At least part of your CV should include a professional summary section and this may be where you choose to add a little more information about yourself and your personal motivations. Most of the online platforms for job applications (NHS jobs, BMJ jobs, TRAC etc) don’t allow a section for a specific cover letter however it may help you to include something on your CV or to attach a separate letter or email if you are making direct applications or approaching a recruitment agency.
Your cover letter or personal summary should include an overview of your experience to date. Your CV will provide the intricate details so you should refine this to a few sentences or single paragraph. You should mention your professional registration status (GMC registered for example) and the route that you pursued in order to reach it (Royal College for example). In outlining your experience to date, you should note how many years of total experience you have, how many are relevant to your specialty and how many have been spent at your current grade. You may wish to mention subspecialist interests at this stage and particularly highlight the core skills that you practice regularly.
As an example:
“Having graduated in 2010, I am an experienced Gastroenterology Consultant with 7 years of specialist experience and 2 years in my current capacity as a Consultant. I have recently registered with the GMC, having completed my MRCP examinations in 2020 and now wish to pursue a career in the NHS. My subspecialist interest is in Endoscopy”
As a secondary section, you should highlight your career and objectives to show your prospective employer your motivations for working with them. If you have never worked in the NHS before, remember that employers will be making a big commitment to hiring you as you may require additional support, guidance, onboarding and inductions. With this in mind, it is important that you let them know how serious you are about your move and what you will be able to give back to them and their service. Include longer terms aspirations which often include pursuing training, CESR or any other routes to becoming a Consultant. Equally, you might want to expand upon your specialist interests as the NHS is a highly specialized healthcare system.
As an example:
“My short term goal is to relocate myself and my family to the UK and start my role in the NHS. I have chosen the NHS as I consider it to be one of the most revered healthcare systems in the world where I can provide the highest levels of medical care whilst furthering my own professional development. In the longer term I am incredibly motivated to become a specialist Consultant in the NHS, pursuing my subspecialist interest of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy.”
You can also use this section to show the research that you have done in to the role that you are applying for, the location of the Trust and the hospital itself. This will show your prospective employer that you are serious about working with them and reassure them that you know what to expect from a career with them. An application process is a two way process so it’s important that you can show you have the right expectations.
As an example:
“I realize that there may be an adjustment period during my initial weeks settling in to the NHS and I have worked hard to ensure that I am ready for this by speaking with friends who already work in the NHS, researching NHS protocols as well as attending GMC courses about settling in. I am particularly excited to work in the South East of England as I have visited before and have friends who live locally. Equally, I saw that your department has some excellent Endoscopy facilities and I have worked with similar equipment in my previous posts.
Finally, you should note that the wording of your statements will be very important. It gives reassurance that you have an excellent level of English and the use of superlative adjectives can help you sell yourself which can be harder to do in amongst your qualifications and work experience which may be far more factual and concise in their descriptions. You may also wish to extend gratitude and positivity to give a glimpse of your personality and encourage a response.
As an example:
“I really appreciate you taking the time to read my CV and hope that you will reach out to discuss my application further. If I can answer any questions that you might have or expand upon anything then please feel free to get in touch. Many thanks, once again.
We have numerous blogs to accompany this one:
Check out our YouTube video on how to write the perfect medical CV:
If you’re an international doctor that has any questions regarding your CV or if you have completed your CV and are ready to look for a position within the NHS please email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.
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