Blogs > NHS Recruitment Process / Relocation

The 2022 Guide to Securing an NHS Job

  • November 01, 2022

We originally posted this blog about securing an NHS job in 2020 and it was so popular that we thought we would update it for 2022! The world has changed a lot since the unforgettable events of the pandemic in 2020 however some things haven’t changed. If anything the demand for doctors in the NHS has only increased since then with a growing elderly population, stagnant medical school admissions, pension traps and difficulties in retaining talent all playing their part.

All that said, it puts you in an incredible position to a secure a new role if you’re looking to move, whether that’s for your first post coming in as an IMG or for your next career move within the NHS.

So let’s get stuck in!

Background

The NHS is the largest employer in the UK and Europe employing over 1.3 million people in hundreds of different roles.

Within the NHS, there are over 60 specialisms to work within. By joining, you will have access to:

  • World-class teaching and training
  • Career development and flexible career paths
  • An excellent pension scheme
  • Good quality of living

In this blog post, we share our guide on the two ways to apply for NHS jobs via direct applications and a recruitment agency. We give you our top tips on providing successful supporting statements, the advantages of using a recruitment agency and how to write a good medical CV: all essential elements to successfully securing an NHS job.

Where can I find Job Opportunities in the NHS?

As mentioned, when you are ready to start making NHS job applications, you have two main options available to you: direct applications via NHS Jobs or Recruitment Agencies. Once you have found a position you would like to apply for, you need to make sure that your application does your experience and personality justice to provide you with the best possibility of securing an interview. This means that you should always read the job description and person specification to highlight how your current duties, responsibilities and experience match up with the hospital’s requirements for the role advertised.

What supporting information should I provide on my NHS applications?

To be in for a chance of securing an NHS interview, it is essential that you read all of the instructions within the advertisement and application form very carefully and that you complete all the sections available.

The next and most important part of the process is to sell yourself to the hospital. Direct applications on NHS Jobs and online portals often require you to input your information in to fields that can constrain you to word limits. This can be a drawback but also gives a chance for your to keep things clear and concise. In any of the supporting information fields of your applications, demonstrate why you would be suitable for the post and how you meet the person specification.

You need to convince the hospital that you have all the required skills, knowledge and experience that they should be inviting you for an interview. If you are coming as an IMG then you should paint a clear picture of the similarities between your current role / workplace and the role / workplace that you are applying to. This will really help set your employers mind at ease if they have any anxieties over hiring someone who doesn’t have experience of working in the NHS.

You can include, among other things, details about your:

  • Career and personal statement
  • Duties and responsibilities
  • Your skills, knowledge and/or experience which is relevant
  • Employment gaps and how you kept up to date with medical change
  • Research, publication and/or presentation experience
  • Medical awards or achievements

What do the NHS look for when reading job applications?

Aside from providing a detailed account of your experience and as much supporting information as possible, the tone of your applications needs to create interest and engagement so that your potential employer really want to invite you to an interview. Try and consider these point when answering all sections of your application:

  • Enthusiasm: Show that you are confident in your abilities and that you see this job as a positive opportunity/challenge
  • Evidence of clarity of thought: Ensure that your statement is structured and doesn’t ramble
  • Awareness of what the job will entail: Try to show that you have read and understood the job description. Often you can do this by referring to skills, abilities, knowledge or experience you have that would benefit you in the tasks and objectives of the new job
  • Knowledge about the Trust: Most NHS Trusts have extensive websites with lots of information about how they operate and what their values are. Do some research and refer to it where relevant in your application
  • An engaging statement: You want to leave the department wanting to find out more about you as a doctor. One example, you could write about an interesting project you have participated in
  • How you will add value: It is absolutely crucial that you show that you have a passion for the role and why you want to work in that department and hospital and how you will add value

General Points to Remember when applying for an NHS job

  1. Provide an example of each skill listed on the person specification
  2. Be clear and concise
  3. Relate your experience to the post that you are applying for

Using a Recruitment Agency for NHS Jobs

If you would like to maximise your chances of securing an NHS job post sooner rather than later, we recommend using a combination of both NHS jobs and a reputable Recruitment Agency simultaneously.

The process of using a recruitment agency starts with you registering your details with them in additional to a finalised and detailed CV. If you need a copy of our template CV then follow the link to this blog. The Agency will then telephone you to find out more about your personal situation, what brings you to want to relocate to the UK, your experience, your requirements and your career plans. They will then give you feedback on your CV in order to increase your chances of securing an NHS interview.

The Recruitment Agency will then contact their extensive network of Lead Consultants and HR Managers with your profile bypassing the normal recruitment processes done via NHS jobs. If you are invited to an NHS interview, your Recruitment Consultant will then help you successfully prepare with a mock interview with example clinical scenarios.

Advantages of using a Recruitment Agency for NHS Jobs

  1. CV guidance – they know what works and they’ll help you give the best account of yourself in applications
  2. They know the right people – they’ll have a network of senior managers and lead consultants that they can contact directly for you ensuring your application doesn’t get lost along the way
  3. They can communicate your circumstances – if you have unique circumstances they’ll tell your employer upfront. Their job is to tell your story!
  4. They do all the hard work for you – they’ll make applications on your behalf, submit your CV and have all the conversations for you
  5. They’ll help you prepare for interviews – You should be offered a video call to help you prepare and honest advice on what to expect from an NHS interview
  6. They can chase your feedback and negotiate contracts on your behalf – keep in mind an agency will be invested in your success so they’ll want to get the best result for you
  7. They will help guide you through visa applications, pre-employment checks and all of the logistics of your move

Possessing a Good Medical CV

During your NHS job search, you will need to have a very well written and detailed CV. The length of a CV is always a controversial issue. On average, a Consultant’s CV for a medical specialty will be approximately 10 pages long. However, for a Middle Grade or Junior Medical CV, there is not a specific ‘right’ number of pages. However, we always advise doctors to think “the more details, the better” when writing out their medical CV. That being said, the purpose of your CV is to get you short-listed for an interview, so it should always be presented in a well-ordered and concise fashion.

Remember to use a professional, small font and it should always be written in black with no images or personal details such as your martial status or date of birth present.

For further information on how to structure your CV, have a read our blog here and watch our YouTube video here.

Summary

  • There is a huge demand for doctors in the NHS at the moment
  • NHS Jobs is an excellent source of vacancies
  • Recruitment Agencies can also help
  • It is probably best to use a combination of both
  • For both options, having the right CV and supporting information is imperative

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:

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If you enjoyed this article, then you might like to learn more about what to expect from an NHS interview or how to structure a medical CV

 
 

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