What makes a good CV?

Your CV is your key marketing tool, prior to interview. The purpose of a CV is to get you shortlisted for an interview.  You need that interview to get the job!

It is tempting to include a lot of detail spanning your entire career which can make your CV long. The first page gets the most attention so it is likely that third, fourth and fifth pages will not be read at all. For our full guide to what makes a good CV click here, or check out our Big Splash article for more top tips!

The first page should include:

An opening statement – this should be your sales pitch, a short paragraph selling yourself based on your skills and experience relevant to the role. The Americans call this your “elevator pitch”, meaning how you would sell yourself to someone if in a lift with them for less than a minute.  Thinking in terms of a short time frame and key points helps focus your statement.

Key achievements – listing these as bullets points is a clear way of demonstrating what you have delivered. Make sure they are focused on outcomes, not responsibilities. Adding statistics and measurements helps a client to put these achievements into context.

Employment history – clearly list your employer, job title, grade, the dates you undertook that role and a summary of your achievements in that role. Stating that you were “responsible” for something, someone or a group of people gives no indication of how successful you were at doing that.

Layout Tips

  • For previous jobs five years and older, simply list the employer and your job title. Any skills and experience over five years old, which are relevant to the role, should be included in your key achievements.
  • When listing your qualification and education history include the highest level of education only. For example, the subjects and numbers of O and A levels obtained are not relevant if you went on to get a degree at University.
  • Publications should only be included if relevant to the role, this will mainly apply to Medical Director and clinical roles. Listing publications in a CV is not suitable if applying for a management role.  If we have them on file and they are requested, we can always forward them on.
  • Your NHS IMAS CV should not include referees as the client does not need this information. We obtain references for you during the registration process and your CV will only be put forward once all references are received.

If you would like to provide us with an updated or additional CV please contact the team on 0113 486 0132 or nhs.imas@nhs.net.