Impressing: Your CV

There are many ways to structure your CV. As you prepare your CV, keep in mind that the goal of the CV is to communicate to programs your activities and accomplishments in a brief format. Most CVs list accomplishments in reverse chronological order. In general, it’s best to focus on activities and accomplishments from undergraduate, graduate, and medical school. Your CV should also clearly address any breaks you took in between these educational periods. Did you work? Did you do volunteer work? Were you involved in research?
Everyone’s CV looks different. Don’t worry about what you think should or should not be on your CV (ten different honors! president of three different organizations!). Make your CV reflect you – programs use the CV to get a picture of who you are and what is important to you through your participation in different activities.
Information you enter into ERAS will be formatted into a CV that programs can print out. However, since you are collecting all this information anyway, now is a good time to write/update your CV. Bring copies with you to interviews – it’s unlikely you’ll be asked for a copy but it never hurts to be prepared.
Many students wonder if they should include activities before medical school on their CV. Definitely include all awards and honors from college onward. Unless you did something unbelievably amazing in high school, leave these activities and awards from this part of your life off of your CV. It’s ok to include pertinent college activities for which you made a substantial commitment.
How to document your RUOP on ERAS:

  • The RUOP experience itself goes into the volunteer section.
  • If you did your III with RUOP, the resulting posters and abstracts go in the publication section.
  • General citation for a poster: Last Name, First Initial. Title of Poster. Poster session presented at: Number and name of session; date of session; place of session.
  • For the UW Poster Session: University of Washington School of Medicine Annual Medical Student Poster Session
  • For the Carmel Conference:
    • If you gave a Powerpoint Presentation, your abstract was published in:
      Journal of Investigative Medicine, Vol. xx, (1) #–, January 20xx.
      The number appearing next to your name in the “20xx Schedule” on the home page is the number of your abstract for inclusion in your journal citation.
    • If you presented your poster, include a poster citation with the name of the session (x Annual Western Student Medical Research Forum)


  • Be honest.
  • Include professional memberships. Remember how you joined the AAFP your first year? Put this on, it shows a commitment to the specialty!
  • Be clear in ERAS about your leadership activities. If you were one of the two student leaders on a project organizing 50 medical student volunteers over 2 years then state that explicitly so people know exactly what you did.


  • Pad your CV with many small experiences. A leadership position or participation in activity for 2-3 years means much more than 20 activities that just required you to show up once.
  • LIE. Never ever lie. It will end badly.