How to make your CV stronger for residency?

There are really few things that you can do to make your profile sound perfect especially that program directors have already trained their eyes how to quickly scan applications during the extremely busy match season where each of them will receive thousands of applications via ERAS.

You need to focus and improve these points that usually graphic the attention of program directors which include:

1- USMLE scores: Usually USMLE step 1 is the strongest indicator of your level. This is true especially for AMGs who apply as medical students yet not done with their remainder steps. For IMGs both steps are important as it gives an overall idea of overseas graduates. In general, USMLE scores are important for competitive specialties like Radiology and Neurosurgery as well as most residencies hosted by university institutions. However for less competitive specialties especially in community programs other criteria usually overcome the need for superb scores which we will talk about it below.

2- USCE: Different types of  United States Clinical Experience is available for IMGs but unfortunately not all of the are really available compared yo the enormous number of IMGs applying to such spots. Although externships are the most desired but they are the least available. Most IMGs who are successful in getting to residencies dill end going 1-2 observerships and get US LORs which really help them earn the necessary interviews yo match. Large bug not least the research experience which can enrich your profile is also shrinking as institutions are cutting budgets and trying to save the invaluable pennies in this tough economic situation the nation is experiencing.

3- Residency back home for IMGs can replace the above two factors in the appropriate stetting. For example, if you you have average scores and no USCE your back home IM or whatever residency you did or are doing can definitely grab the eyes of the programs to your application as the directors usually like to see people with strong clinical background in their program rather than hiring those who by heart books without any clinical confidence or practice experience.

4- No visa need is also an important factor in an applicant where program directors can save money for their institutions. I am not encouraging anybody here to get married for the purpose of getting green card but am just trying to encourage those who have it or are IMG US citizen to look at these programs who don't sponsor visas where they have good chances but also they have to consider visa sponsoring institutions where also their chances are bit better for the same reason as well.

5- Although the fresh graduates are more lucky but this is usually true for AMGs. Don't worry much about year of graduation cut offs set by programs if you have continued clinical experience or previous residency. If you are still in medical school, try to get of the USMLEs as the information is still fresh in your mind and hence you will save much time and apply early to the residency match.

6- Connections don't work much especially that program directors want to be on the safe side when picking their residents. However connections can help you getting into interviews and then the remainder is your duty to impress the faculty on the interviews.