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CV Do's and Don'ts

Everyone seems to have their own opinions on what a CV should and shouldn't be. I have seen CV's that are 1 page long, and a CV that was 27 pages long! Some people feel that every possible bit of research and every charitable thing you have ever done must be included, but some applicants include even less than the bare minimum. The only opinion that matters is the Program Directors'. PD's are looking for very specific things so sit back and hold tight because we are going to go over some of the Do's and Don'ts of how to write a CV.

In General, the first glance of a CV is quite telling of the score or opinion that the reader will have of your paper. When you see a CV that is riddled with little squiggly red underlines it takes the focus away from you! At a first glance, you can judge by the person's choice of fonts, bold letters and items that are explained in small fonts whether it is worth your time to keep reading your CV or not. The first impression almost always taints the readers opinion of a paper. One thing in particular that can irritate a Program Director is having too small of font. Although this seems simple, it is a very quick way to have your CV pushed to the side and / or forgotten.

A good CV will also stand out at a first glance because it is simply pleasant to look at. Often the reader's first reaction is to look at the highlighted sections and then scan to see the first item of that section. People tend to be looking either for the really good items or the things that stand out negatively. So my recommendation in writing your CV is put you best foot forward, read the do's and don'ts listed below, stick to your gut and have your CV reviewed by Navigate Residency!


Include your contact information, including an email address (that you check) and a phone number.

Mention your Education, including your year of graduation.

Include positions you have had in Medicine (Including job responsibilities).

Have your experience listed in reverse chronological order. (ex. 2017, 2014, 2009).

Include skills like EMR's that you have used, etc,.

Include hospital committees that you have served on and your responsibilities while serving.

Title and save your CV as follows, (First and last name, CV).

Save and submit your files as PDF's rather than word documents.

Prioritize your topics and their importance and include them in that order.


Include your birth date or birthplace.

Include your spouse or children's names.

Write about your hobby of watching TV.

Include multiple service projects that were only a week or two long (One or two of these are fine but they look like fillers and don't carry any real weight to Program Directors.)

Forget to run spell check.

Include every piece of recognition you have ever received.

Write out your chronological life story.

Include that you graduated high school.

Feel the need to include every bit of research you've been involved in. (If you have lots)

Include Professional Memberships that you are a part of.

Write in multiple fonts.

Include a selfie.

Now with all of that said, make sure to check back soon to read about more common residency application topics and if you want to really feel confident about you ERAS profile, have your entire application reviewed by Navigate Residency today!


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