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How to Write Your CV

How to Write Your CV

Wondering how to write a CV for a role in healthcare or the medical field? We’ve got you sorted.

How to Write Your CV

The curriculum vitae is an essential document for medical students and doctors in training seeking employment. Every public and private hospital will require you to submit a CV as part of your application.

While the terms “résumé” and “curriculum vitae” (CV) are often used interchangeably, a résumé technically only contains information directly relevant to the job being applied for whereas a CV contains more information about the applicant. You may see the terms interchangeably and if you are in doubt about what the employer is seeking, then it is useful to clarify.

Some hospitals and organisations will have a required CV template that the applicant has to populate (Queensland Health example is below), and others will ask for the applicant's pre-prepared CV, so it is always useful to have your CV prepared and ready for dissemination if required.

When it comes to how to write a CV, writing a CV and tailoring it for the specific role you are applying for takes time. Allowing yourself ~3 – 5 hours for the first CV you write, and an hour for reviewing and editing your CV, would be a rough estimate.

Having a unique CV that is relevant, succinct, and informative can make an applicant stand out from the crowd, and you should aim to make one that does just this. How to write a CV for a medical role in Australia? We’ve detailed our top CV tips, as well as a medical CV template, below.

Important medical CV tips;

  • The aim of your CV or résumé should be to present a summary of your career, including education, professional history, and job qualifications with a strong emphasis on demonstrating that you have the specific skills related to the position you are applying for.
  • Be aware employers spend roughly 6 to 8 seconds reviewing each CV/ résumé.
  • Generally aim for 2 pages, but check the application guidelines as they may stipulate the length.
  • Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for. The best way to do this is provide a Career Summary or Career Goal Statement as the first block of writing.
  • Make your name the biggest thing on the front page. That’s what you want them to remember.
  • Your CV should be written in plain business English, with correct spelling and grammar.
  • Use a professional-looking design with easy-to-read fonts such as Arial or Helvetica.
  • Do not include a photograph in your CV unless it is specifically requested.
  • Avoid a cluttered layout: white space improves readability.
  • Convert your résumé to portable document format (PDF) which is the format best used online (unless the job application specifies otherwise).

Order of sections

  1. Details (name, contacts, registration, short qualifications)
  2. Career Summary/ Personal Statement
  3. Work History (Most recent job first and following in reverse chronological order)
  4. Education History (Most recent qualification first and following in reverse chronological order)
  5. Registration and membership in professional associations
  6. Conferences, courses, and meetings attended
  7. Research, publication, and presentations
  8. Clinical and procedural skills such as the main skills gained from internship or medical school (optional)
  9. Community service work if it is directly relevant to the position (optional)
  10. Awards, honours, and scholarships
  11. Referees (Aim for 2 to 4 unless there is a specified number on the application. Always ask your referees before you submit the CV)

What is a career statement and how do I write one?

A career statement or personal statement is a written assertion of your long-term professional goals (or short- medium-term if you are yet to decide on your long-term goals). Career statements give you the ability to prove to your potential employer that you are the right candidate for the position by conveying to them what you have achieved and what your future goals are.

Examples of a career statement;

Intern applying for a PGY2 position

“I am an intern at Cairns Hospital who wishes to continue working as a rotational doctor to increase my knowledge and experience in medicine. I have a particular interest in rural and remote medicine having relocated from a rural setting to study medical school and having completed multiple clinical placements regionally. I have a particular interest in chronic medical conditions and problem solving and have skills in teamwork, problem-solving, critical analysis and clinical reasoning. Working at the Cairns Hospital as a rotational JHO would continue to allow me exposure to a broad range of clinical areas and further enhance my medical skills.”

PGY2 applying for a paediatrics training program

“I wish to pursue a career in community paediatrics with a research focus on improving rates of childhood obesity.  As a junior house officer at the Townsville University Hospital, I have obtained placements in paediatrics, volunteered my services teaching healthy lifestyles to children and parents at my local community centre and conducted research into rates of obesity in children in rural North Queensland as part of my undergraduate medical degree. I have also developed a range of basic skills and procedures in children which will mean that I come to the role ready to start. I now plan to formally enrol in the Paediatric Training program of the College and have familiarised myself with the requirements for training and contracted with a mentor to assist me in training and I am seeking a paediatrics registrar role.”

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424