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Students - CV writing tips

Top tips for writing a winning CV

With today's highly competitive jobs market, creating a top quality CV is the first step to securing the job you want. Get ahead of the competition with our top tips to help make your CV a success.

If you are thinking at this point 'but all jobs are done by electronic application form!' you are missing the point. Your CV should be selling you before jobs are advertised, and will help you complete the application form when the time is due.

The objectives of your CV should be to:

  • Get you shortlisted
  • Identify where and how you can add more value than your peers
  • Provide evidence to substantiate your claims
  • Set the agenda for your best possible interview
  • Equip interview panel members with a document that is easy to use during the interview itself.

Here are our top tips:

  • Know your Unique Selling Point (USP). Identify what makes you different from everyone else. This could be anything from your key roles on placements, awards and lecturer or Consultant testimonials.
  • Always think of the person reading your CV. Start with an Executive Summary (which appears first, but you write last) that sums up your whole CV in a couple of paragraphs at most. This must include your USP as well as why you are the right person for this specific job.
  • Say what you achieved, not just what you did. This will help to display what you have learnt throughout studying and different placements.
  • Use positive, action words like achieving, delivering, influencing, implementing, initiating.  
  • Analyse the job description carefully. Make a list of any specific requirements such as medical degree, extra curriculum activity, evidence of leadership and initiative. Write your CV completely afresh for each application ensuring it addresses the points on your list.
  • Don't try and make your CV too busy, but instead concentrate on good, clean, clear layout that looks professional. Use bullet points where appropriate, no larger than 12 point font, plenty of white space and number the pages.
  • Do include your hobbies and interests, and demonstrate what you achieve in these hobbies.

Inspire Change are recognised as the leader in providing specialist healthcare training (non- clinical) to help develop healthcare leaders in the NHS.

The views expressed in this article are those of Inspire Change and do not represent the views of Wesleyan Assurance Society.

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