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Writing your CV

Start with a message

Residency directors need to understand how your experience, skills, interest and values make you  a good match for their program. In your CV, you will have 3-8 pages to layout evidence that makes your case. But before you begin writing, consider what overall message you want to convey with the data you share in your CV. Consider these questions:


  1. What do I want the residency director (RD) to know about my academic background, clinical, teaching, research and leadership experiences?

  2.  What information will clearly demonstrate that I have the required training and skills to be successful and that your presence will be a positive addition to the residency program


In terms of residency directors they look for candidates who:

  • have a range of clinical experiences and skills (as demonstrated through clinical rotations and internships)

  • strong pharmacotherapy knowledge (aquired through education and clinical experiences)

  • strong work ethic

  • ability to work in a team

  • leadership skills,

  • communication skills

  • and in some cases research experience. 


Organize your document

Think of your document as being divided in 3 sections: (these are a framework for your document and not the actual headings)

A. Educational background

      Start with education at the top of your document. 

B. Professional skills and experience

     Your skills and experience are detailed in the body of your document. On average students choose 5 or more headings from this section         to organize and highlight their skills and experience in an easy to read format for the RD.

C. Outcomes/accomplishments from educational and professional experiences


CV vs. Resume

Curriculum Vitae

What is the difference between a resume and a Curriculum Vitae (CV)?


 A typical resume is a general and concise introduction of your experiences and skills as they relate to a particular career or position that you are aiming to acquire. As such, a resume may have to be altered for each position that you are applying for so as to emphasize those skills and experiences most relevant to the work. Resumes are usually no more than one page in length. They are often accompanied by cover letters, which provide a permanent written record of the transmittal of the resume (what is being sent, to whom it is being sent, and who sent it).

Please refer to the page on Resumes to learn more. 


In contrast, a CV is a fairly detailed overview of your life’s accomplishments, especially those most relevant to the realm of academia. As such, these documents have their greatest utility in the pursuit of a job in academia or research and of coarse, Pharmacy. Because academic researchers are often working on and completing many projects and teaching responsibilities simultaneously, it is wise to think of a CV as a living document that will need to be updated frequently. A typical CV for someone in the beginning stages of his or her graduate school career might only be two or three pages in length, while the number of pages of a more seasoned researcher’s CV may run into the double digits. In both CVs and resumes, information within sections is usually organized chronologically.






















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