The CV: Introduction

This post is the first in a short series about the CV — that necessary annoyance for any academic professional. 

If you’re just getting started with a new CV, or are new to UI Health Care and need to get your current CV into a standard house format, the Carver College of Medicine offers a downloadable Word template here (scroll down to “Other”). I also have a template and tips for resident CVs freely available on my website

The first and most important thing to remember in creating a CV is consistency.

This means a couple of things. First, it means that the entire CV is formatted with the same font throughout, the same style is used for section headings and subheadings (bold, underlined, etc.), and all margins and indentations are consistent throughout the document. A “clean” CV is much easier to read, so readers are able to quickly skim or review the document to find what they’re looking for.

Second, consistency in how each entry in a section is formatted is just as important. Let’s look at a couple of manuscript citations as examples:

Byrne NJ, Rajasekaran NS, Abel ED, Bugger H. Therapeutic potential of targeting oxidative stress in cardiomyopathy. Free Radic Biol Med 2021;169:317-42. PMID: 33910093

Byrne, N.J., Rajasekaran, N.S., Abel, E.D., and Bugger, H. (2021) Therapeutic potential of targeting oxidative stress in cardiomyopathy. Free Radic Biol Med 169:317-342. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2021.03.026

(Quick note: the CVs author should bold their name in the author list.)

Two different styles, both perfectly acceptable. However, someone reviewing a CV is most likely skimming it for a general feel for the publications listed, or they’re looking for specific information, such as year of publication or journal title. Readers get tripped up when the formatting changes in any sort of list or text, or the information they’re looking for is different between listings (PMID vs. doi) or in a different place (here, the year of publication being after the authors’ names vs. the journal name). New entries should stay in the same format as the previous ones.

The key takeway: Pick one style and use it throughout each section. This same rule applies to every section of a CV.

In my upcoming posts, I’ll be reviewing CVs section by section and addressing what goes where. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any specific CV or other editing questions, at

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