2- Word-processing and printing

2- Word-processing and printing

Word-processing and printing

Provided by: Maamoun Salam, Bilal Khawam.
Last updated: 13/7/2007

  • Introduction
  • What Typeface to Use
  • How to Print the Final Product
  • What to Do After You Are Done Writing


- Your CV should be produced using a modern word-processing package, such as Microsoft Word and printed on a high quality laser printer.

- It is not really good enough these days to produce your CV on a typewriter and it will make you look very unprofessional, out of date and out of touch with the modern world.

- If you do not have access to this technology, or using a computer is one of your worst nightmares, then you will have to pay someone to do this for you. If you get someone else to prepare your CV make sure they print it out on a laser printer.

What Typeface to Use

- Your CV should look neat and tidy with all the information easy to find.
- There are conventions for a medical CV so don't be too creative with style and layout.
- Believe it or not, there is a right typeface and a wrong typeface to use for these documents.
- In general, stay conservative, but not courier 10 point. It is thought that the only time you would want to use courier 10 is when writing a legal brief.
- It is well known that the serif typeface is much easier to read compared to sans serif. A serif is a characteristic feature of roman typefaces, signifying the small terminal stroke drawn at a right or oblique angle across the arm, stem, or tail of a letter. When writing for busy, sometimes tired readers, it behooves you to make your documents easy to read. Whichever style you choose, make sure the size is adequate so anyone can easily read it.
- Also, avoid the use of ALL CAPS, all bold, or all italics, and excessive underlining when writing these documents. Only use them when you absolutely need to and only when they enhance the readability of your documents. No matter what you do, keep in mind that the bottom line you wish to achieve is easy readability.
- Use the tab key rather than the space bar to indent information to create a neat effect. Placing the dates at the left hand side, with the rest of the information 'tabbed' in an inch or so, is often an effective way of setting the information out neatly and where the details are easy to pick out.

How to Print the Final Product

- After working hard on your documents, the last thing you want to do is to present yourself using cheap 20 pound white bond paper. Spend just a few dollars and print your documents on matching single solid-colored paper and envelope. Parchment style is favored the, but you have to find one which suits your tastes.
- In other words, you should use good quality paper, preferably 100gram weight and you should also use this paper for writing any letters on.
- You can use brilliant white paper or if you want to be distinctive and different you might try cream or vellum paper.
- When you are sending your CV to someone you should always send it in an A4 envelope rather than folding it.
- Remember, don't go wild and get fancy patterned paper. Keep in mind that your reader will most likely be of the conservative set. You can be creative after you get into that residency program.
- Also, It is highly recommended to use a laser printer, not a bubble jet or ink jet printer. Again, you deserve to be shown in the best possible light. If you don't have access to a laser printer or a computer, you might consider asking a friend or going to a local print shop and use their printers.
- Dot matrix or inkjet printers are not really good enough and the ink from an inkjet tends to smudge fairly easily. Always ask for a proof copy of your CV so that you can check that it meets your needs.
- Lastly, if you use a watermarked paper, print on the side of the document which will show the watermark in the correct orientation when your document is read. This is a very minute point but it makes for a "perfect" document once you are done.

What to Do After You Are Done Writing

- Have lots of people proof read it and take their comments with a grain of salt - you may know what is best for the specialty to which you are applying.
- Use correct grammar and spelling - check and double check it!
- Include a cover letter. Put it in the envelope as the first sheet and send it with your other application materials for a particular program.(see Covering Letters)
- Include a self-addressed stamped return "application complete" card if the program to which you are applying does not have one already done for you.

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