Maximise your potential by following our CV tips, in this useful guide!
When applying for a new job as a GP, whether you’re an experienced General Practitioner or fresh out of training, you’ll need a strong CV. Despite the shortages, first impressions are everything, so it’s imperative your CV is up to date, relevant and concise.
The first person who will see your CV is a Practice Manager or even a GP Partner, both of whom are incredibly busy and don’t have time to decipher a cryptic job application. You want to give yourself the best possible chance of standing out from the crowd, from what can often be stiff competition.
Here I’ll list some of my key tips to making your CV as attractive as possible to hiring managers, and some of the common mistakes I’ve seen over my past 5+ years as a GP recruiter.
Where there is competition for a role, a sure-fire way of standing out is to write a covering letter. If you’re able to tailor this to the individual practice and job title, even better. This should include, in your own words, topics such as why you think you’re suitable for this job and a background as to why you chose medicine as a career. I’d recommend aiming for 0.5 – 1 page of A4 as a rough length, and this is an extra chance to ‘big yourself up’.
Font, Format and Length
First and foremost, font and format matter. If you want to be taken seriously, I’d recommend using either Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman – stay away from Comic Sans!
The simpler the format, the better. Try and stay away from having too many fancy pictures and colours on there. CVs in a word document format are always preferable too, especially when working with a recruiter as we’ll have to slightly reformat this before sending onto any relevant practices.
Aim for around 2-3 sides of A4. If it’s much shorter, you’re probably not going into enough detail about yourself or your work experience. If it’s any longer, you have probably talked a little bit too much about yourself, or your publications etc. There is a very fine line between going into detail and keeping the CV concise and interesting.
Name, contact details and brief abbreviation of medical qualifications – I’d always recommend starting your CV with your name clearly written at the top, followed by any relevant qualifications, for example – Dr Jane Doe MRCGP DRCOG. Also remember to include contact details, including mobile number (and landline if applicable), email address and postal address too. You want to make this process as easy as possible for hiring managers, and not be having them email you to ask for your contact number.
Registrations with professional bodies – List your GMC reference number so the practice can do their due diligence, and ensure you’re registered with no conditions (unless stated otherwise).
Details of your memberships with professional bodies – Examples include RCGP and BMA.
Qualifications – Include a list of your qualifications and the dates they were achieved, in chronological order I.E. DRCOG – 2020, MRCGP – 2018…
Employment history – Always start with your most recent employment and work backwards. I’d typically advise going back to ST1 in detail and being less detailed prior to that. You should include:
- Your job title in the post, e.g., Salaried GP, Partner GP, Locum GP, GP registrar
- Dates you worked in that role, being as clear and accurate as possible
- How many sessions you were/are working per week
- The name of the practice or company
- A brief description of your day to day duties and responsibilities in that role. This is also a great opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself a little bit, especially if you took a lead on certain area etc.
Awards, Research, Publications and Presentations – Another chance to brag about what you’ve done, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. If you’ve been doing over and above what would usually be expected of you, shout about it! Any potential employer will love this.
CPD, Conferences and Courses – Write in brief about any CPD you’ve carried out over the past few years, along with dates for relevant conferences and courses you have attended.
Interests and hobbies
This section is entirely optional. However, I think adding a personal touch to the CV so the hiring manager gets a feel for who you are is always a positive thing. I’d include anything you like to do outside of walk such as walking, cooking reading, as well as any hobbies you may have such as golf, skiing or sailing etc.
There are a couple of ways to tackle the references section. This will depend on preference and your personal situation too. Neither way is right or wrong. You can either:
- Include full details of referees, comprising of name, position, practice/organisation working for, and contact details. At least one of these referees should be from a Partner or line manager at your current/last place of employment.
- Say that references are available on request. You may not have told your current employer that you’re moving jobs yet; and don’t want to risk your referees being contacted before you have chance to tell them. This route ensures you’re fully in control of when they’re contacted.
Hopefully these little tips have helped give you a guiding hand; to either start writing your professional CV, or update your current CV! And how to make it as attractive as possible to hiring practices!
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