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Should You Apply for Medical Jobs with a Resume or CV

There are two methods for presenting educational and work experience when applying for medical jobs. One is to write a resume, the other is to put together a curriculum vitae (CV). The trick is knowing which one to offer. The good news is that it is not a complicated trick.

Both the resume and CV have their pros and cons. They also have their distinct purposes. This post explains how they differ and how to know which one is best for each situation.

Basic Definitions

Resumes and CVs both serve the purpose of giving potential employers details about yourself. Of the two, the CV is longer and more detailed. It covers every aspect of an applicant’s educational and working career. It also covers related experience and activities.

Think of a resume as an abbreviated version of the CV. It also offers similar information but in less detail and with less volume. It is considered less professional for some types of medical jobs – especially clinical jobs in Europe and Asia.

Consider the Job You’re Applying For

The first thing to do when choosing the right document is to carefully consider the job you are applying for. Medical jobs like lab technician and phlebotomist do not require detailed CVs. These are entry-level jobs for which employers don’t expect a long history of educational and employment opportunities. They care more about more immediate experience relevant to the job they are trying to fill. A resume would do just fine.

On the other hand, you might be applying for a clinical position at a major U.S. hospital. As a doctor or nurse, you have decades of experience and education that perspective employers need to know about. It is far too much information for a resume, so you choose the CV instead.

Consider the Location of the Job

There are times when geographic location comes into play. Going back to the example of doctors and nurses, a CV may not be the appropriate document if you are applying to a rural hospital or a medical school in Southeast Asia. In such settings, professional protocol isn’t as uptight and demanding.

If you are applying for clinical job in Europe, it would be a different matter. A hospital in a major European city would likely expect a complete CV that includes undergraduate and graduate studies, fellowships, certifications, licensing, and work experience. You might even include teaching experience and any writings you have had published. A resume would simply not do for such an important position in Europe.

Consider the Demand

As strange as it might sound, you also have to consider the demand for that particular job. Again, you might be applying for a job at a prestigious university, a job that everyone in your field would want. Depending on the type of job it is, your CV may be the only means at your disposal for distinguishing yourself from other applicants.

Jobs that do not draw as much competition may not require the CV despite being highly specialized. Maybe you are applying for a teaching position at a medical university in South America. You are one of only five candidates for the position. A resume or slightly abbreviated CV should be enough.

If you are ever unsure about which document to provide, the experts at Health Jobs Nationwide suggest that you check with a recruiter. There is nothing wrong with reaching out for some help. A recruiter can not only tell you which documents to offer and how to compare them, but he or she can also help you find a position suited to your needs, preferences, and personality.

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