You introduce yourself to future employers through your curriculum vitae (CV).  An employer will not interview you without one.  We at Adventures in Medicine have donated our resources to help answer common questions about how to construct and organize a curriculum vitae.

  • What is a curriculum vitae (CV)?
  • How is a CV different from a resume?
  • Why is a CV necessary?
  • Can I use the same CV for more than one job application?
  • What are the characteristics of an effective CV?
  • What is the optimal length of an effective CV?
  • What are the major parts of a CV?
  • Is any part of a CV more important than another?

What is a curriculum vitae?

A curriculum vitae, commonly referred to as a CV, is a document describing all your relevant experience and education pertaining to a specific job.

How is a CV different from a resume?

In terms of purpose and function, it is basically the same as a resume.  Generally speaking, a resume is more informal and limited to one of two pages.  The CV is more formal and structured with no length limitations.  The more jobs, experience, publications, etc. you have, the longer your CV.

Why is a CV necessary?

At the most basic level, you cannot apply for a job opportunity without one.  It is your first opportunity to make a positive impression on a potential employer.  Listing your credentials gives the decision-maker a sense of your preparation and qualifications for a given opportunity.

Can I use the same CV for more than one opportunity?

Yes, if you are applying for the same type of job.  Your CV should remain the same for all desired opportunities.  However, if you are undecided about the type of opportunities, consider customizing the objective to each position.

What are the characteristics of an effective CV?

An effective CV is one that is well organized and the employer can easily follow your employment history.  It is very important that each day is accounted for and there are no gaps in your work experience.  If there are gaps, they should be explained.  Generally, gaps that are not accounted for will reduce the probability of being invited for an interview.

To read about the major parts of a CV and tips for your CV please click here and see our AIM Resource.

Author:  The Adventures in Medicine Staff


Though the views expressed above are solely the writer’s, University of Maryland Emergency Medicine Network supports “The Dose with Dr. Goodhook” and is partnering with Adventures in Medicine to create an open, inspiring and insightful community for residents and physicians. Click here to learn more about ways that University of Maryland Emergency Medicine Network is making practice purposeful.