Your curriculum vitae (“course of life” in Latin, CV for short) is your first chance to make a good impression. Whether you are composing your locum tenens CV for the first time or polishing an oft-used draft, be clear and concise, and make sure all your information is up to date.
Keeping your CV current can mean the difference between the top—or the bottom—of the selection pile. To help ensure you are not overlooked for locum tenens opportunities that best match your expertise and objectives, we offer some tips on what to include and what to omit.
Begin with your full name, degree (MD or DO), and relevant credentials, such as FACP or FAAP. Next, list your permanent mailing address and an e-mail address you check on a regular basis. Also include cell and home phone numbers, and note the best time of day to contact you at either number.
In this next section, begin with your most recent position and record all previous jobs in sequential order, including locum tenens positions. Each entry should note the name and location of the medical facility, as well as the time period you were there.
Be conscientious about keeping this section current up to the previous month, and double-check your list for gaps. For any interruptions six weeks or longer, add a note of explanation, such as “June – August 2009: Time off to study for boards” or “February – May 2012: Time off to care for ailing family member.”
Next comes your education, also in chronological order. Work backward from your fellowship and residency, to medical school, and finally college. Note your degree and major, and the name and location of each institution. Also include the dates you attended.
Licenses and certifications
Though farther down the page, this information is becoming increasingly important in the locum tenens selection process. Many facility managers want to know at the start whether a candidate has, say, ACLS or PALS, and if he or she is board certified.
List each state in which you hold a medical license, and follow that with your certifications, including the corresponding expiration dates.
Memberships, honors, and awards
This is the place to list your memberships in medical organizations and emphasize any appropriate honors, awards, and professional achievements. Also note anything that will help distinguish you from other candidates, such as fluency in another language or uncommon clinical skills.
Publications, research, and presentations
This section marks the end of your CV. If you have been especially prolific in your career, consider noting just your most recent and impressive works, but state that a full list can be provided upon request. And, of course, keep an updated list at the ready in case you are asked for it.
Once you are sure you have included all the essential information, make equally sure you have excluded the non-essentials.
For instance, there is no need to write an objective or a summary of qualifications. Omit, also, your political or religious affiliations, marital status, and any other irrelevant personal information. To protect your privacy, do not list your birthdate, social security number, or license numbers. Photographs are also not recommended.
Finally, and most important, keep your CV current. Get in the habit of recording the necessary updates at the close of each contract, and double checking the placement of your margins, headers, and bullet points.
Then all you have to do is send the new version to your Weatherby Healthcare consultant and await your next locum tenens opportunity.