How to write a newly-qualified nurse's CV

07 June 2022 By Michael Bowyer

​Everyone writes a CV at some point in their life, knowing how to structure it and highlight certain successes can be key to making yours stand out from the crowd. As a newly-qualified nurse (NQN) you may be worried that you don’t have enough to put on your CV, but be reassured, you have plenty and your eagerness, passion and drive to get stuck in will always be appreciated!

As an NQN you will have lots of examples of the following to showcase:

  • Lectures

  • Assignments

  • Research

  • Presentations

  • Dissertations

  • Placements

  • Coaching from colleagues and mentors

And most importantly, you’ll have hands-on experience with patients! That’s plenty to weave into a CV.

What to include in a nursing CV

In many ways a nursing CV is similar to a CV for other types of jobs and sectors, you’ll need to keep it succinct and to the point. Remember, it is quite likely a recruiter will be looking at your CV and they look at hundreds every day. Yours will need to be scannable, have pertinent information laid out in the most logical way as most recruiters spend less than a minute looking at each applicant.

You will need to include:

  • Up-to-date contact details

  • NMC registration and PIN

  • Educational information

  • Professional overview

  • Core skills

  • Employment experience or placements

When it comes to listing out your core skills, be sure to add in technical skills as well as soft skills. Soft skills include those social skills that are so important to the provision of care in nursing and should have a prominent place in your CV. They include skills like communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork and leadership, etc.

90% of recruiters stress the importance of demonstrating ‘soft skills’, such as communication or empathy when they’re looking at placing a candidate. Good soft skills tend to make for a good placement and a popular candidate.

When it comes to your employment experience, it’s perfectly fine to call on your placements in this section. What looks best and most resonates with recruiters and employers is when you use concrete examples of your skills, experience and competencies. So try and remember times when you demonstrated your skills and clinical knowledge and include them.

One thing that is important to remember is to use technical professional language that adds credibility to the skills you state you have. There is also some argument over whether a nursing CV should strictly stick to the two-page rule in terms of length, but general consensus is that if you have relevant experience and knowledge, why not show it off in a CV over the course of three or four pages?

Once you’ve put together your CV and made sure it’s all spelt right and correctly formatted, you’re ready to start applying for some jobs! You can apply directly or get in touch with a specialist healthcare recruitment agency, like Medical Staffing.

From there it’s time to brush up on your interview skills!

Newly-qualified nurse interview questions

There should be a very strong correlation between your CV and how you answer questions in an interview so you should always reread your CV prior to any interview to make sure your answers are aligned with it! We’ve provided a few of the most common interview questions nurses are asked so you can get a feel for how your CV can support you in answering them:

  • Why do you think you’re a good nurse and how can you evidence this?

  • How have you dealt with conflict or challenges in your experience to date?

  • What makes a good shift for you?

  • What are you most proud of in your career so far?

  • Why do you want this job?

  • What does compassionate care mean to you and how to you demonstrate this?

Looking for your next nursing job?

When it comes to looking for your next nursing opportunity, we’ve got you covered. We can ensure you are always able to provide the best care possible by sourcing short and long-term assignments, out of hours, or back-to-back roles. We offer full diary management and get to know you, your skills, and your long-term career goals so we can find assignments to suit you. Our specialist consultants are also on hand to help you with onboarding and compliance support.

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