The importance of a “good” CV cannot be understated, but often it is not clear what entitles a successful and unsuccessful CV. All employers will look to be able to quickly identify key strengths and skills within your repertoire, as well as relevant qualifications to a role you have applied for. However, many CVs are constructed without thought to personality, ambitions and outside interests, which can have a profound effect on your ability to maintain good working relationships and a healthy life balance. These key aspects are pivotal to nurturing professional relationships and communicating effectively in a team of nurses or practitioners. Below, we share our 5 tips to writing an ideal CV for nursing candidates.
An efficient way of conveying your personality, professionalism and qualification to a potential employer is to summarise yourself briefly at the beginning of your CV. These details could include your qualifications, academic or professional interests and relevant experience to a job. These pieces of text often reflect more upon your personality, and it is useful to implement some key words which reflect your working style. This should be thought out carefully to accurately reflect your own style and personality to avoid incorrect personal descriptions. This should be around 100 words of concise text which clearly pinpoints why you are suitable for the relevant role and provides a quicker glance into some of your more prestigious achievements without the need to read large blocks of text.
“I am a hardworking, courteous RGN with 17 years of experience in acute, post-operative and peripatetic care. I am persistent and hard working with an eye to detail, capable of working as both an individual and in a team of experts and clinicians. I have been involved in clinical decision making and enjoy using my clinical experience to improve patient outcome through care, competency and confidence in my skills and in the strong relationships I build with my co-workers. Keep up to date with new clinical research and movements within the nursing field and aim to adopt best practice in my execution of skill”
A further method which works to be both visual and concise is the implementation of bullet points, particularly when displaying relevant qualifications or training experience without the need for paragraphs of text. When placed just above or below your introduction, it draws the reader towards this section of the CV, and can be used as a highlight reel of your best achievements. For example;
Aside from introducing yourself, this part of your CV is key to demonstrating clearly your relevance to a career. Name each employer and date your starting and ending date of employment in chronological order. Do not be afraid to report employment breaks or study breaks, and take the time to include any other achievements you gained during your time off work (training, courses, exterior qualifications). Take 3 or 4 sentences for each previous role and explain what your duties were, any experience you learned and a couple of the most prestigious situational or career experiences you carried out during your time at the role (remember, this is proof or your competency at previous roles, so make it detailed and relevant).
BMI The Chaucer – April 2004 – September 2009 – My role as a general nurse in a post-operative ward was particularly fulfilling due to the fast paced environment and high clinical standards I operated under…
Similarly to your employment history, you must clearly convey the factual matter of relevant training, qualifications and achievements with different institutions (and be prepared to demonstrate certificates and awards on demand). Provide dates of courses and the places you gained your qualifications, and a couple of lines about the experience you gained, how you were examined and any personal skills you drew directly from your time in the learning environment. Furthermore, explaining the transferrable skills into your present and future roles provides relevancy to your career and demonstrates your dynamic nature as an employee which is attractive and valuable to employers
Anglia Ruskin University – September 1999 – June 2003 – A great deal of personal and academic development occurred during my time at university, having learnt key clinical skills on several working placements in cancer care and community care settings…. My Masters dissertation in aseptic techniques in elderly care proved invaluable during my time at…
Training History/Final information
This section should relate to other areas you may have not divulged such as your technology competency, valid driving license or UK passport holder, registration details with relevant governing bodies and smaller courses relevant to your career. This could be training days elsewhere in the country, first aid training or specific nursing training (catheterisation, tracheotomy care, wound care and drug rotations). These punctuate your previous academic and working experience and demonstrate a worker who is committed to flexibility in practice and improving patient quality of life and care though relevant skills and methods.
A final piece of information should reflect on yourself as an individual. It is key to include two or three sentences on your hobbies, activities, sporting interests or outside achievements to paint a clear picture of you as an individual. Successful candidates often demonstrate a wide range of vocations and interests such as playing in a sports team or a musical instrument, activities which give a sense of a social and professional individual. Avoid being vague or generic in your statements here, but rather emphasise the interesting nature of yourself as an individual to portray to your employer how your skills outside of your profession may help mould yourself into a team of individuals, where social contact and communication is vital.
I have played piano at grade 7 for over 20 years, and enjoy recitals with my local orchestral group. I am an avid swimmer and compete at a regional level in meets and relays, which has vastly improved my communication skills and teamwork when executing high level performance in high stress situations.
Things to remember;