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Career Advice

10 Skills Every NHS Worker Needs

When you’re applying for a job, it’s important to know the specific skills and attributes required for the role before you start your application.

If you find out what they are and include them in your CV, making it stand out above other candidates’, it’s likely you will be given the chance to impress even further at an interview.

To give you a helping hand during your job hunt, we have assessed the vacancies listed on GoToJobBoard and posted the top ten skills that NHS employers look for when hiring Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff.

1. Resourcefulness

A resourceful person is enterprising and makes the most of any situation, however difficult it is to find a solution in a fast-paced environment, which the NHS can often be.   

This is an essential attribute of any Non-Medical/Non-Clinical NHS worker, and means staff are able to use common sense to solve problems and complete a task.

2. A good standard of literacy and numeracy

Due to the nature of NHS admin roles, which involve handling sensitive patient or employee data, it’s important that you are confident with your spelling and grammar to avoid you misspelling a name, which could result in a patient mix-up.

Numeracy is also vital, whether you are dealing with the amount of medicine prescribed to a patient or are calculating ward capacities during busy periods.

List any recognised and relevant qualifications in a bullet point list on your application, whether it’s a GCSE in Maths or an A-Level in English.

3. IT Skills

Many Non-Medical/Non-Clinical NHS jobs are computer-based. To be considered for the role you are applying for, you need to demonstrate you have sufficient working knowledge of relevant software.

You might want to list the software you can use, whether it’s Microsoft Word or Excel. If there are any specific programs on the job spec, if you have used them in a professional capacity before, you should list those as well.

4. Accuracy and methodicalness

NHS staff are required to keep detailed records of patient health, so it is vital that staff show attention to detail and ensure that the information they are inputting is correct.

Also remember to proofread your application multiple times and get someone else to look at it with fresh eyes you can never be too careful because a typo could be the difference between you getting invited for an interview or your application being dismissed.

5. Strong communication

It’s important that you are strong communicator; in person, via email and over the phone.

If you’ve worked somewhere where you’ve had to make telephone calls, it makes perfect sense to include it in your CV. If you’ve done presentations in front of large numbers of people, include that as well.

Communication is also vital for managers, where leadership is required and new processes need to be to be introduced to entire teams – so if you are applying for a management position, you should ensure you outline your communication skills and how they will help you once you get the job.

6. A passion for looking after people

A strong eye for how to treat and speak to other people is essential, whether they are patients, their friends or family, or your colleagues from another department.

The NHS faces lots of scrutiny. Therefore, an ability to defend it and work despite any criticisms is vital, however tough pressure from a patient, their family or a member of the general public might be.

Remember that the rewards for working in the NHS are plentiful and it’s one of the most fulfilling institutions to work for – many NHS workers are proud to say they work for one of the world’s largest employers.  

Outline when you’ve looked after someone in the past and show empathy for other people – this will certainly impress the recruiter during the selection process.

7. The ability to work individually and as part of a team

You should work well in solitude when you need to, and always be ready to work as part of a team and contribute to team goals.

However, despite not dealing directly with the health of parents, Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff are just as vital to patient wellbeing and must work with colleagues to ensure everyone under the care of the institution is well cared for.

KPIs differ to that of doctors and nurses, but the main aim of individuals and teams who work in Non-Medical/Non-Clinical jobs is the wellbeing of patients, whether they’re employed in admin or driving based roles.

8. Patience

Simply by its nature, the NHS can be a testing place to work. This is why patience is essential, as you could face difficult situations which test your tolerance and ability to handle them.

Describe yourself as patient in your cover letter or statement, although you will need to demonstrate this with previous work examples and your demeanour will be assessed during the interview to see if you fit the bill.

9. Time management and organisation

Keeping on top of things is important, and it’s a good idea to include some details about your organisational abilities on your CV.

If you’ve arranged any large work-related events, you should include details. This will demonstrate that you like to be heavily involved as a team player – something employers look for when building a team.

Be punctual on the day of your interview and take a copy of your CV with you in a nice folder or binder, as this will reinforce the fact that you are professionally minded.

10. Flexibility

Due to the nature of the NHS and the 24/7 operation of the NHS, recruiters look for candidates who’re flexible and able to work hours that suit the needs of the organisation and its patients.

Make it clear that you are open to working flexible hours, and are able to ensure you can maintain a work-life balance which allows to work to your potential.  

Do you have the skills to succeed in the NHS?

If you have NHS experience and want to apply for Non-Medical/Non-Clinical NHS Jobs listed on our job board, take five minutes to sign up and submit your application just remember to include all the skills you think will impress the recruiter and land yourself an interview! 

Good luck!

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