Seeking out assignments as a locum tenens professional involves some sort of documentation of work history. Some recruiters say a decent resume is sufficient while others prefer a copy of the clinician’s curriculum vitae (CV). Is one more appropriate than the other? No. It really depends on the situation. Clinicians are probably best advised to assume that both will be necessary for any one position.

If you are prepared to submit both and only need to submit one for a particular job, that is a bonus. But not having both when you need them is not good. So keep a running CV along with a draft resume that can be adapted to each situation.

What to Include on Your CV

The CV is intended to be a long, detailed document that covers your entire work history. In fact, the phrase ‘curriculum vitae’ is Latin for ‘course of study’. In the modern world, practicing medicine involves a lifelong course of study that continues even after graduation.

Here is what a CV should contain:

  • Name and Contact Info– At the very top should be your name, credentials, and contact information. As obvious as this sounds, it is amazing how many people leave off this information with the expectation that recruiters will find the information on an accompanying resume.
  • The Primary Objective– Like a resume cover letter, a CV should include some sort of objective. A sentence or two explaining why you are seeking employment as a locum tenens clinician will do.
  • Chronological Work History – The rules of creating a CV dictate that all of your work history be chronicled from your most recent position on down. List each employer along with dates worked, your specialty, and your direct supervisor.
  • Licenses and Certifications– Licenses and certifications are critical in locum tenens work. In the event you are lacking what you need for particular assignment, your staffing agency might be able to help.
  • Professional Memberships– List all memberships in professional organizations. It is appropriate to list civic organizations if they are relevant to your work.
  • Achievements– Finally, a CV should list any awards and achievements pertaining to your work. If you have ever been published for example, list those articles and the publications in which they appeared.

Remember that the key to an effective curriculum vitae is detail. If a recruiter is going to take time to read it, he or she wants as much detail as possible.

What to Include on a Resume

A resume is intended to be a much shorter document that provides a broad overview of the clinician’s experience. Most experts say a resume should be no more than two pages long; keeping it to a single page is even better though. A resume should include:

  • name and contact info
  • primary objective
  • summary of work history
  • list of licenses and certifications.

In terms of work history, it is okay on a resume to focus only on those past positions relevant to the one currently being sought. You might be applying for an assignment where you will be offering primary care as a hospitalist. In this instance there is no need for you to list any previous experience not related to primary care.

Remember that a resume serves as a brief overview while a curriculum vitae offers all the detail a recruiter could want. You may have to submit both documents for some assignments but only one for others. Therefore, keep both up-to-date. Add every new assignment to your curriculum vitae. Include it on your resume for any future assignments to which it is relevant.