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NOV 10/2016

Seven writing tips to make your CV stand out

When was the last time you updated your CV? Recruitment Consultant Josh Wood gives us his top tips on what makes a great CV for locum work to help you get the most out of your career. 

As a recruitment consultant, my day-to-day job involves going through a large number of CVs from allied healthcare professionals, and frustratingly I see many fantastic candidates sell themselves short. For me, promoting yourself to prospective agencies is fundamental to getting the locum work you are looking for. To help, I’ve listed a few ideas to help you avoid the common pit falls of writing your CV and make sure you come across on your CV in the best possible way you can.

AHP CV writing

1. Keep it concise

Your CV should be no longer than two pages. Most managers will stop reading your CV as soon as they have made a decision as to whether you are worth the interview. 

Top tip: keep your work experience relevant and try to avoid waffle. Remember, bullet points are your friend.

2. Important information at the top

Your CV is your first impression. Show a prospective manager you respect their time by getting straight to the point. While all of your other achievements will add some colour to your CV, the first objective will be to determine whether you have the experience necessary for the role. 

Top tip: here is how I would set my CV out if I was applying for an allied healthcare professional locum job.

  1. Name
  2. About me statement
  3. HCPC number, mobile number and email address
  4. Most recent job
  5. Work history in reverse chronological order
  6. Education history
  7. Any other profession-related achievements

3. Duties

It’s important for you to represent your skills and experience properly, without giving too much information – remember most healthcare managers should have a good idea of what you do on a day-to-day basis. 

Top tip: the duties section gives you an opportunity to show off what makes you good at your role. Highlight anywhere you are going above and beyond the call of duty, especially if it’s going to add value to your new employer.

4. Things to leave out

Pre-degree level qualifications are an easy one to cut out. Your CV should only have your most recent and relevant qualifications, including any postgraduate achievements. 

Top tip: in instances where professions do not require a degree such as dental nurses, you should consider not including anything from before your diploma in dental nursing. 

Clichéd and vague statements are another area that can be left out, including things such as, “I work well alone or in a team” or “I’m punctual and detail-orientated”. This appears on a large majority of CVs and it is likely that the hiring manager has read every possible permutation of this, so stick to the facts.

5. ‘About me’ section

It’s common on a lot of CVs to have a large paragraph or sometimes even a page of text to serve as an introduction – it’s unlikely this is going to get read. Instead, write it like a mission statement. This should say who you are, what you do and what you are looking for. 

Top tip: keep it short and punchy, a strong introduction will set a good tone for your CV. For example: 

“I am a Dentist with five years’ experience in general practice and implants. I have recently moved to London and I am looking for a new full-time role in the London area to further my career as a dentist.”

Also be honest, but not too honest. If you are looking for fewer hours, a better work/life balance or even a step up in your career this is where you put it in. People like to know why you are looking for a new job. But be careful, don’t include, “I hate my current job” or “I need more money.” This will put prospective employers off.

6. Student placements

Something else I see a lot of is candidates adding very detailed write-ups about their student placements. 

Top tip: add a small bullet point list of the specialties covered and at which hospital if necessary. The only caveat to this is if you are a graduate looking for your first job, your placements should replace your work history.

7. Ask your recruitment consultant

No matter what profession you work in there is a recruitment consultant out there who is an expert. 

Top tip: if you work with a healthcare staffing company like Medacs Healthcare, it’s likely that your consultant will have made a few of the changes listed above to streamline your CV and will be more than happy to send you a copy.

If you aren’t currently working with a recruitment agency, it is something you should seriously consider. Even if you are looking to apply to jobs on your own, most consultants will be more than happy to have a brief chat with you about your CV. You never know they might have ideas about roles that you would never have thought of. 

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If you would like more information or are interested in locum work, please contact us at

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