A CV may be required at any point during your career; from applying for part time work through to your first role out of university and a senior position further down the line. Your CV is your personal record of your achievements, skills and experiences and is designed to convince the recruiter that you are the right person for that opportunity. See your CV as the opportunity to target your experiences; the most effective CVs stand out when they clearly identify the way in which they match the criteria for the opportunity.
Creating a successful CV
Your CV should be viewed as a successful marketing tool and not merely a long list of achievements. To prove that you match the criteria that a recruiter is asking for, you must:
Analyse the opportunity and identify exactly what experience and skills are required. You can do this by looking at the person specification for that opportunity. It is likely to be organized into essential and desirable criteria. You must evidence all of the essential criteria, or you will not proceed through to the next stage, no matter how good your CV looks. Tailor your CV and show your research on the opportunity and organisation
.Analyse yourself and match your achievements, experience and skills to those that are required for this opportunity. These skills can be gained from different aspects of your life, including:
•Previous Employment and work experience
•Leisure activities and Interests
The anatomy of a successful CV Your CV and covering letter needs to be Clear Concise Complete Consistent Current It does not to be an exhaustive list of everything that you have done but must be designed to show that it is clearly targeted to a specific opportunity. Whilst there is no set for mat to your CV the following headings are useful in structuring your information.
•Personal Details: Name, address, telephone numbers and email address (avoid jokey sounding ones) Date of birth, nationality and marital status are not necessary for UK CVs.
•Personal Profile/Career Objective: this is optional, however is a good opportunity to summarise your key experiences, skills and “make your pitch” from the outset.
•Professional Education and Qualifications Start with the most recent first, including dates and institutions. Focus particularly on your Medical Science degree, including academic awards and opportunities to stand out, including relevant modules, projects and research. GCSES can be summarised.
Include here medical science related experience or research you may have gained; highlight key skills and experiences gained that the recruiter will be interested in.
•Employment and Work Experience
This can include permanent, temporary, fulltime, part time and voluntary work (if you have extensive voluntary experience and it is health or laboratory related youmay wish to have this under a separate heading and to prioritise it accordingly). Your experience can be prioritised according to relevance, or starting with the most recent first. Ensure that key skills and experiences are identified; bullet pointing can work well here.
•Additional Skills and Achievements This could include IT skills, languages spoken, driving licence, etc.
•Interests and Leisure Activities Avoid a long list, but do focus on any membership or positions of responsibility, eg MedSoc, B MedSc Soc.
It is usual to include two, ideally two academics or an academic and a work related contact,preferably a manager. Get their permission first and include their contact details.
• Before you start to write your CV, identify exactly what the recruiter is looking for and ensure that your CV clearly provides evidence;if someone picked up your CV would they be able to identify straightaway what you were applying for?
• Aim to keep your CV to 2 pages of A4 (if for an academic position you may wish to attach additional information to a third page)
• Keep the presentation clear; choose a font 11-12 points. Your name can be in slightly larger font. Bold can work well, but try to avoid distracting the reader’s eyes with underlining and fussy fonts. Tables can also break the flow of the CV and best avoided.
• Avoid large blocks of text; bullet pointing works well.
• Focus on the positive and use active words to identify skills.
• Use the space well; avoid cramping sections but don’t leave too much white space. The average amount time a recruiter first reads a CV is just 20 seconds, so it needs to be easy to read and succinct in its presentation of evidence to match the criteria.