Writing your curriculum vitae

A résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) comes from Latin and means "the course of one's life or career".

Traditionally, résumés have been, like careers themselves, oriented towards what a person has accomplished so far. The current trend is to write a CV that demonstrates how your past accomplishments are well matched to the training programme requirements. This type of CV is called a 'targeted' résumé or CV. In most cases, how you design and present your CV is up to you. However, sometimes you may be asked to add your personal details to a CV “template” provided by the employer / college. In this case, the content is still up to you but the design and layout is not.

The skills you demonstrate on your CV are specific, or targeted, to a particular training programme. This format is very useful if you have been provided with a programme description, or better still, a 'person specification'.

Curriculum vitae layout

The temptation to list all your skills, courses, presentations, audits, research and publications can make your CV longer than it should be. The aim of your CV is to provide a summary which is succinct, easy to read and appropriate to the organisation and opportunity.

Tips for a good CV

  • Keep your CV to a maximum of 6–8 pages. 
  • Use bullet points, not sentences. Interviewers will be able to pick out the essential information more easily. 
  • List all your skills, not just clinical. Your management and teaching experience is just as important.
  • Number the pages to avoid confusion.
  • Check your CV for grammar and spelling.
  • Use self-confident language: action words with a strong impact.
  • Use the same font and sizing format throughout your CV.

Suggested medical CV content

Personal details

  • full name
  • postal address
  • contact phone number
  • contact email address.
  • medical registration details.

Optional

  • nationality / residency status
  • marital status/children
  • date of birth
  • tribal affiliations.

Education

  • medical school attended
  • higher degrees attained
  • qualification received
  • prizes, awards and scholarships.

Employment (hospital and research-based employment)

  • List each job in reverse chronological order.
  • Give a good summary of each hospital you have worked at. Mention the strong points of the training you have received at each hospital with a summary of your main responsibilites.
  • List presentations: level they were made at e.g. regional, national or international research, and if they are completed or in progress.
  • List publications: include if they are refereed or non refereed. If you have pages of publications you can put them as an appendix at the end of your CV.

Achievements and interests

  • sports
  • hobbies
  • volunteering
  • cultural and community awards.

Examples of medical CVs

A professionally presented CV is an important step in being offered an inteview. In your CV you need to 'sell yourself' and explain why you are the best person for the position. The structure, layout and content of the below example CVs are taken from current clinicians actual CVs and are here as a guide for you rather than a template.

Example one  [PDF, 95 KB]
Example two  [PDF, 103 KB]
Example three [PDF, 159 KB]