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Is Your Nursing CV Still Fit For Purpose?

Posted by: Lynn Sedgwick

Be honest – when was the last time you updated your nursing CV?

Most people only ever update their nursing CV when they are actively looking for a new role – and we understand this. The life of a nurse is busy enough, and there’s hardly any extra time to continually update this document with your professional goals and achievements.

When searching for a new nursing role, your CV is the best tool at your disposal to ensure you have the best chance of getting that Head Nurse job in the newly built hospital that you really want.

Poorly maintained nursing CVs can suggest to the hiring manager that you are not diligent or serious about your job, despite the truth being that you just haven’t had the time in your busy life to make sure your CV is still fit for purpose.

If it’s been a while since you updated your nursing CV and you’re thinking of applying for jobs in the new year, now is a great time to reassess and update it, which in this article, I will help you to do.

First Things First

Check and double-check that your contact details are correct – have you changed mobile phone numbers or email addresses since you initially created your CV? My life as a recruiter would be a lot simpler if candidates were easier to get hold of. It is frustrating for employers trying to contact a candidate who has given their out of date phone number and an incorrect email address, and yes, this actually happens more than you might think!

Likewise, now is the time to get rid of unnecessary information on your CV – mobile phone numbers and email addresses are the most valuable pieces of information this year and going forward into 2020 and beyond, so make sure these are correct and clear on the top of your CV, but you can remove your fax number from 1998.

A great tip is to include times when you will be free – employers lookout for this as it shows that you are not just sincere about being contacted about the job, but also that you’re serious about your current nursing role – it shows due diligence.

Make it Clear

Your CV should be typed in easy to read font (I suggest Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri) in anything between 10 and 12 point font, and no bigger than 14-18 for the headings.

Many CVs are now sent electronically, but sometimes a physical copy will be required. Keep your CVs on neat, clean paper and avoid scribbling on details at all costs – if your details have changed - print out a revised copy.

Your Work History

Maintaining your nursing CV involves keeping your working history as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Removing the details of your first nursing job after college is a good idea if the role was more than 15 years ago. As a general rule, include the last ten years of your work history, or the last 5-6 positions; whichever is more relevant.

Avoid giving long descriptions of your every duty, but give short but informative descriptions of the main duties in your current and most relevant roles for the job you will be applying for, e.g.-

Jan 2008 - July 2012 - Staff Nurse - Complete Care Home, Manchester

  • I administered scheduled care and medicines to elderly residents including intravenous, subcutaneously and intramuscular injections.
  • Worked with electronic charting to administer medications and to keep on track of best practices at the facility.
  • Along with my colleagues, we improved patient satisfaction by 11% over a period of two years.

Lastly, I want to share with you some of the biggest do’s and don’ts for your nursing CV.


Nursing CV Trends

The humble nursing CV has come a long way since I started recruiting, and we see trends come and go in what nurses tend to include on their CVs.

Things to include in your nursing CV this year include -

  • A link to your LinkedIn profile – your prospective employer will enjoy checking out your professional profile, and this is a great way to show that you are actively engaged with your nursing career.
  • Personal achievements and goals – you can include a short section of your personal nursing highlights and your goals for the future. This way, employers will feel at ease knowing what your long-term goals are.
  • It is common for CVs to be less formal these days. This doesn’t mean emoji’s or slang words, but your cover letter can be more conversational and explanatory about your current position and career goals.

Things to avoid on your nursing CV -

  • Don’t include a picture – it distracts from the main purpose of the CV.
  • Overly-long descriptions of duties in previous jobs – keep it simple.
  • Ancient education information – include only a brief summary of your most relevant education. 



If you need help updating an old CV, but it’s been a while, get in touch with Clayton Recruitment today. We have been helping nursing candidates into roles since 1989, and our team can help advise you on your nursing CV and current or future career opportunities.



Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent 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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