Top Tips for a Stand Out CV

Do you have a resume that impresses? A good CV is your opportunity to introduce yourself to a potential employer and can mean the difference between getting an interview or not. It doesn’t need to be fancy or extensive, in fact less is often more when it comes to getting onto that all-important interview shortlist. So, what are the dos and don’ts of a great resume?



  • Keep it simple

Use a simple consistent font and formatting and allow plenty of space for easy reading. This isn’t the place to demonstrate your creative flair.

Make sentences short and to the point and only include information that’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.

  • Check your spelling and grammar

This sounds obvious but it’s easy to overlook spelling mistakes in proper names e.g. people and organisations. Common grammatical errors include inconsistent tenses (use past tense throughout the document) and misuse of apostrophes. Have someone else proofread your CV for you, particularly if English is not your first language.

  • Present career history in reverse chronological order

Start with your current position and work backwards. Early in your career, it is important to include each term you have completed but, as your experience grows, the early part of your career can be summarised i.e. 2008 Intern, XYZ Hospital.

  • Double check your contact details

Make it easy for your potential employer to contact you. Most recruitment happens by email so make sure you provide an email address that you check on a regular basis. 

  • Include unnecessary personal details

You don’t need to include your date of birth, marital status or any information about your children. If you swam at the Olympics, you might want to mention this but nobody needs to know that you were the Under 15 long jump champion at school.

  • Lie

This shouldn’t need to be said but don’t be tempted to misrepresent or exaggerate your experience. Falsifying a CV is very serious and potentially career-destroying.

  • Include referees without asking

This is the best way to guarantee a mediocre referee’s report. It’s critical that you select referees who can provide meaningful feedback on your performance and who will give you a positive report. Make sure you provide an email address that they check regularly and that they will be available during the recruitment period.

  • Leave unexplained omissions

If you have taken time off or started but not completed a degree, make sure you explain the reasons for this.

  • Forget to showcase your skills

If you’ve participated in committees, had leadership experience or dealt with conflict, even in roles outside of medicine, it is worth highlighting this.



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