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12 Do’s and Don’ts of Creating or Editing Your Physician CV

What is a CV? Curriculum vitae, CV for short, is a document that lists all of your professional experiences and achievements. The difference between a resume and a CV is that a resume is an abbreviated version of your work history, while a CV is a comprehensive record.

Why is a Physician CV important? When applying for new locum tenens opportunities, prospective employers use your physician CV to gauge your knowledge and to determine if you are qualified for their opening.

Now, let’s learn several do’s and don’ts to help you write or edit your physician CV.


  1. Include Your Contact Information.

One of the most important aspects of your CV is to quickly and easily communicate to the reader/prospective employer how to get in touch with you. List your first and last name, email address, and phone number. Decide whether or not you want to include your home address. In prior years, addresses were always included in a CV, but due to the travel nature of locum tenens, this is no longer a requirement.

  1. List Education, Including Internships, Residencies, and/or Fellowships.

As a healthcare provider, it is vital that you meet the education and training requirements of the role. Use your CV to communicate that you are qualified. In month + year format, be sure to name your medical school, degree, and graduation date. Also mention any specialization training, internships, residencies, and/or fellowships.

Example: Harvard Medical School, Doctor of Medicine, May 2019

  1. Chronicle Employment History.

Similar to your education, hiring managers and recruiters want to see how much experience you have gained. Include your complete employment history, name the facilities where you have privileges, and begin with your most recent/current experience.

Pro Tip #1: Please refer to Don’t #1 (Don’t Go in Chronological Order) while chronicling your employment history.

Pro Tip #2: This section of your CV should also be in month + year format.

  1. Explain Any Gaps in Employment.

While we are on the topic of employment history, be sure to explain gaps in employment, specifically any that were more than 30 days long. Maybe you took time off to study for boards, had kids, or needed to take care of a family member; we are all human and any hiring manager or recruiter will understand.

  1. List All Relevant Certifications and Licenses.

Does the position require any unique certifications? Do you have multiple state licenses? Include this in your CV, it will help you stand apart from other candidates.

  1. Name Research, Publications, and Presentations.

Have you spent years working on cancer research? Has your work been published? This is the perfect opportunity to brag about yourself a bit. Name your success in your CV.

  1. Try to Be Succinct.

Your CV is a document listing all of your life’s work, but you also want to attract the reader/hiring manager’s attention. If it is too long, it might immediately get the boot. If you have a lot of publications or long work history, consider making two versions. One that simply lists the role/publication and the second can be expanded to include all relevant details.


  1. Go in Chronological Order.

This is one of the missteps we see most often on CVs. Instead, go in reverse chronological order. This allows the recruiter or hiring manager to see your most recent work experience, first.

  1. Forget to Spell/Grammar Check.

It seems simple, but if you are rushing, this might be a step that you bypass. We highly recommend going back over your CV and making sure it reads properly, makes sense, and uses correct grammar/spelling.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check that you are using tense correctly (past and present) for jobs you currently hold, or previous positions.

  1. Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

Have a friend or family member give it a look to ensure that you haven’t forgotten any pertinent information and that everything looks clean, and is spelled properly.

You could also consider using a CV scoring tool. PracticeMatch has a Physician CV Builder, Resume Worded is an AI platform that offers instant feedback, or RezScore quickly scores your CV for free.

  1. Discount Formatting.

Take some time to evaluate the document visually. Is it pleasing to the eye, do you have all of the necessary information? Does it look clean and professional? This is where the second set of eyes can be helpful to distinguish if there is too much information.

Your CV should fit this order: Name, contact information, education, licenses, board certifications, work history and affiliations, honors/awards/professional affiliations, and memberships.

  1. Rush.

The CV is a document featuring your life’s work. Put in time and care when writing your physician CV.

What’s Next?

Your CV is the first step to landing a new physician job. Use these tips to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward.

Once your CV is ready, find a locum tenens partner, like ICON Medical Network, to help you quickly, and easily find an amazing locum tenens opportunity.