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Piles of Paper

Evolution MD: CV Workshop

Preparing and maintaining a curriculum vitae is a key component of professional development and provides a succinct and organized way for you to communicate your background, experience, interests, and skills to others. Development of your CV should begin early in your PGY1 year, and regular CV  maintenance every six months will ensure that you always have an up to date document ready to send out upon request. Your CV should be reviewed with your faculty mentor as well as a member of the residency leadership team during biannual meetings. The following are high yield pearls to consider when crafting your CV. 


  • Honesty is key. Misstatements can have career-ending results 

  • Everything you do has a place; you just need a creative way to add it in

  • Let go of the “old” when you have enough of the “new”

  • Be able to talk about anything on your CV

  • Do not leave unexplained gaps


  • VUMC has a specific format for faculty; residents may use this if you wish

  • Ensure that the overall look is clean and professional

    • Even spacing, even indentations - consistency is key

    • Classic fonts only

  • Spelling and grammar errors are unacceptable

Practical Tips:

  • Make it accessible so that you update it more than once a year. Options:

    • Keep a copy of your CV on your desktop for easy access and editing. Save it each month with the same title and an updated date. 

    • Keep a sticky note on your desktop where you can quickly jot things that need to be added to your CV. It’s easy to keep a casual running list and then do the hard work later of figuring out where to put it, how to word it, etc. 

  • Review your CV at least twice per year. Swallow your pride and send it to someone else to look at as well.

CV Check-in (monthly or so?):

  • Month/Year in review - what do I need to add?

  • Letting it go - what do I need to remove?

  • Global review - where are my weaknesses? How can I use this to make goals for the next 6 months?

Common activities for residents to add to CV:

  • Licensure/Certifications: BLS, ACLS, PALS, ATLS, TN medical license

  • Resident lectures

  • Medical student teaching: separate out simulation, procedures, ultrasound, etc

  • MM&I presentations

  • Journal Club presentations

  • Residency council

  • Recruitment involvement (hosting dinners, interviewing, etc)

  • Task force/committees

  • QI projects

Need more inspiration?


To view real examples of Cover Letters from Vanderbilt residents, fellows, and faculty, click here.

To view real examples of CVs (Curriculum Vitae) from Vanderbilt residents, fellows, and faculty, and to download a templated "Super CV" click here

EMRA also has some great resources on career planning in general, as well as additional guidance on crafting cover letters, CVs, and negotiating contracts. See below for links.

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