Sunday, 3 June 2012

Keep your CV ‘Rolling’ – Augment Professional Success

Studying, exams, scores, applications. For a residency applicant, this turns out to be a frequently repeating occurrence like the soak, wash, rinse cycle of a washing machine. This is true not only for a second time applicant but also is a sad reality of a first timer because there are multiple steps with similar motions on the way to get a residency in medical field. In the busy schedules of medical students or physicians one often overlooked but exceedingly important thing is your resume and CV. Websters dictionary defines CV as a short account of one's career and qualifications prepared typically by an applicant for a position. The difference between resume and CV according to about.com is that a resume is typically short (less than 2 pages) while CV is more in-depth, lengthy (+2 pages). To be professionally successful, one must work towards accomplishments and have a ‘rolling’ CV

What is a rolling CV?
Simply put, keep adding meaningful accomplishments to your CV every 6 months. The additions have to further your professional development and make your application stronger. Why 6 months, would you say? 

Half a year is a reasonably good length of time to do things in a dedicated manner

Anything shorter than that is not enough to produce quality work and longer than that is a bigger gap. Rolling your CV as opposed to having a static or stagnant CV very important. Every one who is a success does it in a way applicable to their situation. Top scientists, keep publishing. Developers keep innovating new ideas.

When should you begin ‘rolling’ the CV?
It is a continuous process of progress and advancement of your self. The sooner you decide to set this goal, the better the results will be at the end of the year. It can be as simple as setting a few minutes aside from your day to decide what else can you do to improve yourself. 

Set some time aside to figure out what you can do that matters to your application

Figure out a good thing and then get working on it. Also, remember to make the additions to your CV before applying for a job or residency, so that the programs receive the most current version of your profile.

Professional advancement requires an evolving progress

How can you keep your CV rolling?
There are many ways to keep your CV moving forward and have been dealt with in detail in other sections of the site. Briefly, you could sign up for some courses or get some extra degree credits. There are also options to add to your list by showing you are productive in writing and publishing. This can be in the form of case reports, journal articles, letters to editor, critical review, critique, original submission or even a personal commentary on hot topic issues. Do not be disheartened if your entry does not get accepted, this happens – all the time. Even the best of physicians get their manuscripts returned. The idea is to keep trying by sending to another journal or medium (website etc) or trying again with revised better content. 

Never say no to opportunities that may come you way. 

But to make those opportunities you have to work for it. Other additions like volunteer work,working in charity hospitals or free clinics are also valuable additions to your CV.

Finally, why should you do this?
The very fact that you want to pursue residency and post gradate training in US indicates you have a desire to further your professional careers. Having a evolving improving CV shows many of the attributes that potential employers are looking for in a candidate. They want to hire someone who is industrious and innovative. Some one who has versatility and is able to validate the mission of the institution. This issue is very important for so called ‘old grads’, if you have graduated from medicine years ago and are now applying for residency, what you  have done in between becomes the single most important factor aside from scores. If you have not been doing much, it is not late to start. Do a critical appraisal of your self and decide what you can do to improve your application.

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2 comments:

  1. Great work with the blog.Keep it up !!
    In one section you mentioned about going for "case reports, journal articles, letters to editor, critical review, critique, original submission " so as to keep the CV rolling.But how does one starts doing all these if one doesn't have any experience in all this during undergraduate years especially for an IMG like me in INDIA.??

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    Replies
    1. The best recourse in that case is to find a faculty who is academically oriented and is interested in supporting you for preparing a manuscript. This will be a learning process for you and if accepted for publication will be helpful for the faculty as well.

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