Your complete guide to writing a clinical CV
Creating a CV for a clinical position is a little different from creating a regular CV (for general advice on writing a regular CV see our main article on ‘How to write a CV‘) because you’ll have some different sections to include and CVs for these positions are necessarilly longer than a regular CV. With stiff competition, it’s ever important to advertise your distinctiveness through a well laid out, well thought out, professional looking curriculum vitae. For this type of role, you’ll often find you need to submit your CV as well as filling in a standard form.
What to put in your CV
The main headings are as follows:
- Personal details – name, address and contact information including your email address
- Title/summary and objective
- Current employment
- Previous employment
- Education and qualifications
- Clinical interests
- Professional memberships/accreditations
- Personal interests
- Referees and availability
Additional sections to consider are skills and languages. Skills include hard skills (such as the list of hard skills here) and soft skills (such as communication, leadership etc). If you’re newly qualified and don’t have much to put on your CV, a skills list can be a helpful way of giving your CV more meat. However, don’t list soft skills without providing some evidence of where you’ve used them effectively because fluffy statements such as ‘team player’ ‘able to motivate’ and so on are simply irritating and distracting.
Layout and style
Here is a simple CV template that you can open in Word and fill in. This includes the above sections. If you find sections that don’t apply to you – for example, you have no professional memberships or published work – just delete them (more free CV templates here).
More CV presentation tips: Leave plenty of space between the headings and items, like the template does. Don’t write too much – keep it short and snappy so prospective employers can scan through your CV and get a good idea of your background. Print a draft of your finished CV and get a couple of appropriate people to look over it for you. Read it out loud and run a spell check. When you’re happy, print the final CV on good quality white paper.
Try and tailor your CV a little for each job you go for. This can be quite time consuming and some people prefer to just tailor the covering letter, but in today’s competitive job market, it’s worth the effort.
More CV considerations
- Include your General Medical Council registration number and your defence organisation details under ‘personal details’ if appropriate.
- If it’s not obvious from your name what gender you are, then include this.
- When writing about your current position, explain your level, whether there is an end-date and a short description of what the job entails. Example:
GP registrar at Arnold Medical Centre, Nottingham, until November 2012. I undertake a full range of GP services including contraception, antenatal clinics, diabetic clinics and minor surgery. Due to take nMRCGP in June 2013.
- You don’t want your CV to be too long and so be selective. Don’t list all your GCSE and A level subjects individually unless there’s something of special interest there. Your higher education is more important – if you’re short of things to include, go ahead and note any special achievements awarded. If you have acquired any grants for research, these need to go under their own heading.
- Be careful what you include in personal interests. Try to include those interests which reflect well on you as an employee in this position. So leave off drinking, socialising etc and include interests relevant to the job applied for. Sports and fitness activities also indicate that you look after yourself and are less likely to be a ‘sick’ employee.
Covering letter tips
Your covering letter is the first thing your prospective employer reads, and should set out how you meet the skills and experience required for the job, as detailed in the job advert. The style is a formal business letter.
- Your address, then a space, then the date on the left
- The address of the person you’re writing to underneath on the right, then a space
- Dear XXX (e.g Ms Jones), then a space
- In bold, the purpose of your letter, e.g. Re: Application for Clinical Assistant at Nottingham QMC, job reference A113/X3
- State where you’ve seen the post advertised, e.g. ‘I am writing to apply for the role of Clinical Assistant at the Nottingham QMC, as advertised in the Nottingham Evening Post (6th June)’.
- Note that you are enclosing your CV (unless the advert asks you not to do so) and detail specifically how you fit the specifications (experience, qualifications etc) of the role, as set out in the job advert.
- Add a closing sentence, such as ‘Thank you for your consideration and I hope to hear back from you shortly. Regards. Yours sincerely’ (use Yours Faithfully if you haven’t been able to address the letter to someone specifically, i.e. the name of the person handling the applications)