When it comes to job hunting as a healthcare professional, your CV presentation is important. Getting it right, and you will be shortlisted and interviewed quickly, but get it wrong, and you may face rejection after rejection. This guide will show you how to write a great CV that is ready for 2020 and beyond.
Your curriculum vitae (CV) or sometimes referred as a resume, is a personal advertisement used to sell yourself to prospective employers. It should tell them about you, your professional history and your skills, abilities and achievements. Ultimately, it should highlight why you are the best person for the job. Here is a simple guide as to how to create the perfect CV as a healthcare professional.
While the structure of a CV is flexible, bending to your unique clinical skill set and experiences, there are particular sections that employers expect to see on your CV regardless. Here are the sections you must include in your CV:
The first part of your CV, positioned at the top of the page, should contain your name, professional title and contact details. There is no need to title your CV with ‘curriculum vitae’, ‘CV’ or ‘Resume’ as it’s a waste of valuable space. Treat your name as the title instead.
When it comes to your contact details, your email address and phone number(s) are essential. Once upon a time, it was customary to include your full address on your CV. Today, you simply need to list your town and county. If you are currently working abroad, ensure you include the city and country you are residing. This ensures employers understand any specific needs you may have. If you like, you can also include a link to your Endorse Jobs profile page in this section – but only if it’s up to date!
A professional profile photo is not required on CV, however many employers have feedback that it is helpful to build instant rapport and some research suggests that CV’s with professional photographers are more likely to be shortlisted. Look below for examples of CV templates.
A personal profile, also known as a personal statement, career objective and professional profile, is one of the most important aspects of your CV. It is a short paragraph that sits just underneath your name and contact details giving prospective employers an overview of who you are and what you’re all about.
You should tailor your profile to every job you apply for, highlighting specific qualities that match you to the role. Aim to keep your personal statement short and sweet, and no longer than a few sentences. If you are looking for managerial or executive healthcare roles, the employer may want to little more information within your personal statement, therefore it is acceptable for these personal statements to be a little longer.
To make the most of this section, you should try to address the following:
If you want more on how to write your personal statement, it is worth checking out our comprehensive guide.
Your employment history section gives you a chance to outline your previous jobs and work experience. List your experience in reverse chronological order as your recent role is the most relevant to the employer.
When listing each position of employment, state your job title, the employer, the dates you worked and a line that summarises the role. Then bullet point your key responsibilities, skills and achievements, and bolster each point with powerful verbs and figures to support each claim and showcase your impact.
It helps to choose the duties most relevant to the job you’re applying for, especially if it’s a long list. If you have many years’ worth of experience, you can reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles. If you have positions from more than 10 years’ ago, you can delete them.
Your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you were there, followed by the qualifications and grades you achieved. If you are about to graduate or still studying, ensure you include the date you qualify. Include all relevant and most recent certificates, awards and modules that are relevant to the role you are applying. This will assure employers you have continued to develop into your clinical career.
Many healthcare professionals undertake additional research, write articles and receive recognition awards. This is important that these are also listed, particularly if research is relevant for doctors as many employers will want to use your accolades to promote its services to prospective patients.
This is an essential section as a healthcare professional, as it reassures employers you are able to practice safely within their organisation. List your professional registration/licencing bodies, including your licence number and expiry. Include all territories and countries you have registration.
It you are not yet registered/licenced in the country you are applying; state the stage you are currently. This allows employers to judge approximate deployment times and what additional support you require. By not including this, employers may assume your not passionate to working in their country and organisation.
There is a range of additional sections that may strengthen your CV and highlight your skills. Here are just a few you can include if you have room:
Key Clinical Skills
If you’re writing a functional CV, or have some abilities you want to show off to the employer immediately, include key clinical skills section underneath your personal profile, as part of your responsibilities in the employers section. You should aim to detail four to six abilities at most.
To ensure the organisation reviewing you CV can understand the diverse roles you are suitable, you could list these within your CV. This can also give the organisation the opportunity find alternative roles it you’re unsuccessful for the original job you are applying.
Hobbies and interests
If you feel that your CV is lacking, you can boost your document by inserting a hobbies and interests section at the end. This can help to show how well you fit into the company or the industry. This could include charities or fundraising you support or any voluntary work. Be careful though; avoid listing hobbies that don’t add value to your CV or are run-of-the-mill, like reading. Draw on interests that make you stand out or are relevant to the job.
Adding your referees to the end of your CV is no longer standardised. You can include a line that reads ‘references available on request’, but if you do not have room, it’s acceptable to remove it altogether. Most employers will have policies in which will be an appropriate reference, and these will be requested only if they are confident they wish to offer you a role following the interview.
If you are unsure of how to format your CV, it’s worth downloading a few CV templates to familiarise yourself. After all, formatting and spacing your CV is equally as important as the content. Here are some formatting and spacing tips to bear in mind:
The standard length of a CV is two A4 pages for most healthcare roles and appropriate to some professionals to provide a supplementary document listing accredited research, awards, achievements if there are too many to fit onto the two page CV . However, one size does not fit all, and so for some professionals, one or three pages may be more appropriate.
Each section must be introduced by a big, bold heading to ensure an easy read. It is recommend a maximum font size of 18 for the main title.
Font Size and Page Margins
The body of your CV should be between 10 and 12 point font, and your headings between 14 and 16 points. Keep your page margins around 2.5cm, but never reduce them to less than 1.25cm or your CV will appear cluttered and hard to read. White space ensures clarity and professionalism.
Proof-reading and Consistency
Your formatting must be consistent throughout your CV to keep it looking slick. Don’t spoil your polished look by including typos and inaccuracies; proofread like a pro to capture every mistake or invest in intelligent spellcheckers.
Most employers will receive your CV in a digital format, so choose a clear font like Calibri or Arial. You can use a different font type for your headings, but keep it professional and easy-to-read.
There are a variety of details that you shouldn’t include on your CV. Here are a few of the common ones:
Age and date of birth: The only dates that should be on your CV are from employment and your qualifications. Your age doesn’t affect your ability to do the job, and it’s illegal for employers to ask about age. Some
Marital status: Like your age, your marital status and dependants don’t affect your ability to do your job. These details are protected characteristics and it’s against the law for employers to ask about them, so don’t include them on your CV.
Religion: Your religious beliefs should also not be included and is also a protected characteristic by many countries and it is not relevant and against the law in most for employers to ask. Therefore, should not be included on your CV.
High School/Secondary School qualifications: Including irrelevant qualifications for example High school/secondary school qualifications is not helpful to employers and wastes of space on your CV. It is however helpful for school leavers hoping to enter the healthcare industry as an unqualified professional e.g. Porter and Healthcare Assistant.
Get your professional CV right from the outset, and you may well find a job more quickly. Your CV is your chance to make a great first impression and secure yourself an interview, so follow this 2020 guide and then upload your CV to Endorse Jobs and apply for your next healthcare job.