Helpful Tips for your CV:
- Update as you go along: It is easier to update as things happens then to try to put together 2 years worth of info all at once. Also include the date last edited either in the header or footer so that you know when the CV was last edited.
- Ask to see your institution’s faculty template: Almost all institutions will have a template for their faculty to follow. While it may not be the most stylish template, it is helpful to use it to guide you in the different sections and what should or should not be included.
- Ask to see your mentors’ CVs as examples: This is very helpful, especially when you aren’t sure what to include and where to include it.
- Edit carefully: There is nothing worse then a CV full of typos.
- Have your mentors look over your CVs: Make sure to get feedback before sending it out.
- Be careful with personal emails: “SurferChick” might have sounded like a cool login when you created your Gmail account but not great on your CV. Consider creating a separate gmail account or using an alumni-forwarding system.
- Careful with design and fancy font: While you want add your own personal touch to your CV this is a professional document and it is best to limit the design limits and keep your fonts basic and readable.
- Convert the CV to a PDF before emailing out: It is less prone to inadvertent edits.
- For those who are focusing on education: In addition to your CV, consider also having an Educator’s Portfolio which can better showcase your teaching and educational accomplishments. See the APA template for an example.
Your Cover Letter:
Some university-affiliated institutions may require you to upload a separate cover letter into an electronic recruitment system. More often than not, your initial email to the division head or recruitment committee will end up serving as your cover letter.
A basic cover letter will include the following:
Dear Dr. Dream Job
(Paragraph 1: Introduce who you are, where you are coming from, what you are looking for or applying for and it’s start date.)
I am a 2nd-year hospital medicine fellow from Children’s Hospital and I am interested in a position within your division to start in the summer of 2015.
(Paragraph 2: Describe your strengths, your skills, how you can contribute to the division and more specifically what you are looking for due to your interests.)
During fellowship, I have had the opportunity to do _______, ________, and _______. I have developed an interest in educational research and would be interested in position that allows me to work with trainees and develop educational curricula.
(Paragraph 3: Thank them for their time. State that you’ve included your CV and include the best way to reach you.)
Thank you for your time and assistance. I have included my CV for you to review. I can best be reached by email at _____. I look forward to hearing from you.
Tips for your Cover Letter/Email
- If it is an email, keep it short. Nobody wants to read a page-long email. A few sentences in each section is sufficient.
- It is ok and may be helpful to include important items that may affect your decision If you know for sure you are moving to that city regardless, state that. If you are in a dual-physician relationship and your significant other is actively looking there, feel free to state that too.
- If this is your first cover letter, have someone read it over before you send it. Again, better to get feedback from somebody who is supporting you than to get judged by your potential employer.
- Double check your work. We all cut and paste but there is nothing worse than stating your interest to the wrong institution.
- Double check that your CV is attached to your email.
by Patrick C. Alguire, MD, FACP
Director, Education and Career Development, ACP
For initial contacts with a practice representative, a cover letter accompanied by either a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) is recommended. Since the cover letter will be your first contact with the practice, keep it focused, accurate, and interesting. Research the job opportunity and tailor the contents of the letter to the job. Do not use a form letter, because it will convey ambivalence rather than interest. In the cover letter, tell your potential employer what you find interesting in the position and what you can offer. While emphasizing your best qualities, keep the letter to one page maximum-no exceptions.
A resume, as compared to a CV, is a shorter document, usually no more than a few pages. A resume will present your education and accomplishments strongly, but briefly, and can be reviewed by the employer quickly.
A CV is a more exhaustive document, intended to list all academic and professional accomplishments in detail. A CV may be several pages long, but more often is the same length as a resume at the beginning of a career.
When preparing the cover letter, resume or CV, use the follow checklist to ensure that your documents create the appropriate professional impression:
- Print the cover letter, resume and CV on matching quality bond paper with matching envelope.
- Print with a laser quality printer or have professionally type set.
- Adapt the cover letter to match the employment opportunity.
- Proofread and double proofread all documents, then have a friend proofread. Spelling or grammatical errors will create a poor first impression.
- Sign the cover letter legibly, with blue or black ink.
- Affix the proper postage. Have the package weighed if necessary.
- Do not submit reference names or reference letters at this point in the process. They will be requested when needed.
- Make sure there are no gaps of time in the education or training sequence. If gaps are present, they must be accounted for in the document.
More Residency Career Guidance