"How to put together a CV"
Melissa L. Rosado de Christenson, Col, USAF, MC
B.J. Manaster, MD, PhD
From the Member - in - Training Luncheon at RSNA 1998
The definition of curriculum vitae (CV) is course of life. The purpose of a CV is to outline or summarize an individual’s professional and academic achievements. Some personal achievements such as the number of children, their ages, and community related or extracurricular activities are occasionally listed in an individual’s CV. While there is no set rule for the organization or outline of a radiologist’s or radiation oncologist’s CV there are some sections that must be included and addressed which are summarized below:
The date of last revision should appear prominently on the first page. Usually it is printed at the top of the page.
The individual’s full name and title should be stated. Women should include their maiden name if applicable.
- Address - A complete home and work mailing address should be listed to include telephone, facsimile numbers, and an electronic address. Beeper numbers are also convenient if the individual knows she/he is difficult to reach.
- Optional information - Includes the date of birth, social security number (SSN), marital status, names of spouse and children, and nationality. Keep in mind that some positions will require knowledge of SSN and type of visa when considering non-US citizens as potential employees.
Include undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate training with dates and institutions. Include honors and awards and state whether you served as a Chief Resident.
Military Service, if applicable
List positions held, ranks attained, promotion dates, and military awards.
Board Certification and Professional Licenses
Include all boards and dates as well as all professional licenses held. Identify license numbers, the state, and the status of the license (active vs inactive).
Academic / Hospital Appointments
Include positions held.
Include the complete and correct names of professional societies as well as the date of initial membership. If you are no longer a member, list your last membership year. Include all offices held under each of the societies and list all committee participation.
Publications should be clearly identified as peer reviewed or non-peer reviewed. Journal listings must be accurate. It helps if you highlight your name in each publication.
- Non-peer reviewed publications should be listed and so identified.
- Ensure that work in progress is clearly identified. A manuscript you just mailed for consideration is a "submitted" work. A manuscript which is accepted for publication is different in that publication is virtually always accomplished. The latter should be listed as " in press" or "accepted".
- Include all electronic publications and correctly reference them.
Work presented at national meetings and scientific assemblies.
Abstracts should be listed with the names of the authors, the title, the name of the meeting and the meeting date and place. If the abstract was published, a citation should be listed.
Scientific Exhibits should be listed as well as the meeting where it was presented, the date, and the place. If a published abstract exists, list the citation. Awards received should also be acknowledged.
List the names of those individuals who are willing to recommend you. Letters of reference are preferable. Do not state "references available upon request". Rather, list the names of individuals who can be contacted for a recommendation (remember to let the individual know you will be listing her/him as a reference).
Additional sections of a CV typically include:
- Invited Presentations
- University Teaching Roles
- Hospital Teaching Roles
Treat your CV like the important document it is. Here are a few words of advice based upon a ten year experience of reviewing CV’s of potential fellows and staff.
- Use white bond paper
- Keep your CV accurate and up to date. Always list the date of the last revision. An outdated CV does not leave a good impression.
- Use a legible fon
- Scrutinize your CV for mistakes and inaccuracies
- Number the pages
- Consider using a header or footer with your name and the page number.
- Include work address
- Use complete and accurate citations for all your publications
- Decide whether you will use an increasing or a decreasing chronology of events and be consistent throughout the document
- Document important events, publications and other accomplishments as they occur in your day planner or keep a file for these accomplishments. This will make it infinitely easier to update your CV.
- Do not use unnecessary graphics or designs
- Do not use "fancy" fonts
- Do not mix categories of accomplishments
- Do not make mistakes in names of individuals, institutions or professional organizations
- Update your CV regularly (at least every 6 months). Keep a file of all your accomplishments.
- Request someone else’s input in reviewing your CV and check for errors.
- Look for gaps in your employment history. Potential employers will always want to have them explained, so be prepared.
- Do not forget to list those awards you have received. Never exaggerate, you cannot afford to lose your credibility.
- Review your CV before your interview. Anything on it is fair game for discussion, so be prepared.
- Learn about the institution you are applying to. Tailor your letter of intent (probably the most important document your potential employer will look at) to promote yourself from the time of your first contact.
The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the author and are not to be construed as official or as representing the views of the Departments of the Air Force or Defense.