A curriculum vitae (CV) is an organized listing of one‘s achievements and experiences in the areas of education, professional experience, organizational membership, presentations and publications, honors and awards, and community service. The Latin words “curriculum vitae” mean literally “the course or outline of [your] life.” The CV, sometimes called a “long resume,” is longer and more detailed than resumes prepared for most job interviews.
A well-composed CV is easy to read and contains information about your strongest attributes and experiences. Remember that a CV is a living document and that dates are very important. Start with the most recent information and work backward. For students, the following sections should be included:
- Work experience;
- Clerkship rotations;
- Presentations and publications;
- Honors and awards;
- Membership in organizations (include offices held);
- Professional and community service;
- Other special experiences or skills.
When applying for a residency, append a brief cover letter to your CV, stating the program for which you are applying (e.g., a postgraduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency), why this particular program appeals to you, and the special interests or skills that make you a good candidate.
- Do focus on professional information. Pharmacy-related information should precede all other topics (such as hobbies and community service activities).
- Do include everything positive about your achievements that you can honestly state.
- Do describe offices held or professional/community service activities. Go beyond naming the office or service, and briefly describe the scope of responsibility and/or impact (e.g., how many people in the organization/ committee, how many attended the event, size of the budget, funds raised, etc.).
- Do prepare your CV on a computer.
- Do update your CV regularly to reflect work experience, publications, and presentations.
- Do check your CV carefully for spelling and grammatical errors.
- Do use résumé or business paper, conservative paper color, and simple fonts.
- Do identify your preceptors, work supervisors, and/or references by title (Pharm.D., Ph.D., R.Ph., etc.).
- Don’t include personal, biographical information such as age, height, or weight.
- Don’t include a photograph.
- Don’t include information that predates pharmacy school except for education (e.g., previous degrees) or unique achievements (e.g., National Merit Scholar).