Developing a Competitive CV
Developing a Competitive CV Logo

Women need to know what they want, professionally and personally, in order to advocate for their needs. Taking time for self–assessment is a necessary step in career planning. Identifying one’s strengths and organizing one’s experiences in Curriculum vitae becomes a skill in and of itself. A CV should showcase a physician’s professional achievements in a concise, organized and effective format. (See Appendix B for additional resources)

Tips for Producing a Better CV

Keep it short and clear - capture attention in first two pages

  • Clinical experience.
  • Research experience.
  • Teaching experience.
  • Relevant community service.

Make sure all of your important and relevant experiences are at the beginning

  • Board certification.
  • Special training in psychiatry/workshops RELEVANT to position.

Make it look good

  • Clear, attractive presentation is important for your CV to stand out.
  • Uncluttered.
  • Key points easy to spot.
  • Margins should not be smaller than 1 inch.

Include facts/details

  • List your job duties, responsibilities, and results beneath each position. Write in a slightly formal manner and never use the word "I" - e.g. "Supervised undergraduate students" rather than "I supervised undergrad students". Use the past tense for previous jobs and the present tense for your current job.

Be accurate and truthful

  • Have someone else check and confirm.
  • When describing positions make it accurate, don’t embellish, you never know who will share your CV.

Keep it up-to-date

  • Don’t wait until you are applying for a position to create your CV.
  • Note the date of revision as the footer.
  • You can modify CV for specific positions but keep longer one updated and work from that one.

** for researchers- please note keep NIH bio sketch up to date without personal statement and update as you update the CV.

Adapt it - one size does not fit all

  • Biosketch
  • Academic
  • Job hunt
  • Talks
  • Students/education


  • List personal references and link them to experience.
  • Make sure you let them know you are sending it out if there is an expectation that they will be contacted.
  • Provide references with all of the materials you are submitting and also what the position is that you are applying for so they are not caught off guard.

Send a cover letter

  • Unless specifically told not to, always send a cover letter with your CV.
  • Highlight 2-3 experiences from your CV that are most relevant to the advertised position.
  • Never send your CV out on its own.

Download CV Template


References for Producing a Better CV