What is your next career move? Are you planning to take the next level up? Band 6 or Band 7? Or would you want to consider a new role in a different area? NHS or Private sector? Or if you are still in the Philippines, are you ready to apply for a Nursing role in the UK?
As you make your next career move here in the UK, you need to make sure is that you have an updated CV or Curriculum Vitae. Also known as a resume, this document is very important in landing your dream job.
CVs can be varied from being very simple and straightforward to having somewhat of an autobiography. In the UK, CVs can be very different on how we do our CVs back in the Philippines. I confess my own traditional CV back in the Philippines when i was starting had too much information, some of which are not even relevant to a candidate’s application. In my years in the Recruitment industry, I have also seen hobbies, birth date, gender and even elementary school details on many applicant CVs. A modern CV is short (aim for a 2 page long CV), simple (easy to read), specific and sellable (and the product is you!).
In this article, we will dissect a traditional style CV. We will also discuss & share with you some tips on how to modernise your own CV and make it UK ready.
We'll use the CV of Juana Dela Cruz and review it part by part. (This is just a sample CV. All details used are fictional).
PART 1- Photo and Contact Details
Photo in your CV - not recommended
You do not need to add a photo in your CV, especially if you're applying for a nursing role. Photos are visual images of you and may create biases (conscious or unconscious). You want the employer to assess your CV based from your experience and skills and not based from your looks. Your CV is not your social media profile.
Email addresses can also affect first impressions of employers. You are applying for a job and you want to make sure that you make the right impression to the hiring managers. Make sure that you use a formal & appropriate email address. Also, avoid using addresses that are difficult to spell, your emails might be sent to a different person because of typos, or more so, try avoid using birthdays. Best option would be using your name. Ms.I.Juana.Know@email.com vs JuanaDelaCruz@email.com- which sounds formal?
You can also add the link of your LinkedIn page if relevant and the company you're applying for is active in LinkedIn. But make sure that your page is updated too. Details of your LinkedIn page has to match the details in your CV.
PART II. Objective and Personal Details (?)
Are you applying for an entirely different job? (moving specialisms - eg. A&E to theatres) Do you plan to move from a full time role to a part time position? If your answer to any of these is YES, then you may need to write an Objective. Objectives are useful to those who have specific requirements or are moving to an entirely different role. But if you are applying for a similar position, then you may not need to add an Objective. Instead of an objective, add a solid and powerful profile summary.
This is a summary of your skills & experience. This should answer the question "Why are you suitable to this role?". It is important for you to read the job description of the role. Look out for key words (these can be the key skills or experience needed). If you have these skills or experience, make sure that it's written in your CV. Nowadays companies use technology in filtering or screening candidates. It follows a certain algorithm where in it screens candidates based from the matched key words.
Unlike before where we treat our CV as our "bio-data", nowadays, personal data such as birth date, religion, weight et al should not be in your CV.
These can be possible sources for discrimination or bias (conscious or unconscious). Here in the UK, under the Equality Act 2010, these are called protected characteristics. It is unlawful or can be deemed as discriminatory for employers to ask questions pertaining to these characteristics, more so base their decision on these characteristics. The only time employers can ask about these “protected characteristics” is if it is crucial to the job or will help a vulnerable or disadvantaged group. (Ie female nurse required to care for a female patient with special needs).
PART III. Employment History and Education
Start in reverse chronological order from the most recent down to your last 10 years of work experience. Focus on your most recent experience. Add your key achievements too. Instead of just writing or adding your Job description in your CV, make it more personal. Add your achievements. Did you lead a health and safety initiative in your unit? Have you deputised your Matron when she was away? Have you made any cost saving initiatives for the trust?
Again, make use of key words. These can be your specific skills (project management, clinical supervision, etc).
For your work beyond 10 years, you can still add them but simply just state the job title, employer and duration. No need to explain your role for this period in detail especially if they are no longer relevant to the job you are applying for.
Similar with the work experience, start in a reverse chronological order (from the most recent up to your degree). If you had your high school education in the Philippines, no need to add these details. There is also no need for you to add the clubs or organisations you had in your school years, unless you see them as relevant to your application.
PART IV. Skills, Trainings and References
Skills / Training
If you already have the profile summary, you don't need to add the Skills Section. Instead of Skills, identify the trainings you have completed. Make sure it's relevant to the role. There may be trainings that you had in the Philippines that are no longer useful to your UK role.
Employers may request for your references or ask you to do a DBS check but this normally happens towards the latter part of your application. You don't need to add a reference list in your CV or your previous managers’ contact details. But make sure to provide them the details once the employers requested for it.
Your CV can be your big ticket to land the job position you are aspiring for. Thus, it’s imperative that you put your best effort in ensuring that your CV reflects the best of you.
Remember your modern UK-ready CV should be short, simple, specific and sellable.
Read Related Article: Top Job Interview Tips for Nurses