Common Physician CV Mistakes to Avoid

Your curriculum vitae is often how you introduce yourself to a potential employer. Whether you’re seeking a permanent position or a locum tenens job, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

So after thinking carefully about what to include, think again about what to omit. Here are eight things you should avoid including on your physician CV:

1. Irrelevant experience

Although your CV should be more than just a simple résumé, you don’t want to include everything but the kitchen sink. An effective CV should provide a holistic view of your professional and academic accomplishments only. Don’t include non-medical work experience. Potential employers don’t need the details on how you waited tables to put yourself through medical school. Personal hobbies are also irrelevant on a CV.

2. Personal information

Limit personal information to the bare minimum. Your CV should not include your race or nationality, your sexual orientation, or your marital status or family situation. Political and religious affiliations do not belong on a CV either. The same goes for your age and date of birth, your social security number, and your license numbers.

3. Social media

Refrain from listing any social media accounts, websites, or other online profiles that contain anything of a personal nature. Stay focused, instead, on professional healthcare associations and networks. If your employer asks for a professional website, you can provide that information during an interview or in an email.

4. Test scores

Your CV should focus on your professional accomplishments, not on your test scores. How well you did on, say, the medical college admission test (MCAT) or United States medical licensing examination (USMLE) is not pertinent information to most employers.

5. Abbreviations

Although it is important to keep your CV concise, it is equally important to avoid confusion. Refrain from using abbreviations, acronyms or nicknames for any people, places, titles and events. Spell out full job titles and organization names.

6. Vague summary or objective

There is no need to waste space writing an objective or a summary of qualifications. More often than not, these wind up sounding ambiguous and don’t serve any helpful purpose for the employer. If you do feel compelled to write an objective, keep it in your cover letter.

7. Extraneous contact information

You want to make it as easy as possible for potential employers to contact you, so do not waste space on fax numbers, a long list of phone numbers, or an unprofessional email address. Instead, prominently list your permanent mailing address, an email address you check regularly, a home phone number, and a cell phone number.

8. Typos, sloppy margins and photos

Again, your CV is your first chance to make a good impression, so weed out any typos or messy margins by asking a friend or colleague to do a careful proofread. Do not include any photographs, hard-to-read fonts or excessive use of boldface, italics or underlining.

Now that you know what you shouldn’t include on your CV, check out Improving your CV for Locum Tenens Opportunities for ideas on what you should.


About the author


Lisa Daggett

Lisa Daggett is well-versed on the topic of locum tenens staffing and was a regular contributor to LocumLife, Healthcare Traveler, and Travel Nurse magazines. She served as associate editor of RN Magazine and as an editorial assistant for Business & Health.

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