with one or two font sizes, preferably 11 or 12 point
  • Fonts: use standard, elegant, and legible fonts such as Arial, Calibri, Cambria, Bookman Old Style, Open Sans, Helvetica, or Georgia
  • Simple and easily scannable for important details


Related Resource: Evaluating a Job Offer Beyond Salary

CV ACTION WORDS (action verbs):

  • In Charge of – becomes – Directed 20 residents/employees to…
  • Responsible for – becomes – Improved….
  • Worked with – becomes – Collaborated on a team that…
  • Advanced
  • Delivered
  • Improved
  • Maximized
  • Produced
  • Any words that are prevalent throughout the position description

A CV could also include:

  • Professional Certifications (State License(s), Board Certifications)
  • Professional Associations
  • Languages
  • Additional Training and Courses
  • Conference Participation
  • Publications
  • Awards
  • Blogging and Influencing
  • Volunteer Experience


When sending the file electronically as a PDF ensure you name the document with your last name first name and not a generic title such as “myCV” which can easily get lost in a batch of submissions.

Finally, ask others within and outside of the medical industry to proofread your physician CV for any errors or unclear language. Keep in mind that the person reviewing applicants reads hundreds of CVs a year so a polished document is vital in getting your foot in the door during the job search process.


Need more help revising your physician CV? Contact the consultant specializing in your subspecialty. Their assistance is free to jobseeking physicians.


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