Top 10 tips on writing your CV

Nurses and Midwives often comment to me that writing and formatting their CV is something they have really struggled with.

Did you know that on average a hiring managing will spend approximately 20 seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether they will read on! It is therefore crucial to capture their attention early on.

Here are my top 10 tips for writing your CV:

  1. Put the most important information at the top e.g., the first thing Nurse Unit Managers want to see is what are your qualifications and your employment history. These are the things that a hiring manager will want to know first before deciding if they will continue reading.
  2. Make sure your employment history is in order with the most recent job being at the top. There is nothing worse than looking at a CV with your employment history all over the place
  3. Ensure there are no gaps in your employment history, people will wonder why, and it could be as simple as that you were travelling, on maternity leave etc
  4. With each position on your employment history make sure there is a start and end date for your employment with that organisation
  5. Keep it to a maximum of 3 pages – Hiring managers often get hundreds of CVs to look over so if they see it is too long, they may not even bother looking at your CV
  6. Make sure you have all your qualifications on your CV and the date you obtained these (maybe mentioned something about professional development/ training days and courses- it all helps and shows you are committed to professional development)
  7. Formatting is so important! I see so many cv’s with crazy fonts that do not look professional. Stick to something like Ariel, Calibri etc that is easy to read. Make sure you have the font size the same throughout, bold any headings etc. Make sure it is ‘easy on the eye’ and readable e.g., don’t use big paragraphs, you are better to do bullet points as it reads easier and is quicker for someone to look through
  8. A picture of you is not essential, for most professions it does not matter what you look like. If you do put a picture on your CV, ensure that it is professional looking
  9. Personal details e.g., date of birth, marital status, how many kids you have etc are no longer relevant. Most hiring managers do not need to know this information at the time of reading your CV
  10. Do not use colours – there is nothing worse than looking at a CV on your computer screen with bright red text. Stick to black for a professional look

If you are a Nurse or Midwife and you would like some advice on how to improve your CV please get in touch at [email protected] . We provide a free service where we can consult with you on any improvements we can suggest and help you get the best out of your CV.