Curriculum vitae tips
As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a copy of your most up-to-date CV (curriculum vitae). A CV is described as a written account of your skills and experience. The most successful CV’s are concise, logical and engaging. Your CV should tell the story of your career to date and highlight why you are the best candidate for the role you are applying to.
When applying for a role your CV is often the sole communication you will have with the shortlisting panel therefore is it essential that the information you provide is meaningful, relevant and well-ordered. This will minimise the risk of any information you consider crucial to your application being overlooked by the shortlisting panel.
There is no set length your CV should be. Depending on the stage you are at in your career your CV may range from 2-10 A4 pages in length. However, you should aim to include the most important information within the first few pages to keep the shortlisting panel engaged.
The type of font used in your CV should be professional. Avoid using fonts that are difficult to read. Commonly used fonts for CV purposes are Arial, Calibri and Times New Roman whilst the recommended font size is 11. The use of headings is also encouraged as this will help distinguish different sections of information. Headings should be in the same font as the main text but slightly larger in size.
There are no rules as to what information you must include in your CV, however, most CV’s for medical roles include the following sections:
- personal details
- education and qualifications
- current employment
- career and employment history
- awards and prizes
- publications and research
- personal interests
The personal details section should only take up a small section of your CV, preferably no longer than a third of the first page.
Essential information to include is:
- full name
- Professional Body registration number (if applicable)
- email address
- contact telephone number
Education and qualifications
Your qualifications should be listed together, including the institution and date obtained. It is advisable to start with your most recent qualifications first.
It is important to include information on your current role. This will indicate to the shortlisting panel the level of role you are currently in and how it compares to the role you are applying to. You should provide the following information:
- employment dates (month and year)
- job title and specialty/subspecialty
- employer's name
Your career and employment history
After providing details of your current role you should provide details of previous posts you have held, working back chronologically through your career.
As before, you should include the dates you were employed, grade and specialty or subspecialty. You may wish to place more emphasis on previous roles directly related to the role you are applying to, by highlighting relevant experience and skills obtained in such roles.
Awards and prizes
Include a list of any awards you may have won in chronological order, starting with the most recent first. Should any of the awards you have obtained relate directly to the role you are applying to make sure this is clearly identifiable.
Publications and research
This section will vary in length depending on your interests and experience to date, as well as your specialty.
List all publications in the format they would appear in an academic journal in reverse chronological order.
It is not essential that you include this section. However, giving a brief account of your interests outside of work will give the shortlisting panel an indication of your personality.
It is your personal choice as to whether you include details of your referees in your CV. It is acceptable to have a section confirming referee details are available on request.
Should you wish to provide your referee details at the point of submitting a CV you should provide the name and contact details of no more than three, one of whom should be your current employer.