Nursing is one of the busiest and fulfilling jobs in the world of work but putting patients first means there isn’t always time to think about your CV.
No matter where you are in your nursing career, having an up-to-date and well-crafted CV is vital if you’re to stand out from the hundreds seen by a recruiter who doesn’t have much time.
Making sure your CV is to the point, relevant and contains all the necessary information about your employment history, education and training, you can dramatically increase your chances of a new job.
Your CV should be concise but detailed, particularly as you are working in healthcare. Standard CV thinking tends to mean it shouldn’t run to more than two pages but if you have lots of relevant experience in nursing, don’t worry about it filling up three or four pages.
Always include your professional registration details as well.
Writing a nurse CV
Your personal statement or bio should describe what you have done so far in your nursing career. Keep it concise - no more than four or five short paragraphs - and summarise what you have been doing in recent years.
If you have particular expertise or have specialised in a certain branch of nursing don’t be afraid to boast about it here – after all, you are trying to make yourself stand out so be sure to mention the things you excel at.
For example, you might wish to write something like: “A dedicated and hard-working nurse with more than five years’ experience in critical healthcare and accident and emergency. Strongly focussed on patient comfort and adept at working collaboratively as part of a wider healthcare team. Duties are always carried out with the utmost respect for patient confidentiality and welfare.”
Employment history/work experience
This section should cover all relevant employment and work experience history, starting with the most recent position first and working back chronologically. For each job or work experience placement, you should include: your job title, the name of the employer, the length of time you worked there, and a brief summary of your main duties and responsibilities.
Using bullet points to list the main points is a succinct way of putting things and allows recruiters to look at your experience at a glance.
Education – practical training and placements
In this section, you should detail where and when you got your nursing qualifications, whether that is through on-the-job training or through a degree course. Any relevant training placements, detailing the work undertaken and your main responsibilities, can also be included here. You can also include any continuous professional development you have undertaken and any specialist qualifications. Be sure to list them in chronological order, starting with the most recent first and working backwards.
Additional relevant skills
In this section, you can include anything that is relevant to your nursing application. For example, you might have experience of patient admission and discharges or you may have led a project to reduce patient waiting times or to implement a flu vaccination programme. Anything that showcases your nursing skills can be included here. If you are planning to apply for a more senior role, then describe your leadership skills in this section and give examples of any projects or roles where you have used.
Many professions don’t include references but clinical CVs are a little bit different and you should include two references at the end of your CV. One should be your current employer and the other one should be a recent employer or tutor/lecturer/placement leader if this is your first application.
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