Medical CV

Medical CV writing is an art that should be mastered to get your CV stand out from the crowd. They are still required to get medical jobs in the UK, despite the recent popularity of online application forms. See how to write an effective CV for any medical job here.

Make your Medical CV stand out!

The format of a medical CV requires that you clearly present the "story of your life" in a fluid easy to follow and read pattern.

They should be written and tailored to meet a specific job requirement. The chronological CV format is often employed. A medical or doctor's CV should be presented in the most concise, professional and clear way possible.

Important headings to include are your personal information, education and qualifications, memberships of any professional or academic institution, if any, employment history, outstanding achievements and prizes if you have some, publications, audits, management experience if any, teaching experience, career goals, hobbies, and any other relevant information like possession of full UK driving license, your immigration status - inclusion of your possession of a British passport or  "indefinite leave to remain in the UK",  for example if you are not a UK or EU trained candidate may mean getting short listed or not.

Whatever you include under those headings should be a honest and true reflection of your abilities, experience and qualifications.

Generally, most CVs should be 1 or 2 page long, but with years of experience in the profession, some senior medical personnel have been known to have CV running into 6 or more pages. Weed out the unimportant. Keep your CV as concise as possible. 

Medical CV - The Preparation

Preparation is key to succeeding in most things in life. This is even more so if you are planning to write your medical CV.

The following are general house keeping guides to help you not only write a medical CV that stands out, but more importantly, one that gets you the job. You may have come across some of these in the how to write a good CV section.

  • Never have a single "fit all employment" CV
  • At any time, have a draft updated general CV to use as a guide to structure your CV to meet a specific job advertised
  • Start by reading the job advert carefully and list the salient points highlighted
  • List the keywords mentioned in the job advert and be ready to tweak your CV to reflect such specifications, if you meet them
  • Write out your experience that makes you the most suitable candidate for the job you are about to apply for
  • Always remember to include experiences you have that will best suit the post you are applying for; say as a care of the elderly SHO or FY2 doctor as different from wanting to work as an A&E or accident and emergency doctor. Jot these down
  • Now draft your CV following the headings mentioned below
  • Use a large font, preferably size 12 text font when typing
  • Double line spacing, broad margins on both sides of the page, say 2.5 to 3.5 cm (1 – 1.5 inches) are safer
  • Your word text format should be in Times New Romans or Lucida Sans. Serif Fonts are also very brilliant
  • For headings, try Sans Serif
  • Do not use more than two types of text fonts
  • Be selective with the paper you will use for printing too. An 80grams or preferably 100grams weight white A4 paper should do
  • You could use a cream colored paper, but to be safe, it is best to stick with white paper
  • Use a laser jet printer instead of an ink jet
  • Get a friend or mentor to go through your finished CV and proof read it for typos and any other error.

Headings And What To Include

As stated above, the following are headings to include in any good medical CV.

Personal Information

Many people chose to create different layouts for this section of their medical CV. Some chose to place it as an horizontal tab on top of their CV, while some as a vertical information on the top left or right of their CV. The choice is yours. Personal information typically included in a CV for medical jobs include:

  • Full Name (First name, middle name(s) if any and surname)
  • Correspondence address
  • Telephone number (landlines and mobile)
  • Email address (and some have included their Skype id)
  • Nationality and Immigration status if necessary. You may chose to leave these later to be included in the additional information section
  • GMC (General Medical Council) Number
  • Medical Indemnity provider's name and number if available.

Summary or Profile Statement

Some include an introductory paragraph which summarizes their profile, strong points, and career goals. This is equivalent to having a 20 seconds slot on prime time television to sell yourself to the person reading your CV. Be concise. Be sharp. Mention specific achievements if any. Use the third person.

It is important that you read the job description and persons specification for the job in question to get an idea of the type of individual needed to fill the post. Then tweak your profile to suit that. A sample profile is also included in the medical sample CV below.

Education and Qualifications

This section should feature all your educational qualifications from secondary school onwards.

  • Some will put their medical degree first, details of awarding institution, year of qualification and honors, if any,
  • Include next, any higher degree like intercalated BSc if you have one
  • Add your medical diploma eg MRCP or MCEM Part 1&2 passed
  • Do not include courses attended here

Medical Regulatory Council Registration Status

If you have not already included your GMC status and number in your personal profile, this is the next best place to feature it. Include:

  • Your GMC registration Number
  • Date of your first registration
  • Whether you have a provisional or full registration.

Medical Indemnity or Defense Provider Details

Again, if you have not already included this information in your personal profile, you can create an heading for your medical indemnity info now.

  • Include the name of company - e.g MDU, MPS, or MDDUS
  • Add your policy or membership number
  • Expiry date.

It is often a good idea to join a medical defense union, despite having some automatic level of medical indemnity insurance from the crown if you work in NHS hospitals. You may score extra points during short listing for having additional cover. Those applying for GPVTS training and qualified GPs by law, require one.

Apart from these incidental advantages, you will be able to get access to medico-legal advice 24/7, should you find yourself in any situation that may require such help, and also be covered for indemnities not covered by the crown indemnity like good Samaritan works.

Employment History

  • Start with your current job. If you are presently unemployed, say so
  • Then in a reverse chronological order, present the job you have done since leaving medical school
  • If you have undertaking a locum appointment lasting more than two weeks, include this as well
  • It is a good idea including the name of the consultant you worked with in those posts. If you have worked with some remarkable senior colleagues (who said your last consultant is not remarkable…he may belong to a powerful "old boys club" to which the short listing consultant belongs). You may get short listed just because you have worked with Professor Ellis as an Anatomy demonstrator in your FY2 job at St Bartholomew Hospital London!
  • Include the dates for each of the jobs (at least roughly if you cannot remember)
  • Include a summary of your main duties and responsibilities
  • Be sure to focus more on previous jobs that may be related to the current job you are applying for. For example, if you are apply for a research post in London, you could highlight your last job as paediatric FY2 where you got involved in national audit and helped to collate data showing the prevalence of childhood pneumonia in the South East of England. Add more flesh to your role in that project. 
  • Finally on this point, do not forget to account for any gap of unemployment in your CV. If you were writing exams, say so (e.g. studying for PLAB or for MRCS part 1). If you took off time to travel, say so. Your prospective employer may wonder if you were in jail during an unaccounted for time in your CV.

Clinical Competence or Clinical Experience

Clinical proficiency, experience or competence is an additional optional section on medical CV that highlights skills and competences you have acquired from your previous jobs.

  • Many employers will like this, as it gives them an idea of what you can do. As stated on the UK CV format section, it is best to go through the advertised persons specifications and job description page and adapt your proficiency to what is required for that job
  • Never inflate or include things you can not do. You may be asked during the interview to describe such procedure, and fail out rightly if you can not
  • You could decide to list these competences in bullet point format or present them in a column by each of the jobs in the employment history section.

Teaching Experience

  • Do you have any formal or informal teaching experience? Include it
  • You may have taught medical students, or student nurses informally during work or ward rounds. That is good enough.

Audits

With the advent of Clinical Governance, and NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) committees pushing forward the borders of expected excellence in standard of care, it now behooves every medical personnel to regularly compare the local standard of care with the national bench marks, or best care available.

Participating in clinical audits, apart from being a contractual requirement now, will be very nice on your CV (no pun intended).

Most short listing panels will score you a point or two under this heading. So to get a medical UK job, participate in a clinical audit, and include it on your CV.

Publications, Posters and Presentations

Have you been involved in any form of research? Was it published in a a scientific or peer review journal.? Then include it here. Whether in a local or international journal, do not hesitate to add any published work.

Omit this section if you do not have one.

You need to know the order in which to present your research or published works. The usual order is:

  • Books
  • Chapters in Books
  • Referred papers
  • Reviewed Articles
  • Invited Editorials
  • Published Abstracts and communications to learned societies
  • Published correspondence
  • Poster presentations
  • Non-medical Publications

Some candidates combine this section with their audit section in a single heading as "Publications & Audits".  If that suits you best, go for it. A good medical CV should not be rigid in format, as long as it has the important headings and info to help sell your capabilities.

Additional Information

This section can be very useful. Be sure to include:

  • Computer skills eg - proficient in the use of excel, Microsoft Word, Symphony in A&E, or System One, or Emis etc in GP jobs
  • Language skills - speaks German and Spanish fluently
  • Any other relevant or unique skills.

Management Experience

If you are applying for a more senior post, say a SpR or Consultant job, management experience would be expected of you.

Career Goals / Future Plans

Defining your career aspirations and plans will help throw insight on your professional direction.

  • Clearly state where you are coming from
  • why you are applying for this job and how it will fit into helping you meet your career ambition.
  • Always align your career goal to fit with the job you are applying for on your Medical CV
  • If for a specialist doctor post for example, include whether your long term dream is to apply for article 14 route to becoming a consultant in that field in 3 to 5 years time or if apply for a GP post, if you are hoping to be a GP trainer or partner.

Hobbies

Medical career could be very stressful. Employers want to know what you do to "switch off" from the day to day medical stress.

  • Do you enjoy taking a walk down the woods with your loved one?
  • Running for Charity?
  • Or do you have a special skill like playing in a band?
  • Include your plan to do the next London marathon if you have not done it before.

I have Cray-fishing on my CV as an hobby and that has caught the attention of some of those on interview panels, leading to my been asked to explain what it is … what a way to relax during an interview!

Referees

Always keep a list of referees away, but be sure to include this heading in your medical CV and say - "available on request". If you want, you can actually include the names on your CV.

Approach a potential referee long before you need to apply for a job and ask if he or she will be willing to give you a good reference for a job. Do not feel you are too pushy by doing so... you need to be pushy anyway.


By the time you have neatly drawn up your medical CV as outlined above, you should be confident that you have met the requirement for an effective medical doctor CV.

Please see the featured example of medical CV at the Sample Medical CV page.

How To Write A Medical CV: Have Your Say!

Are you looking to write a medical CV? Or perhaps are a doctor who have actually written a killer medical CV and have some great ideas or points to share here? We would really love to hear from you. Please post your queries and comments on this subject here.

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