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How to write a CV for NHS jobs

Updated: May 18, 2021



We are absolutely sure that you know how important a CV is in order to be invited to interviews and, of course, start building your career in the NHS.


However, knowing what to include in your CV and in what order can be quite challenging. Today we will provide you with tips and advice which will help you boost your CV and NHS profile.


Getting started



When you are applying for NHS jobs, your CV is often the only way to communicate your skills and achievements to the shortlisting panel, hence is it absolutely crucial that the information you present is succinct, logical and engaging. At times, your CV can be your sole opportunity to sell your skills and experiences.


Most importantly, your CV should be a living and breathing document, representing a summary of your medical career to date. Even with a brief look, it should also be a selling document clearly portraying why you are the best candidate for the NHS role you are applying for. To make it look professional and well-ordered, your CV should represent an official document containing the best of your experience, qualifications and skills.


CVs are an important part of every doctors portfolio, whether you are a junior doctor producing a CV as part of your portfolio assessment, a trainee applying for locum jobs, or a consultant citing your CV as an addition to your application on the NHS jobs portal.

Curriculum vitae structure


Your CV should represent a well-structured summary and history of all your work and work-related achievements. Ideally, it should impress the reader in the first 30 seconds.


At the top of your CV you need to provide your full name, GMC number, email address and telephone number. Then personal statement/profile, after this your employment experience and education come next.


There are no rules as to what information you must include in the core of your CV, however, essential information must be there. List your clinical knowledge and skills, non-clinical skills, and achievements. Include your communication skills, it is important to make it brief and succinct. It is better to keep to a standard format that NHS employers are familiar with, this will enable them to scan your CV:

  • personal details

  • education and qualifications

  • relevant prizes and awards

  • current employment

  • career and employment history

  • clinical experience

  • audits

  • management experience

  • research experience

  • publications

  • presentations

  • references

The most successful CV’s are concise, well-ordered and impactful. When you are applying for a job, your CV is often the only way to communicate your skills and achievements to the shortlisting panel, hence is it absolutely crucial that the information you present is succinct, logical and engaging.

There is no set length your medical CV should be. However, aim for around 2-3 sides of A4 paper, some medical CVs can be 8-15 pages long depending on where you are in your career e.g., academic CVs. However, try to keep your CV short and succinct. This will help to hold the attention of the reader.


Your CV must speak to the reader and must be nurtured. Using a confident tone and positive language when writing your CV will help you to set yourself apart from the competition. It will also demonstrate your credibility for the role and your enthusiasm.


Whether it is your CV or NHS profile, it must be well-written and correct. You can simply pass your CV to a trusted friend and advisor for them to review and highlight the sections that may need improvement.


You can also create a detailed master copy and specific versions from the master copy for different applications that may require tailoring. For example, these specific versions can be used for:

  • getting an interview

  • filling NHS job application

  • securing a clinical attachment

  • preparing for interviews

  • the appraisals and revalidation process

  • networking and attending courses

  • reflection on your career progression


Curriculum vitae tips


Ask yourself if every detail in your medical CV needs to be there. Make sure you look at the job advertisement, job description, and the person specification for the NHS job. Tailor your CV to highlight the skills you have that match the requirements for the role. You can find the person specification for each NHS pathway on TrewLink.com.


The type of font used should be professional. Avoid using unusual fonts as they make your CV harder to read. The most commonly used fonts for CV purposes are Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman. The advisable font size is 11.


Your CV should not be too text-heavy, a balanced CV is always preferable. It is very important to be brief with what you are presenting. The use of headings is highly recommended too as this will help distinguish different parts of information.


Remember to include courses and achievements that meet clinical and non-clinical requirements. Depending on what you are going for, you can highlight certain sections more than others e.g., teaching if you are going into academia. Other skills are important such as IT to show that you are a well-rounded candidate.


The final thing you need to enter is your referees. You should make sure that any referee has given you their express permission to be listed and contacted.


If you are interested in hearing more highly valuable CV tips from a Career development and learning professional from the British Medical Association, please visit TrewLink.com and watch a 1-hour interactive and engaging learning session to understand how to refine and update your CV and increase your chances of being offered an interview with the NHS.


If you would like to use a well-structured standard format that NHS employers are familiar with, please visit TrewLink.com, add relevant information to your profile and download your ready to use NHS job template. The template can be used by all job seekers wishing to apply for NHS roles.



All the best of luck with your job search,

The TrewLink Team


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