A well developed, general CV can be a useful reference document, but to really stand out from the crowd, you need to tailor your CV for each job.
This will ensure that you always present yourself positively and provide specific evidence that you have the right mix of skills, qualities and experience to make you the ideal candidate for the vacancy. The job and person specification should be your guide to what skills and experience the employer is looking for. Indeed, always check that a CV is the appropriate method of application, since some employers request application forms only. The following tips are useful, whichever method you use.
Looks do count
Presentation is paramount and shows your professionalism and attention to detail. Be consistent with your layout, font style and size, etc. Some posts and specialties are extremely competitive, so it's important to think about how a selection panel will view your CV among the 100 (or even 400) others they've received. Poor spelling and grammar are the most common reasons for rejecting a candidate, so always get someone to double check your CV or application to make sure that no silly errors creep in.
How much is too much?
A seven- or eight-page CV is typical for consultants, but won't impress if you are going for an JR post. If you are restricted to two pages, work with the job and person specification to make sure everything you include is focused on the employer's requirements. Keep personal details to a minimum: your name, address, telephone number, e-mail, MCI number and registration status. Put your educational details in reverse chronological order and make sure this section is balanced in favour of your recent medical studies. Deal with pre-university qualifications in a one-line short summary but provide more detail for your medical degree and postgraduate qualifications.
Use specific examples
Rather than list all of the duties and procedures you've carried out, use specific examples from your experience that highlight your suitability for the post. Use positive and active language to describe your examples. Focus on yourself and then use specific examples to prove your point. For example, 'My organisation skills allowed me to balance a range of duties, for example
' rather than, 'The post involved a variety of duties and required organisational skills'. When covering other work activities courses, research, audit, etc) try to relate your experiences back to the job and talk about them in terms of your skills and qualities and how you improved and developed as a doctor.
Get a second opinion
It's always good to get a second opinion. Discussing your CV with colleagues, family or friends is also a good way of reviewing what you have done and getting a different perspective and a fresh pair of eyes to check for any mistakes. If you are applying for a post at a different hospital or trust, one of your senior colleagues may be able to review your CV for you without there being a conflict of interest. Finally, make the most of any CV and application form checking services offered by your deanery or university careers service. It's a good way to obtain objective and constructive feedback.