Why Your Dr Spouse’s CV Sucks — According To A Recruiter

You probably know by now that my blog DocWife.com is a passion project. But you may not know that healthcare recruiting is my full-time livelihood. It’s how I am supporting my family right now through medical school, residency and fellowship.

There are only so many times when both parts of my world intersect.

This is one of those times 🙌🏻

I have looked at hundreds of physician CVs in my job and gathered many insights into what makes a good one stand out. That’s why I’m super excited to write this article to share with you some stellar insider tips for you.

As we know, we do a lot for our DrSpouses. Many of us review our DrSpouses’ CVs before they submit them.

Let’s make your DrSpouse’s CV impeccable! 

Why Your Dr Spouse’s CV Sucks — According To A Recruiter

1. Omitting important dates

A CV is a very thorough documentation of your life and months need to be included. If you don’t remember, use detective work (search your texts, calendar and emails for clues) to make the best estimate.

Also, keep the month format consistent. Whether you use February vs. Feb vs. 2, pick one and stick to it.

2. Not putting your CV in chronological or reverse chronological order

Reverse chronological order is when the newest item appears first.

You want the entire CV to be in reverse chronological order EXCEPT for the Bibliography…the Bibliography is in chronological order.

I know, tricky.

3. Using “Medical School” instead of “College of Medicine”

It’s colloquial to say “I went to medical school.”

Nobody says “I went to medical college” or worse “I went to a college of medicine.”

But when it comes to CVs, use the official name of your school. For example, “University of Maryland Medical School” should be written as “University of Maryland College of Medicine.”

Also be careful if there’s officially a “The” in front of the name, too. For example, the proper name is “The Ohio State University,” not “Ohio State University.” If in doubt, check what’s on your school’s official seal.

4. Not separating items in subheadings

You want to use headings and subheadings properly.

For example, “Bibliography” is a Heading. Then list “Publications-Journals” and “Abstracts, Editorials, Book Chapters” as subheadings underneath the “Bibliography” umbrella:

  • Bibliography
    • Publications-Journals
    • Abstracts, Editorials, Book Chapters

5. Not indicating “active” for licenses

You want to indicate that your license is active so your employer knows that you’re ready to start working right away.

For employers, if your license is active, this means they don’t have to wait up to months for you to go through the time-consuming licensing paperwork. And that’s a leg up for you.

6. Including personal information

A lot of us volunteer more information through our CVs than we realize. Take a look at these assumptions that people could make:

You played lacrosse or do horseback riding ▶️ you’re rich

  • You got a scholarship based on financial need ▶️ you’re poor
  • You got a grant for being the first in your family to attend college ▶️ you’re from a working class or are an immigrant
  • You’re part of a spousal group ▶️ you’re married
  • You volunteered at church ▶️ you belong to a religion or denomination

Now, it’s not wrong to be single, unmarried, rich, poor, or of a certain class, nationality, religion, and so on. Those are protected classes by law and you should be given equal opportunity.

But when they’re making the decision to accept you or not, they are processing who you are with every information that you give them.

You can increase your chances of success by making sure you don’t give others even the opportunity to make an inaccurate assumption of you.

7. Including your license number

Your license number is public domain, meaning, it can be looked up by anyone.

But consider that your home price, voter roll, court proceedings, property tax — are also public record — you still wouldn’t tweet it to everybody, right? These numbers are all personal. Likewise, your license number is also personal. Leave your license number off of the CV.

When you’re accepted/hired and your employer wants to know what your license number is, they can look it up or ask you for it.

8. Not citing publications correctly

With most residency and fellowship programs measured on ability to produce funded research scholars, they want to pick serious researchers who are committed.

Citing publications the correct way shows them that that’s YOU.

Refer to the AMA style for the correct way to cite.

A few notes here that’s commonly missed:

  • Journal names should be abbreviated according to PubMed, but journals not listed with PubMed should be spelled out in full.
  • References with 6 or less authors need to be listed. If there are more than 6 authors, just list the first 3 and then “et al.”
  • Bold YOUR name as an author.

9. Not including “submitted” or “in preparation” publications

If you have research publications that are still in the works, you can include them. Just label them as “submitted” or “in preparation.”

  • Articles that are accepted but not submitted should be labelled “submitted.”
  • Articles that are written but not submitted are “in preparation.”

10. Miss proofreading mistakes

You figured once all those red squiggly lines are gone on your Word doc, you’re good, right?

Not so fast!

Making sure every red squiggly line goes away is NOT enough. It’s the itty bitty things that can easily slip pass your guard.

Here are some examples of mistakes that may not appear as red squigglies:

  • In between vs. Inbetween
  • Than vs. Then
  • Led vs. Lead (homonym)
  • Effect vs. Affect
  • Confident vs. Confidant
  • Doctors’ or “Doctor’s (possessive of one doctor vs. multiple doctors)

Even just ONE of these errors can stand out and ruin everything. Just ONE.

Make sure you have somebody who’s good at proofreading go through each and every single word written on your CV.