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5 Expert Tips to Writing the Perfect Medical CV
In this blog post, we’re going to be looking at how you can create the perfect medical CV; including essential guidance on its’ length, structure, what healthcare recruiters will be looking for and top tips for putting it all together.
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is essential for doctors at any grade or specialty. Your CV gives you a valuable opportunity to really impress your prospective employer and provide a memorable first impression to Senior Consultants, Clinical Leads and Managerial Staff and Recruitment Consultants.
What is the purpose of a good medical CV?
At a basic level, the perfect medical CV will clearly outline your skills, experiences and achievements throughout your career. It will allow prospective employers to get a snapshot of your abilities and also get to know you a little better in the process.
Think of your CV as your own personal shop window: it’s your chance to really sell yourself, your abilities and your achievements plus, it also plays a key part in securing that all-important interview!
How long should the perfect medical CV be?
If you’re a junior doctor, we recommend your CV to be 1-2 pages in length. However, if you’re more senior level, at Senior Registrar or Consultant level for example, we recommend that your CV is between 8-12 pages in length due to your array of experience that will need to be detailed.
Did you know that recruiters tend to spend 6-8 seconds reviewing your CV? And most of that time is spent on the first page, which means your first page should have all of your best information and really grab the readers’ attention.
How should I structure my CV?
Structuring your CV will help the reader gather key information and skills at a glance. We’d recommended that you structure it as follows:
- Personal/Contact Details/Current Appointment
- Personal Statement
- GMC Number
- Prizes and Awards
- Career Summary
- Clinical Experience (reverse-chronological order)
- Management Experience
- Teaching Experience
- Research Experience
- Personal Interests
Remember to match your CV to the post that you’re applying for! For example, if you’re applying for a Clinical Fellow post, your research and teaching experience should be placed higher to provide greater emphasis of your relevant experience.
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Value Based Recruitment
The NHS has six values placed within its constitution and Values Based Recruitment is part of the NHS’ Recruitment Guidelines and so, it’s worth incorporating these values into your CV.
The NHS’ Values:
Working together for patients – Patients are at the forefront of everything
Respect and Dignity – The NHS’ values every person – whether it’s a patient, a family member, carer or staff, respect their aspirations and commitments in life and seek to understand their priorities, needs, abilities and limits
Commitment to quality of care – The NHS earns the trust placed in them by insisting on the best quality of care and striving to always achieve – safety, effectiveness and a positive patient experience every time
Compassion – The NHS’ ensures that compassion is central to the care they provide and they ensure they respond with humanity and kindness to each person’s pain, distress, anxiety or needs
Improving Lives – The NHS strives to improve health, wellbeing and people’s experiences every day
Everyone Counts – The NHS maximises their resources for the benefit of the whole community and makes sure that nobody is excluded, discriminated against or left behind
So, when you are writing your CV try and emphasise your motivation and commitment to the NHS, your ability to work within multi-professional teams and the importance of patient care.
Our top tips when writing a good medical CV
1. Don’t use a photo!
In the UK, under the Equality Act 2010, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against personal characteristics including your sex, age, gender, nationality.
By not including a photo, it allows prospective employers to judge you on your skills and experience, not what you look like.
2. Talk about your achievements within each role!
Your CV provides you with the opportunity to sell yourself and so, you should try and list at least two achievements or changes you made within each job role.
If you could support this with a statistic, even better! For example, ‘Introduced a new pre-registration protocol that reduced re-schedules by 10%’.
3. Don’t lie!
Your CV should be entirely truthful, with no exaggeration of the truth whatsoever. Lying on a CV can leave you in serious trouble with the GMC and potentially jeopardise your right to practice medicine.
4. Keep it clear and concise!
A CV is a professional document and so, you should not use any crazy colours, fonts, texts and borders. Keep the font to a classic including Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri and keep the font size to 11 or 12.
5. Address your Career Gaps!
Your CV not only highlights your achievements, but also the gaps in your knowledge and experience that you need to fill.
If you have a career gap in your CV, it’s essential that you’re first, honest about it and second, you were proactive about the career gap. What did you do to fill your time and keep up to date with medical changes? Were you studying? Did you complete a Master’s? Did you complete research? Did you travel?
We will review your CV!
If you’re a doctor who is unsure on the structure, format or content of the perfect medical CV – we offer a free CV review service.
Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help.