Taking the time to refine your CV for each application and then properly preparing for the interview will go a long way in securing you the job that you deserve.
First, ensure your CV is up-to-date and focuses on your competencies. Never lose sight of what potential employers are looking for, match their technical and personal competency requirements and you’re off to a solid start. This means studying the job description and person specification carefully.
Writing a CV is your sales pitch to the employer and your personal statement is the opener. This should sit below your personal details and should be no more than 50 words; each sentence should be a key point which will help to differentiate you from the other applicants.
It is crucial to keep your formatting consistent; your CV should be no more than two pages in length. Limit yourself to the most relevant work experience and list employers and job roles in reverse chronological order. You will need to include company name, address, job title and responsibilities and stick to this format consistently throughout.
Healthcare organisations are increasingly sensitive to cost control and productivity, therefore your CV must reflect an understanding and experience of these changes. List and quantify your achievements where relevant and write in the first person, the employer is interested in your personal contribution.
Make sure you list all relevant skills and courses attended, keep these brief and ensure they relate to patient or service outcomes. You will also need to include all higher and further education such as a degree or masters.
Once you have covered the technical requirements, it’s always a good idea to include language skills and additional IT skills. As for referees, it is sufficient to mention that these are “available on request”.
Each application needs to be tailored to the role; increased competition for jobs means that employers can be far more specific about what they want. Strive for quality, not quantity.
Prepare for the interview
Once you secure an interview prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more. Competency-based interviewing is the most popular interview approach, based on the premise that future performance can be predicted by past behaviour.
Re-visit the job description and person specification before your interview and ensure that you have covered off all bases, including tasks and responsibilities, and ensure that you can comfortably provide an example for each competency, with a clear structure to your answer.
It is a good idea to memorise examples to describe the particular scenario, the actions you took and the impact on the business. Depending on the role applied for, more specific competencies will be tested: at senior level, examples of leadership and project management will need to be demonstrated.
You may be asked questions such as, “Can you give me an example of when you have launched a successful initiative?” Always relate back to the service/patient outcomes and be armed with figures. If you have supporting documentation, such as published reports, bring these with you to the interview.
Julie Greenwood is managing director at Hays Healthcare