Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the positive feedback I have received in my last blog! It was truly difficult to write about it because it brought back painful memories, but if I can help at least one person understand what it is like being a medical student, then hey, I did my job.
I don’t know about y’all, but I am ready for the possibility of new growth in 2021. This past year has been rough to say the least, and I am hoping for a better outcome as the next year progresses, Godwilling. Anyways, for those of you who want a new position, whether it be for a job or in research, you most likely need to make a resume or CV. I remember I learned how to do a sample one in high school but this is different. You need one to show your experiences and professionalism. Because I had to learn how to create this one on my own, I thought I should share some tips on how to start out.
Before you begin reading, make sure to use this template I created (or any resume/CV template that you like):
*Click on File and then Download so that you can use it on your desktop. If you want a copy for specifically to use on Google Drive, message me :)*
1. Jot down everything that you think is relevant from the end of highschool to where you are now
I remember just writing down all the activities I had whether it be through volunteering for a of couple hours or a student organization that I have joined. Regarding my point about adding high school experience, it honestly depends on what year you are in college and what experience you already have. For example, I am in medical school now so I would not really put down anything I have done in high school but when I was a sophomore in college, I still had some things on my resume that came from my time in high school.
You may think that some of your experiences are irrelevant but still jot them down because they might actually be more significant than you think they are.
2. Separate your experiences
Now that you have jotted down your experiences, separate them based on categories. Usually on resumes there are five types of categories: Education, Work/Professional Experience, Leadership Experience, Volunteer Experience and Awards/Honors. A CV has those categories as well and even an additional categories like other activities and publications. Try to have something for each of them. If you have not gained that experience yet, you will be fine but as you go on throughout your academic and professional career, try to meet some of those categories listed above.
3. Date and describe each experience
On a resume or CV, you are going to have to put down the timeframe for a specific experience, the location and a description. Usually on a resume, it is a very short description because it is shorter in length and a CV tends to be longer. Here’s an example of a description I have for an activity I put for my resume and one I put for my CV.
See the difference in description length? The experience is the same but the amount of detail I put for my CV as opposed to by resume is different, so keep that in mind.
4. Arrange the experiences in order based on date started
This is easier to explain with a another screenshot:
As you can see, I have joined Health Science Scholars in 2017 and my last experience in undergrad was being president for Ladies of Leadership in 2019. So I arrange my experiences from most recent being at the top to least recent at the bottom. This is done for each of the categories, just so that the person reading my CV/ resume knows which positions I am currently holding and/or recently held.
5. Make sure your template looks clean and professional. Use bold and italics to your convenience
I know there are many resume templates out there, but I decided to make mine on my own. I would put the organization and institution next to each other at the top, the location, bold my position, and then leave a description. For the timeframe, I honestly just kept pressing spacebar button until it was near the end of the page, but I know there is something you can do on Microsoft Word to make the dates stay in place (I am too lazy to find out how to do that tbh). You can use a template that Word provides or even the one I have listed above!
6. Keep the length appropriate
The resume is usually a page long and the CV can be as long as you want it be (some applications want it to be a maximum of 5 pages but just check with them). If you find that your resume or CV is longer than it needs to be, then by no means remove an experience that is least applicable to you for the program you are trying to get into. For example, I was trying to get into research and I had many experiences on my resume, making it over a page long. Once I removed a volunteer experience it keep the length to one page and it did not affect me on getting the position. So use your judgement wisely and edit away until you get to the page length that you need.
And that’s pretty much it. Making resumes and CVs can be time-consuming because you want it look professional while hitting on key points about the type of applicant you are. But trust me, doing them have actually helped me a lot because it prepared me for my medical school application cycle and even when I made my LinkedIn account. Make sure to always put down whatever new experience you have gained on your resume so that you do not forget about it when the time to submit a resume or CV comes. Remember, pretty much any experience can be added as long as you have a great explanation for it. Anyways, I hope this helps and be on the lookout for more blogs. Enjoy the rest of the year!!!!