Skip to main content

CV Preparation Tips

Questions for Preparing a Curriculum Vitae For Residency Applications

We will request a CV from you in your third year for our use during the MSPE process. The Office of Student Affairs will collect these and will be available for consultation in their preparation. You will find that an up-to-date CV will be helpful to apply to away rotations, make uploading information into your ERAS application easier, and for reference on the residency interview trail. It may also help you to identify unique characteristics to use for the MSPE. This document should be as long as you need it to be; especially if you have a previous career, a number of publications or extensive volunteering etc. 

        1. Personal information
               a. Name (as it will appear on your application
               b. Address
               c. Contact (phone and email)
               d. Should only be listed on the first page

        2. Layout
               a. Standard type (Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial)
               b. 10-12 point font
               c. 1-inch margins
               d. Bold or italics should be used sparingly (ie headings or to highlight your name in a citation)
               e. Page Number (lower left corner)

        3. Section Headings
               a. Education
                    i. Most recent first
                   ii. For medical school, indicate that your degree is "expected (date of graduation)”
                  iii. If dual degree can place thesis as bullet under advanced degree
               b. Employment
                    i. Most recent first
               c. Military Service (if appropriate)
               d. Licensure (optional)
                    i. I.e. medical (NOT BLS or ACLS) like nursing/physician assistant/EMT
                   ii. Teaching certificate
               e. Research Experience
                    i. Most recent first
                   ii. Include the institution and principal investigator
                  iii. 1-2 brief detail bullet to describe your role or unique skills gained
               f. Grant Funding
                    i. If you were listed as principal or co-investigator OR received funding from grant award
               g. Research Awards
               h. Publications
                    i. Peer Reviewed Journal Article/Abstract (*subsection into publications and/or abstracts, each in chronological order)
                       1. Article Title
                       2. Authors
                       3. Publication Name
                       4. Publication Volume/Issue Number/Pages/Month/Year
                       5. PMID
                   ii. Peer Reviewed Journal Articles/Abstracts (Other than Published) Article Title
                       1. Authors
                       2. Publication Name
                       3. Publication Status (Submitted, provisionally accepted, accepted or in-press)
                       4. Month/Year
                  iii.  Peer Reviewed Book Chapter
                       1. Chapter Title
                       2. Name of Book
                       3. Authors
                       4. Editors
                       5. Pages
                       6. Country/State/Province/Year
                  iv. Scientific Monograph (monograph is a specialist book on a single subject written by one author)
                   v. Other Articles (newspaper or newsletter articles, policy briefs, etc.)
                  vi. Poster Presentation
                       1. Presentation Title
                       2. Authors/Presenters
                       3. Event/Meeting
                       4. Country/State/City/Month/Year
                 vii. Oral Presentation
                       1. Presentation Title
                       2. Authors/Presenters
                       3. Event/Meeting
                       4. Country/State/City/Month/Year
                viii. Peer Reviewed Online Publication
                       1. Online publication type
                       2. Authors
                       3. URL
                       4. Publication Date
                  ix. Non-Peer reviewed Publications
                   x. Non-peer reviewed Online Publications
               i. Leadership
                    i. Most recent first
                   ii. Include role
                  iii. 1 detail bullet description (optional)
               j. Volunteer Experience
                    i. Most recent first
                   ii. 1 detail bullet (optional)
               k. Professional Society Memberships  
               l. Honors and Awards
                    i. Most recent first
               m. Hobbies or Interests (optional)
                    i. Language fluency (fluent/conversational)
                   ii. Cultural knowledge (special training or unique experience)

ERAS Tools and Worksheets for Residency Applications

AMA Citation Reference

For Publications:

It is appropriate to list manuscripts in various stages of preparation but those that are not officially published should be included in the “Peer Reviewed Journal Articles/Abstracts (Other than Published)” section and distinction as to submitted, provisionally accepted, accepted or in-press should be provided.

If a manuscript is in preparation, you could include this within the research description bullet. To include in the publication section could be viewed as an empty promise.

If a poster was accepted as an oral presentation, it should be listed only once as an oral presentation.

Generally, if a conference calls for "original and unpublished" work, then it is poor form to present exactly the same paper/poster at another meeting. If there is new data presented and a different poster (same project) this is generally acceptable and may be represented twice on the CV.

If you were part of a poster which was presented at a conference, but you were not the presenter, it should be included under Abstract

Peer reviewed means that a board of academic reviewers in the subject area of the journal, review materials for quality of research and adherence to editorial standards of the journal, before articles are accepted for publication.

For Presentations:

Presentations refer to presentations that have been FORMALLY accepted or invited at regional or national academic meetings. Presentations that you do in the context of your education, for instance on rounds or in clerkship conferences, etc. are NOT academic presentations and should not be listed on your CV.

If a poster was used for an oral presentation, it should be listed only once as an oral presentation.

Posters presented at meetings include both items that were only presented in this way or those which were followed by a publication. 

 ANYTHING LISTED ON YOUR CV or in ERAS should be able to be verified. This may be through internet searches, literature searches, etc. DO NOT risk any chance that someone viewing your CV will doubt your academic integrity.


  • Avoid a glitzy appearance
  • Be honest
  • Use active voice, not passive voice
  • Avoid first person
  • Not separating information into subheadings
  • Pagination errors - heading at the bottom of one page, the section beginning on the next page
  • Not underlining or putting name in bold in publications
  • Not being consistent in formatting, font and font size
  • Manuscripts should have the SAME citation format
  • Not spell checking and proof-reading to catch these and other mistakes
  • Use University of Maryland School of Medicine, not University of Maryland Medical School
  • Not putting items in chronological (education/employment/research) or reverse chronological order (publications)
  • Because the CV is read left to right, avoid placing dates on the left margin. This allows the activity to be focused on first.
  • People look for holes in your life, and there should be no extended period of time unaccounted for. It is better to say that you worked at McDonald’s for a year (and what’s wrong with that?) than to have them wonder where you might have been during that time.
  • Include activities in which you participated before medical school, including your college years. Even certain pre-college achievements (e.g., high school valedictorian, Eagle Scout) may be relevant.
  • Do NOT include SSN, age, gender, race, religion, political affiliation, marital/parental status, disability or national origin, DEA number or license numbers
  • Listing the expiration date instead of the date issued for licenses
  • Not including leadership, volunteering and sports activities from undergraduate years
  • Listing hobbies that would show a Program Director that you may be distracted (ie. playing video games, fantasy football, etc.

If you are not sure where an activity, publication or article should be listed, talk to your research mentor, specialty advisor, and/or your career advisory dean.

We are here to help whenever you’d like us to look at a draft!

Sample CV