Inside Recruitment: Our TOP 5 CV Writing Tips


Fraser Clarke

For our latest Odyssey Exclusives series we’re going to be doing something a little bit different.

Instead of the usual country guides and healthcare insights, we’re going to focus on the recruitment side of recruitment itself!

Our team are some of the most experienced in the business, and so we’ve decided to put together a series of articles focusing on our inside knowledge.

In the first in our all new and exclusive series, ‘Inside Recruitment’, we’re going to look at five tips for writing the perfect CV.

We read hundreds of CVs every year, and the best often share very similar traits - so here’s a look at five ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd.

1 - Formatting

You want your CV to convey a professional image, and you can do this straight from the moment an employer opens it with the correct formatting. 

Don’t ever consider using a funky font - you’d probably be amazed at how many medics believe that helps you stand out! Stick with something corporate such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri.

Further to this don’t attempt to jazz up your CV with dramatic lines, graphics, images or colours. It needs to look professional, not like a poster. Let the information itself do the talking.

When mentioning information it’s very important to present this in a consistent way. Use the same formatting throughout the document - making sure everything has a clear heading, and that any bold or underlined text is replicated throughout.

By following those rules your CV should make the right first impression.

2 - Jargon

Often people are encouraged to avoid using jargon (words relating to the industry that may not be understood by outsiders) when writing their CV. We couldn’t disagree with this more - albeit accept that it must be used within reason.

Don’t be afraid to use words relating to the industry that wouldn’t be understood by outsiders. Your CV is going to be read by professionals, and using industry lingo should help it get through the automated software used to remove any inappropriate applications.

If you’ve worked with patients suffering from Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis don’t be afraid to say so! Likewise if you’re experienced in performing Esophagogastroduodenoscopies make sure you include that fact.

Avoid overusing medical terms where they aren’t relevant - and make sure to check your spelling(!) - but by following these rules you should be able to effectively showcase your expertise in the field.

3 - References

By far the most important part of your CV are the references. Anybody can put down claims in a well formatted document, but only people who are genuinely suitable for a role can provide quality references.

We’d recommend trying to have three referees on your report - all of whom hold (or have held) senior positions working alongside you within the specialty. 

Often people attempt to use colleagues from other departments or friends who hold similar positions as their references, and this is more often than not inappropriate.

Always make sure that your references are easily contactable (provide a phone number, work address, mobile number and fax where appropriate). Remember what they say could determine whether or not you secure the role of your dreams.

4 - Development

In the medical profession showing a genuine interest in, and connection with, your speciality is absolutely vital in convincing potential employers that you are the right person for the job.

It can therefore help you greatly to include details of any personal development you have undertaken over the previous two years or so. This can include courses and seminars that you have attended or spoken at, research carried out or any areas that you have been keen to study in detail.

When including this it’s important to also put in who arranged and hosted the event, a small description of the areas it looked at, and the official title used by the organisers.

This may seem like a minor area, however it’s one that proves your genuine interest in, and commitment to, the role.

5 - Personal

An area that has been overlooked by many of the medics we work with is the importance of keeping it personal.

Many CVs create an image of someone who is totally career driven, and who has no interests outside of medicine. This is something to avoid - mainly because it will offer no insights into how you will be able to work as a member of their team.

Whether you’re a keen long-distance runner, an amateur football or rugby player, or are fascinated by modern art, include it. It will add a much needed personal touch to the CV, and might even give you a crucial advantage over other candidates.

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