How to Write a Medical CV
A guide on how to write a medical CV from our talent acquisition specialists.
A CV is often the most integral part of any job application. It highlights your most important professional achievements and serves as a first introduction to your prospective employer. The healthcare industry is highly competitive, so writing a great medical CV is crucial for landing your dream job. If you are wondering how to write a medical CV, we are here to help.
Our guide includes expert advice and nuggets from MD and talent acquisition specialist, Dr. Andrea Jablon, and talent acquisition specialist, Facundo Alvarez Reyna. Read on to find answers on how to write a medical CV, what to include in a CV, and what not to include. We will also cover tips on how to make a CV more compatible with an applicant tracking system (ATS) and AI.
Medical CV Template
What should a medical CV include?
A medical CV should include a succinct summary of your education, professional experience, fellowships, medical licenses, certifications, and relevant extracurricular achievements. When it comes to formatting your medical CV, you’ll need to incorporate standard CV components.
Below are the must-have sections for your medical CV.
The header section is an identifier that appears at the top of your CV. It needs to include your legal name, professional abbreviation, degree, and current designation.
Example: John Doe, MD FRCP, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Director of Cardiology at the South General Hospital.
Every medical CV must include updated contact information including phone numbers and email. You should also add links to your LinkedIn profile, publication pages, and other relevant professional pages.
Dr. Jablon highlights the significance of adding research and publication links to a medical CV as it allows recruiters to get a deeper insight into your professional and academic profile. Common medical CV publications, journals, and research links include ResearchGate profiles and PubMed author pages.
Dr. Jablon says that no hiring manager will spend ten minutes on one CV, and she emphasizes the importance of writing a good summary that provides a succinct overview of your candidacy. A good CV summary is a concise paragraph that outlines the relevant professional background, education, and in-demand skills. The purpose of a summary is to impress and catch the recruiter’s attention, so adding your most impressive professional experience and accomplishments is a must.
Remember to limit your summary only to relevant professional highlights and not divulge too much personal information. Lead the summary with your strengths, which can include your years of experience, specialization, professional licenses, and prestigious awards.
It is crucial to tailor your CV summary to match the medical position. You can also specify your job, industry, or specialization preferences in this section. A CV summary provides an opportunity for self-promotion—be sure to make it assertive and impressive.
The work experience section of any CV showcases your professional experience and competency. Below is a guide to listing work experiences in a CV.
- List positions in reverse chronological order
- Job titles
- Places of employment
- Start and end dates
- Expand on the list of job responsibilities
- Tailor the job tasks you list to accentuate the skills that were pertinent to your role
- Include achievements and milestones
Alvarez and Dr. Jablon recommend not including work experiences that are older than ten years, with the exception of internships and experiences that are relevant and highlight your competencies pertinent to the position.
Your educational background is crucial for a medical CV as it establishes credibility and boosts your candidacy. You should add your medical degrees, nursing diplomas, professional licenses, and certifications. Remember to also include accredited certifications in this section. For instance, physician assistants should include their NCCPA certifications and paramedics should include their NREMT or other certifications.
Dr. Jablon recommends switching the order of the education and work experience sections, depending on the reputation of your institution and where you may be seeking a position. For instance, candidates who have graduated from Harvard might benefit from adding their education first. Similarly, healthcare professionals who worked at Johns Hopkins are better off listing their work experience first.
Publications and research
Listing publications and research on healthcare CVs is essential, as it boosts your candidacy and establishes credibility in academia, research, and industry knowledge. It is especially relevant for research, academic, or clinical roles.
Your publications can include academic books, research papers, industry journals, scholarly articles, field-relevant blogs, trade association articles, conference papers, and pending peer-reviewed papers.
It is normal for the length of a medical CV to be 5 to 8 pages as it often includes a long list of publications. Dr. Jablon echoes this statement and says that despite what you read, healthcare CVs are longer because of publications.
Be sure to categorize publication and research into separate points. Use our guide below.
- List the publications in reverse chronological order or in order of relevance
- Pick either MLA or APA citation style
- Include publication year, title, author’s name, volume and issue, page number, and URL
- Add relevant pending publications and omit irrelevant publications from the list
- List the research in order of most to least significance to the role you are applying for
- Expand on your key contributions, chief researchers, heads of laboratories, and an outline
- Include research year, institution name, and specific research tasks that are relevant to the position
Add a list of professional and academic references. For each reference, include their name, job title, email, phone number, and relation to you.
Extra curriculars and languages
Lastly, add extracurriculars that showcase your soft skills and are relevant to the role. Listing volunteer work, community building, or other activities are great for non-clinical medical roles. Multilingual candidates should list all of the languages they speak.
What not to include in a medical CV
Knowing what not to include in a medical CV is also important for the success of your job application. Alvarez states that, currently, many recruiters do blind recruitment to avoid any potential bias. So, adding personal identifiers to your CV is not recommended. Alvarez advocates against including your image, age, religion, number of children, sexual orientation, and other personal information in your CV.
How to write an AI-friendly CV in 2023
Companies are increasingly relying on applicant tracking systems (ATS), and AI-enabled hiring software to manage job applications. Writing an AI-friendly CV in 2023 is crucial for healthcare professionals applying at mid to large-sized institutions.
The CEO of ZipRecruiter estimates “that at least three-quarters of all CVs submitted for jobs in the US are read by algorithms”. Organizations use ATS to filter out applicants before presenting them to a human recruiter. So, why not get a leg up?
You can use CV Worded to analyze your CV for ATS-friendly keywords and skills. There are several ways to pass the screenings of AI-enabled application tracking software.
Use the right keywords
- Review the job listing requirements, carefully, to identify the right keywords. Look up action verbs used for the job
- Add keywords to work experience, education, or an additional skills section
- Only add keywords that accurately represent your background
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Avoid using keywords and important information in headers
- Specific keywords will vary based on your experience, skills, and the job listing, but here are some general AI-friendly medical CV keywords:
- Healthcare management, healthcare information technology, HIPAA, electronic health records
- Inpatient, outpatient, hospital, ambulance
- Acute care, chronic care, preventative care, continuity of care
- Clinical research
- Specialty area (e.g., internal medicine, cardiology, surgery, critical care nursing, etc.)
- Medical education
- Health insurance
- Public health
Add in-demand skills
- You can add a separate skills section, or add skills to the work experience, education, or research sections
- Adding popular soft and hard skills to your CV is pertinent. Below are a few of the skills that popular healthcare occupations, such as nursing, physicians, and hospital administration look for in their candidates:
- Communication skills
- Case management
- Medical record management
- Ultrasound, x-ray, MRI
Use a simple CV format
- ATS typically converts CVs into a text-only format—avoid fancy formatting that includes graphics, colors, charts, tables, and columns
- Double-check your format by pasting it into a plain text converter
- If possible, upload your CV in a Word document format as opposed to PDF
In addition to optimizing your medical CV for AI, you can also stand out to recruiters with in-demand skills. There are several ways to enhance your candidacy, including acquiring new skills. Medmastery offers over 20 workshops and 83 courses covering several medical specialties. You can look through our course library to find a course that will enhance your professional profile.
We hope our guide and expert advice will help you write a standout medical CV and land your dream job. Good luck!