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The best CV template for getting an NHS / Healthcare job

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Tips for writing an NHS / Healthcare job winning CV and a free CV template are included below

Please download your free CV Template here: FreeCVTemplate.PDF or FreeCVTemplate.DOC

Getting any job is becoming more and more difficult these days – getting an NHS / Healthcare job is definitely not easy, even if you have all the necessary skills. Why is this? I believe it is because none of us, especially NHS / Healthcare recruiters and managers have enough time to carefully analyse every CV that pops into their inbox. We are in a time of information overload and you need to stand out from the crowd. Coupled to this is the fact that the NHS in particular is a government organisation and is heavily regulated, so there are likely to be many more areas where a badly written CV will simply get binned, even though you might have been exactly what they were looking for. Most healthcare recruiters also follow NHS guidelines on recruitment too, so the need for a well written; job winning CV is becoming more and more important in these sectors.

There are some good tips included in a previous article “How to get your CV past any agency recruiter!”– you may wish to take a look first.

The attached CV template (Please download your free CV Template here) will give you the most effective way to structure a job winning CV for use in any of your applications for an NHS or Healthcare job role. 

This CV Template has been produced in collaboration with my team of recruiters at max20 who have been placing specialist contract and temporary staff within the NHS for over 15 years.

You might find the following additional points useful to read alongside your free CV template

The key points to note about our free CV template are:-

1.   Your contact details – always position these, centred, in the header of the document and make sure you include:

Your full name, email address, best telephone number (mobile?) and home address including postcode. 

Please, please check for accuracy - you would be surprised how many people get this information wrong, or worse, do not include this information on their CV at all. It may be on the email, but that can easily be deleted once a CV has been downloaded. Remember your job is to make it really easy for the recruiter to contact you, process your application, arrange an interview etc. If they have to search high and low for even the most basic of information they could well choose another candidate over you.

Why put your personal details in the header of your CV?  The main reason is that it will save you space in the body of the document so you will be able to add more useful information. Also, all recruiters will remove your contact details prior to submitting your CV to their clients, so contact information in the header is easier to locate and process.

2.   Professional / Personal Profile – this needs to be the first thing a recruiter sees when opening a CV, so they can judge just how close a fit you are to the specific job you’ve applied for. This should be the most up to date summary of your skills and experience and if written well will give you the opportunity to shine and impress a recruiter. Profiles should not be “skills lists” as this will put many a reader off progressing further. A good profile will give a clear overview of your strengths and level of seniority, so that the reader can correctly position you and compare what you have to offer against what they are looking for. An example of a good profile which was used successfully many times by one of our candidates is shown here. A good idea is to make small amendments to your profile when applying for different roles, so that you can bring out your specific strengths based on the job description you have been supplied.

3.  CV Body – Experience – this is the main part of your CV and should occupy the most space (but only around 2 pages is the optimum). Here you need to list all your past jobs in date order starting from the most recent. The key here is consistency, accuracy and completeness.

Consistency - make sure you follow exactly the same format for each entry. For example; Organisation followed by Job Title followed by Date, in that order.  Or you can mix the order up eg: Date, Job Title, Organisation etc. BUT whichever you choose keep it consistent throughout (and in the same font of course). 

Accuracy - short descriptions of the roles that you have completed, perhaps one or two paragraphs for each one. More information about your most recent role(s) getting less and less as you go back in time, so that your CV doesn’t go on for pages and pages. The ideal length of a good CV is still around 3 pages in total.

Completeness - no gaps, absolutely no gaps. If you have experienced periods of no work in between, simply describe what you were doing during that time. Do not say “looking for a job” - much better to say “Voluntary work in a Charity Shop”, “Carer for a family member”, “Building a house extension”, “Travelling across Europe” etc.

The NHS and the wider healthcare sector are very wary of gaps in CV’s, so you must provide a full history of your past work going back to your first job.

4.  Skills list and Education - Always add this information at the end of your CV in this order. You may list all relevant skills, especially if they are technical, IT related, etc. Following this, show your education and qualifications in date order, again most recent to the oldest. This area can be kept short and to the point BUT make sure it is accurate and never be tempted to add a skill or a qualification that you do not have - it will certainly come back to bite you if you do - remember the famous episode of The Apprentice.

5.  Hobbies - add a few of your hobbies to show you as a rounded individual. Don’t go overboard - think about those hobbies which may help you to secure your next job. I know of someone who once got an excellent job because a) Skill wise he was a great web developer and b) Hobby wise he played a mean game of squash!

6.  References - always available on request - never, ever give references up front to speculative recruiters who have nothing to give you in return. But remember, when you do genuinely need to provide references then for NHS jobs they want your last 3 years!  Make sure you have excellent references.

Now that you’ve learnt how to create a successful CV, take a look at our job listings and apply for the latest non-medical/non-clinical vacancies in your area, or register with GoToJobBoard to get new jobs sent straight to your inbox before anyone else sees them. Still feel concerned about your CV? Request a free CV review today.

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.

If there is anything in this article that you would like to share with me, please email me at either or


Please download your free CV Template here: FreeCVTemplate.PDF or FreeCVTemplate.DOC

Other Resources from GoToJobBoard:

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