Whether you're a doctor looking for their next NHS job or an IMG looking for their first post in the NHS, the structure and content of your CV is the first impression you give to your new employer and you want it to be the best it can be. It's so important that your medical CV gets all of the key information across in a way that is easily accessible and creates huge interest at the same time.
Having assisted thousands of UK and IMG doctors with their NHS applications we've had years' worth of feedback from senior clinicians and clinical directors at some of the most prestigious NHS Trusts. Our CV template has been formulated based on that feedback and regularly helps improve the chances of UK and IMG doctors who have previously been rejected from jobs.
If you want to receive advice, guidance and a copy of our template CV, then please email us with a copy of your existing CV on [email protected] and we'll be happy to give you some personalised support. In the meantime, here are the headings we advise you stick to and some pointers for each section:
Start off by detailing who you are, your current address and contact details. Make sure to include additional contact preferences i.e. mobile and work number, both personal and work email.
It may sound obvious but heading the CV with your name and the role you are applying to will help make it clear that you're in the right place. This can be particularly important for IMG doctors who have job titles that aren't widely used in the UK (Intern, Medical Officer or Specialist are examples) - stick to using the job title you are applying for on the cover of your CV.
Finally, if you are an IMG doctor be wary of NHS and UK customs when filling out this section. It isn't common to see religious information, marital status, date of birth or photographs on NHS CV's so avoid this even if it is the normal practise in your home country.
It is crucial you include your professional summary right at the top of your CV so that relevant Trusts can see if you’re ready, able and equipped to work in the NHS. Try and make the order logical so that you showcase the most important thing to your employer first (remember that this isn't about prioritising the qualifications you are most proud of, but highlighting those that are most relevant to the job you want!). We recommend this order:
Be comprehensive about your professional background and qualifications and concentrate of making sure the most relevant come first.
Keep this section concise and focused. It should contain two paragraphs:
This is a real opportunity to get the attention of your potential employer and also to show your motivation to work with them. Give this some thought and make this section punchy!
This section is crucial as it will allow the employer to fully understand what was included in your previous roles. This is imperative as different specialties and grades in the UK may cover slightly different procedures than in your home country. We suggest that you should split this section up into ‘Independent’ and ‘Assisted’ so that the Trust and be completely clear of your capabilities.
Do take your time when filling in this portion of your CV and include ALL of your clinical skills involving your more junior taught skills such as IV cannula insertion. If you are applying as an IMG doctor, some skills may seem obvious or taken for granted but remember that you have to paint a clear picture of the similarities and differences between your training and the NHS.
You should explain what your current position is and work backwards from there. When describing your current role make sure to include the month and year you started (July 2019-present). Then include your job title and the Hospital in which you work. Grade titles can mean different things in different countries. For example, Specialist Doctor can mean Consultant in some international hospitals; therefore, it may be beneficial for you to state what the UK equivalent to your grade is.
Most importantly if you are applying as an IMG Doctor, this section should paint a picture of the day-to-day role and responsibilities that you hold. Remember that your potential employer might not know the healthcare system or hospital you are applying from so you need to tell them all about it. Describe your duties and responsibilities in this role, the type of hospital that you work in including details such as how many beds, its location and the facilities and departments. Carefully describe the types of patients you see, any training you received, any extra work you are involved in and what hours you are expected to work including on-calls.
Just the same as the previous section, here you should outline all the other roles you have had, detailing the month and year of each position. Work backwards from most recent, all the way back to your internship or foundation training. Again, if some of that work is overseas then be sure to spell out the differences between your overseas postings and the NHS.
How detailed you are for each job might depend on the length of your career so far - if it's been five or more years since you worked in a job then the experience won't be as relevant to your current practise so you might not wish to provide as much detail. On the contrary, if you are applying for junior doctor roles then you probably want to include full details going back to your internship or foundation years.
List relevant conferences and courses you have attended, make sure you go into detail as this shows your enthusiasm for your specialism and commitment to growing and improving your knowledge, especially if they are international events. Make a special effort to note events where you may have been a speaker or an exhibitor or you’ve had poster pieces that you have shown.
Partaking in research and publications shows so much dedication and passion for your chosen field so it is important you list all of these. As always, work your way backwards in chronological order, highlighting those of most importance with a level of detail that reflects.
Make sure to note any awards and accreditations you have obtained throughout your career.
It can be a good idea to very briefly give the employer a few personal skills that could be important to the role you are applying for. Additionally, listing some personal attributes here will also give them an insight into your personality and who you are outside of work.
When applying for a job within the NHS you will be asked to provide references from at least two points of contact covering all of your employment over the last three years. The details should include their name, job title, department and hospital along with their contact information.
Once you have completed your CV make sure you ask for the opinion of friends, colleagues or your agent before you start to send it out. There will be typing errors or spelling mistakes and you'd rather spot them sooner than later! We aim to support in any way that we can so if you need a copy of our template or you want a fresh pair of eyes to look over your CV then feel free to send a copy of your current CV to [email protected] and we'll be happy to help.
Thanks so much for reading and if you’d like to ask us a question or get in touch then we’re always available on email via [email protected] or on any of our social channels with links below. If you enjoyed this article, then you might like to learn more about Top Tips for Writing a Medical CV and What to expect from an NHS Interview
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