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How to Write A Stand-Out Nursing CV

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

As a registered nurse, your CV is your first chance to sell yourself to your potential employer, particularly if you are applying for your first nursing role. It is your tool to demonstrate your competence and professionalism, as well as your experience in the healthcare sector.

Whether you’re a newly registered nurse or have been working in the field for years, keeping an up-to-date, well-tailored CV on hand is critical in order to stand out from the competition.

No matter how highly recommended you are, every hiring manager will want to see evidence of your past experiences, skills, and accomplishments before they move you onto the next stage of recruitment.

Although there is no one size fits all ideal template for a CV, following some simple guidelines will dramatically improve your chances of securing an interview.

With that in mind, here are five tips for creating a stand-out nursing CV.

1. Customise your CV to Suit the Role

A CV must always be tailored to suit the specifics of the position you're applying for. By customising your nursing CV, you're showing potential employers that you've done your research into their healthcare organisation and that you're genuinely passionate about working with them.

Make a list of any critical competencies you notice when you're reading through the job description. You'll want to echo those skills in your CV wherever possible; if not in your experience and education, then in your personal statement where you discuss talents that you'd be eager to utilise or learn.

Also, ensure that you highlight clinical experience and areas of expertise that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Simply stating that you have experience as a nurse is too vague to attract the attention of potential employers; listing areas of expertise helps to give potential employers an idea of the specific skills that you may be particularly adept in. While these specific skills usually will come out in a nursing interview, highlighting them in your CV may be what it takes to earn a face-to-face meeting.

2. Show Soft Skills and Cultural Fit

Though technical skills are crucial, it's also worth taking steps to show that you'd be a good match for the culture of the organisation. For instance, if you know your potential employer is searching for a self-motivated staff nurse with the ability to lead a team of healthcare assistants, then you should structure your CV to show relevant experience/strengths.

Today's healthcare organisations want to see evidence that their nursing candidates have the soft skills to interact positively with both their colleagues and patients. In addition to self-motivation and leadership qualities, these soft skills might include communication, collaboration and emotional intelligence.

3. Use Detail Carefully

It's easy to get carried away when you're trying to demonstrate your best qualities in a CV. However, remember that the hiring manager reading your application will have a lot of work to do; they don't have time to assess countless pages of information.

Aim to address key facts about your experience, education, and abilities within two pages or less. If you're worried about details getting lost on page 2, you can include a small ‘core skills’ section underneath your personal profile, where you can list specific skills such as blood draws, vitals taking, electronic medical record use, urgent care experience and more. Using bullet points to list these skills is a succinct way of putting things and allows recruiters to look at your experience at a glance.

As you refine your CV, remove anything that isn't relevant to the job description, and remember to give evidence where you can. For instance, if you’re applying for a position within a nursing home, you should list past experience in working with elderly patients.

4. Always Check for Mistakes

A CV is your chance to make the right first impression on a potential healthcare employer.

Showing your skills and background is crucial, but you'll also need to be careful to ensure that you haven't made any common mistakes that might send a hiring manager looking elsewhere.

The document you send to a specialist recruitment company like Clayton Nursing should demonstrate how much time you've put into crafting the right application. That means double-checking for any grammar, spelling, or formatting mistakes. Make sure:

The CV is easy to read with a clear and cohesive font.

The document is titled correctly with your name, and the file is saved "Your-Name-CV", so it's easy to find on a computer.

Your sentences are short, well-articulated and to the point.

5. Add a Cover Letter

Finally, one of the best ways to make sure that your CV stands out is to add a cover letter.

Cover letters give candidates another opportunity to cover any crucial details they might have missed in their CV. With a few simple sentences, you can show that you've researched the healthcare organisation that you're applying for carefully and convince a hiring manager that you're ideal for the role.

Remember, your cover letter is a great chance to highlight your personality and prove that you're a good cultural fit. Don't just cover why you want to work for a particular organisation, structure your cover letter to highlight how you can become a pivotal member of their healthcare team.


About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to download our latest interview checklist, you can do so here.

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