A New Graduates Guide to Writing a Strong CV

Traditionally, professions in healthcare have been considered safe career choices—even during a recession.

Yet the recent pandemic has relentlessly targeted this field. Therefore, patients are putting off elective procedures or delaying necessary routine checkups to reduce possible exposure to the coronavirus. In addition, there has been a disruption in the normal flow of hospital traffic. Despite the optics of overloaded hospital emergency rooms.

These changes in demand for specific types of healthcare have even resulted in layoffs in some hospital departments.

This has led to greater competition when applying for certain specialties.

That is why in order to set yourself apart in the application process for jobs in healthcare, it is absolutely imperative to craft a strong Curriculum Vitae, or CV.

What is a CV?

A CV is like a resume in that they are both a summary of your professional history and educational background. However, they are not interchangeable as many employers require both.

One of the main differences between these two formats is that a CV is a more complete picture of your professional career than a resume, which is meant to be kept to a single, brief page.

Neither one of these can be easy to write as a new graduate with limited professional experience. Moreover, the expectation of writing more for a CV can seem unfair when just starting out. Nonetheless, it is still a necessary tool for your application.

Instead of worrying about what your CV does not have yet, focus your energy on how to make the accomplishments you already have really shine. A CV is your chance to add more context and personal perspective to information that would be included in a resume.

CVs also provide an opportunity to include details about any presentations, conferences, research, awards, publications, grants, or even descriptions of specific coursework that may be relevant to the position you are applying to.

This emphasis on relevant coursework or research may be particularly useful for new graduates who lack established professional experience. In order to ensure your discussion of coursework is productive, you should do this reflection as close to graduation as possible. It can also be helpful to file away course descriptions or syllabi for later reference to any specifics.

It is important to think of ways to go beyond listing the experience in a way that you could on a resume and try to establish a CV that expands on your strengths and contributions.

CV vs. Resume

Consider a CV as more than just your professional history or list of personal accomplishments. A resume may show some of your qualifications, but you can use a CV to establish a favorable image in the mind of the reader and describe your role specifically or what you learned from the experience.

This is the chance to emphasize why an event was important enough to list on your resume in the first place and how that experience has uniquely shaped your learning process.

The next component in a CV is to take what you have so far absorbed and show how you can implement that knowledge. It may also prove helpful to work backward and connect any of your previous research or publications to the future work you expect to be doing.

Lastly, and certainly not least, it is important to know how to format a CV. It is a document that is generally presented in chronological order and begins with your educational experience.

Unlike the one-page rule for writing resumes, there is no page limit or requirement for a CV.

However, it is industry standard for a CV to fall between three and ten pages in length. While a physician with a decade of practice and some publications might have a ten-page CV, they will only expect a recent graduate to have between two to four pages to cover the expected information.

What to Include on My CV

This range in length accounts for the experience they have and does not mean some people are padding their CVs, which you should avoid.

Clarity is important when presenting your image so be meaningful with what you choose to include in your CV.

A complete CV should include contact information, educational background, employment experience, professional honors and awards, references, as well as a section for publications, presentations, lectures, research, and coursework.

Ultimately, a strong CV can set a candidate apart from the rest of the field. And during this day and age, it can make quite the difference for those who are seeking employment. Especially for those in the healthcare sector.

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