Curriculum Vitae Pointers

Below are a few tips to consider when writing and revising your CV. Once you have a draft completed, you should read these tips over and revise accordingly.

Tell your story.

Everyone has a story to tell. You have unique experiences that have brought you to this place in life. Your CV is one tool you can use to shape your narrative. Keep in mind that each residency program has its own focus. You must consider how you can best organize your material to fit that focus.

Stay on your “feet.”

Don’t use sans serif fonts (literally translated “without feet”). Arial, Franklin, Lucida and Calibri are a few examples of sans serif fonts. It’s best to use serif fonts (“with feet”). Serif fonts are easier for the eye to follow. Some examples of serif fonts are Times New Roman, Garamond, and Palatino. We also recommended that you stick with one font for your CV instead of switching between two.

Think visually.

Make sure your layout is clear, clean and easy to follow. Use headings and indentations as well as bold and italics to guide the reader through the material. Where and how you place the materials in your CV effects how the reader experiences them. Use all the typographic tools at your disposal to guide your reader.

Be consistent.

Consistent formatting throughout your CV will help guide your reader. If you bold titles in one section, you must do it for all. The reader will begin to recognize a pattern in your layout from the first listing on the CV. If you don’t continue to follow that pattern, whatever it is, the reader’s attention will waver and you could lose them without their ever knowing why.

Don’t date yourself.

A common mistake is to list dates of experience first and then the experience. The experience is what matters, not the date. The order of info should be: position or degree, organization/institution, location, date of experience.

Stay inside the lines.

You should keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages, unless you have truly compelling experience that warrants going over that limit.