Blog post

Share this post:

This article was posted within the following categories:

Career Advice Career Development

Be Prepared to “Get That Job”

Other Resources from GoToJobBoard:

You may also want to read:

At the beginning of the New Year, many people put changing career on their list of resolutions. New Year – New Job. So it’s not a surprise that January becomes one of the busiest times of the year for the job seekers and the job boards. It's hard enough these days to get a job so please don't make it any harder for yourself by not being properly prepared!


Don Tomlinson, a veteran recruiter with over thirty years’ experience, has written this handy guide “Get That Job” based upon his personal experience and observations over this period. Whilst it won't guarantee you “get that job” it will certainly prepare you better than anything else and indeed anyone else…

Read the main recommendations below or download the full guide and save it until it’s more comfortable to read.

Step 1 - your CV

So you have decided to get a job but forgotten where you safely stored your CV! Probably for the best because it's far better to create a brand new CV using our “The best CV Template for getting an NHS/ Healthcare job”. Follow the instructions given in the above link and you will have a CV which will be in the top 5% of really good CV’s but remember keep your CV up to date! 

If you are determined to get that job then don't let your CV gather dust.  All new work skills and work experiences (even unpaid or voluntary) should be added to the top of your CV and the old information at the bottom should be edited to become shorter. 

Aim to always keep your CV a maximum of 3 pages long and remember the average time a recruiter looks at a CV is around 10 seconds so make sure you always have a compelling opening profile!

Step 2 - Compliance

Compliance, especially in the NHS and the wider healthcare market, is now becoming one of the most important factors in either getting a job or not.  So after following Step 1 above you now have a wonderful, easy to read, captivating CV, full of all the right sort of information.  You will now have to prove that you have the right to work in the UK: 

  • You will need to show you have an address.
  • You will have to show if you have a criminal record (or not). 
  • You need to show at least the last three years references from any jobs you have had during this time. 

Every recruiter in the UK, when recruiting for the NHS and wider healthcare market, will have a highly experienced compliance team and they will have to see a number of documents before your application for a job can be progressed.  So don't leave this to the last minute.  Be prepared.  Many a good candidate has lost a job opportunity simply because they couldn’t provide the correct documentation (or any documentation) in time.

For further information on the stages you will go through and the types of documents you will need to produce please see the following infographic to help you figure out if you are compliant to work in the NHS.

Step 3 - Applying for jobs / Working with agencies

Nowadays, the majority of non-medical, non-clinical jobs in the NHS and broader healthcare market are advertised on job boards such as and are managed by specialist agencies. 

  • NHS Jobs

Although the NHS must use their own “job board” to advertise permanent and fixed term jobs, many people find the whole process of applying through NHS Jobs very time consuming and laborious.  It is not, by any means, a simple task and you cannot even upload your CV - the NHS do not encourage applying via CV.  They focus on form filling and many of them.

NHS Jobs is an easy website to search and you will learn a lot about the job from this site.  In some cases you can even email or phone the hiring manager for more clarification BUT you must still go through the whole process of applying via the not “user-friendly” website. 

  • Specialist Agencies

Many people prefer to try and get a temporary contract through any one of the hundreds of specialist agencies in the UK.  That way, if they can just get in through the door then they can apply for any of the permanent jobs within that particular hospital or other NHS department.  Applying for temporary jobs means that you must go through an agency as the NHS will not take the risk of hiring temporary staff directly.

The modern job boards have very good search facilities where you can search on job title, location and distance from a particular location.  So if you are a Project Manager living in Greater Manchester and only looking for work up to 50 miles from the centre of Manchester this is how your search would look: “Project manager”   Manchester   50 miles - it’s as simple as that.

On GoToJobBoard you can also choose to save the individual jobs or immediately apply for a job (remember all job boards (apart from NHS Jobs!) would now expect you to have uploaded your CV previously to their website so it can be automatically attached to your application.

Step 4 - The Interview

As much as you would like to have a good interview and be offered the job, your recruiter is also very much on your side in helping you get the job.  After all that is how they get paid!  So professional recruiters will take pains to prepare you for the interview and provide you with all sorts of useful information to help you impress the client.  Please take time to read all of this information - the job description if there is one, research the client online, ask the recruiter for any additional hints and tips.

Make sure you are early - at least 10 minutes before your interview time.  There is an old recruitment saying “10 minutes before is on time, on time is late” - it is so important to give a good first impression. 

Make sure you are smart - you can ask the recruiter for advice on dress code but I believe you should always be on the smarter side then you can’t go wrong.  Ideally wear a suit (both men and women).  Best style is plain and dark in colour.  Smart, black, leather shoes - polished.  White shirt and sensible, matching tie (not too loud, no cartoon characters, etc) or white blouse for a lady.

Mention “job winners” - If you have done your research and have the right skills for the job then why shouldn’t you get it? Also remember to mention a few “job winners” - that you are available immediately always goes down well.  That you live locally or can stay with friends or family locally is also very useful to point out. 

After the interview get back in touch with the recruiter to give them your feedback. Keep it factual and honest and tell them anything else you think can help them on your behalf. For example - went to the same school, support the same football team, play the same sport, both in the army, navy etc.  You would be surprised how some of these “throwaway” comments actually help make a difference.  Of course, they must be true!

Step 5 - The Offer

Professional recruiters can negotiate almost anything on your behalf, a higher salary, a more flexible working arrangement, a change to the working hours, possible expenses, possible working from home some of the time BUT they must be convinced you will accept the job if offered.  Let them do the hard work for you but always be truthful and do not play one recruiter / interviewer off against another.  That is a recipe for disaster and many a candidate has ended up with no job at all!

Whether you are offered a permanent job or a contract/temporary role you will be provided with a contract of some sort.  It is important to read this to make sure you are happy with the offer and all the terms and conditions - if you are not sure about anything or don't agree with something now is the time to sort this out - not after you have signed it!  Don’t forget, the employer wants you at this stage just as much as you want them so sort any queries out straight away. 

Best of luck with your job hunting and if there are any points raised in this article you would like to discuss in more detail please email me at or

Article by Don Tomlinson, founder of max20, the only specialist recruitment business dedicated to non-medical recruitment in the NHS and founder of GoToJobBoard, the only non-medical job board dedicated to the NHS and the wider healthcare community.

Please download your free guide “Get That Job” here: GetThatJobGuide.PDF

Other Resources from GoToJobBoard:

You may also want to read:


Share this post:

Sign-up to get the latest job alerts via email.


Connect with us on social media.