The key information you need to cover:
Your CV should feature certain basic details that allow employers to get in touch, and check your nursing registration. This includes your name, contact details (including postal address, email address and contact telephone numbers), qualifications and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) PIN number.
What motivated you to go into nursing? Including personal information like this on your CV or as part of a personal statement is an excellent way of standing out. Many nursing organisations now look at applicants’ personal values, so demonstrating what drives you may help the hiring manager come to a decision.
Qualifications & Training
Showing you are qualified to practice nursing in the UK is a vital part of any nursing CV. Clearly set out your qualifications in chronological order, and add further details such as dates, where you studied, the course title and the name of the qualification (for example, a degree in nursing). If you have completed further training courses or have any post-qualifying awards, include them too.
Showing what you did before you qualified as a nurse gives valuable colour to your CV, especially if you come from a health or care background. Similarly, highlighting your additional skills and qualifications – such as NVQs in health or IT – shows you have other transferable skills.
Your Work Experience
Work experience is vital to any CV, and should always be included. Detail your previous roles in chronological order, giving your job title, employer and how long you worked there. You should also include further details about what each role involved – your responsibilities, duties, achievements, etc.
Keep in mind that the hiring manager may not know much about your previous posts. Adding more information about them – such as the clinical environments you’ve worked in and the skills you’ve developed – can set you apart from other applicants.
All nursing role applicants must be thoroughly screened, and gaps in their CVs and work histories explained. If you do have a gap between roles in your work history, you need to explain why this is – for example, you may have temporarily been a stay-at-home parent. Be aware that you may also need to evidence this gap later.
Even the strongest CV may be unsuccessful if presented poorly. Keep the following rules in mind:
Layout & Style
Your CV should be easy to read and interpret. Make this possible by breaking large blocks of text into smaller chunks, and splitting your CV up with headers at logical points. For example, you could include headers for the introduction, qualifications, work history and reference sections. This will make your CV more accessible to hiring managers.
Though the ideal CV length is two to three pages, experienced nurses with long work histories may struggle to stay within these limits. If this applies to you, still detail your full work history but be briefer when describing earlier posts.
Be professional and consistent when formatting your CV. Draw attention to headers by underlining them, and make use of bold text to emphasise important information such as job titles, names and contact details.
Multiple colours should be avoided, as well as textboxes and over-complicated formatting. These things can distract the reader from your qualifications, work history and skills, rather than highlight them.
The font used on your CV should be simple and easy to read. Overly-stylised fonts can look unprofessional, and make information hard to understand. Avoid this by sticking to basic fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri or Arial.
If your font is too small, information could be difficult to read. If it’s too large, the font can take up unnecessary space on your CV. Try to use sizes 11-14 as standard.
Keep these final tips in mind when writing your nursing CV:
Adapt Your CV to the Post
No two nursing jobs are exactly alike. Each role you apply for will have a different set of duties, requirements and expectations. Make sure you adapt your CV to suit each role. Tweaking your CV even slightly to show how your experience fits the specific role can have a massive effect, and make you more appealing to the hiring manager.
So if you’re applying for a managerial post, emphasise the leadership qualities you displayed in previous roles. If you’re applying for a specialist position, demonstrate your experience in that area. If you’re applying for a frontline post, showcase your patient-facing roles, and your calmness under pressure.
Proofread, Proofread and Proofread Again
Make sure all details on your CV are correct, including your qualifications, dates and job titles. Check your spelling and grammar thoroughly, and then ask a friend, family member or colleague to also check it for errors.
Contact Your Recruitment Consultant
If you need help or advice when writing your CV, contact your recruitment consultant. Liquid Healthcare’s consultants are nursing specialists; they can help you improve your CV and give you a better understanding about what hiring managers are looking for. Their insight can give you the best chance of securing your ideal role, so be sure to get in touch.
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