Do you need a CV or a Resume?

Individual Clients and BootCamp™ participants alike are always asking about the difference between a resume and a CV, and which they should be using. 

 
First, the difference. Your CV is an historical record of your education, practice, licensure, privileges, memberships, etc… And while some of your memberships or the programs you attended may imply quality, there are no claims of prominence, skills or superior abilities, per se. It is simply a record of activity. 
 
A resume, on the other hand is a combination of information. First and foremost it is an advertisement of your skills and abilities with claims of accomplishments and values attributed to specific accomplishments. And while a claim of prominence may not be, “I’m the best physician administrator,” it may be, “I’m a highly skilled physician administrator exemplified by…” 
Your resume then contains a listing of information serving to corroborate that you have had the requisite experiences and education to reasonably substantiate those aforementioned “claims.”
CV’s run from a few pages to dozens of pages. A good resume, I contend, is two pages. One page, the first page, to make your claims, to state the job or job area you wish, and then a categorization with examples of your most important and definable areas of expertise. My assertion is that the more we accomplish in life, the shorter our resume may become. For example, a corporate chief executive need really only list his/her three to five key accomplishments to qualify for innumerable future  positions. For example, do you know what educational degrees Jack Welch earned? How about Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, do you know their degrees and education? More importantly, do you care? And, do you care that one of our recent presidents owned a major league baseball franchise? President, Commander and Chief, are really all that matter now.  
 
At the mid to upper executive levels organizations do most certainly want to know you have an appropriate education, but that education isn’t about a specific field, unless you’re applying for a very task directed job (think medicine, engineering, accounting, architecture), but more importantly to simply illustrate a capacity for learning, critical thinking and decision-making. Most physicians are better decision makers than most MBAs. I’ll say no more about which degree or degrees you should have. 
 
The point is, with a very direct, well constructed two page resume you should be able to clearly tell others the career areas that interest you, support that interest with measurable and/or quantifiable accomplishments and provide a chronology of past positions and education that supports someone of having had the requisite background to make those accomplishments seem reasonable.  

So, which do you need? You need a resume. It's that simple. You may still use your CV. with clients going into the pharma or biotech industries, I often develop a hybrid, resume/cv with the first page being my traditional resume first page, area of focus, core competencies and accomplishments, and the remains, following pages, presented as an often somewhat shortened version of the CV contents. But those are jobs relying heavily on your medical practice and knowledge. Most jobs are different. 
 
If you’d like to learn more about great resume preparation I’d be happy to work with you as an individual client or in a Physician Career BootCamp™ . You might also want to buy my book… “The Physicians’ Guide to NonClinical Careers.” It’s available from Amazon on Kindle. 
 
Please let me know if you find this information helpful and how you’ve used it.