Strategies for your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Department of Student Affairs

Medical students begin school with a resume, but this changes into a curriculum vitae as you move through your academic work. Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) combine work experience and contact information with academic accomplishments, such as research, presentations, teaching experience, awards and honors.

View Dr. Singer's CV Presentation


Keep it short

  • At this stage of your career, it should be only one to two pages long. Put the most important info on the first page; there is no guarantee the reviewer will look at the second page.
  • Use incomplete sentences or bullet points. Make it easy and fast for the reviewer to understand what you did or why you received a certain award/honor.

Keep it honest

  • Don't inflate your accomplishments. Enough highly-publicized tales of self-destruction from this strategy exist. If you're tempted, use Google. You'll sober up quickly.

Keep it organized

  • Make it easy for someone who doesn't know you to find what they are looking for. Don't make them hunt for your research or the length of time you worked in that hospital ER.
  • If more than one page, use the footer or header feature in your word processor to include your contact info on both pages - make it easy for them to get in touch with you.

Keep it readable

  • Your CV doesn't need to be a masterpiece of creative graphics and design. It just needs to be pleasant to look at and easy to read. Use 10 to 12 point fonts. Use white space, it is your friend. Don't cram everything together inside ½ inch margins.
  • Don't use more than two types of fonts and be consistent how you use them. Example: One type of font for your contact info/headings; the second type of font for the body of your resume.
  • Use other features consistently as well-bolding, underlining, italics. Don't overdo the formatting so it becomes distracting. The information is where you want the reviewer's attention.


Make simple mistakes

  • Include poor grammar and spelling errors - don't rely solely on your computer spell check feature. Use proof readers/editors.
  • The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's friendly faculty in the Office of Student Affairs are available to help you.

Restate obvious information

  • Don't use the words Curriculum Vitae or Resume at the top of your document. It isn't necessary to take up space by using this title.

Include personal information

  • Your CV is not the place to list your age, race, references, type of pets you have, or discuss your marital status.

Sample CVs

Featured CVs are from University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine grads, by specialty. Feel free to borrow ideas from any of the examples. Additional online CV resource links are also included.

Online Resources

CV Categories

  • Contact information
  • Academic background: undergraduate degree, graduate degree, professional degree. Be sure to include 'anticipated graduation date for the degree in progress.
  • Professional licenses/certifications
  • Teaching experience
  • Work experience
  • Research/articles/presentations
  • Scholarships: merit only, not needs-based.
  • Service: community, school related, church, other affiliations
  • Memberships/affiliations
  • Foreign languages
  • Honors/Awards. Clerkship honors can be highlighted here. Include brief explanations of what the award honors.
  • Professional/academic goals