The three CV formats to choose from are a chronological format, skills-based format and combination format.
Chronological CVs use the most standardised format for CVs. Usually, the work experience is listed primarily and in reverse chronological order.
Skills-based CVs concentrate on achievements and skills, as opposed to listing the work experience foremost. They give details of work history but usually later on or not as much attention is given to the work background. This can be for multiple reasons, e.g., you may not have had consistent work or previous jobs may be irrelevant to your new desired job.
Combinations CVs are ideal for those who like what both a chronological and skills-based CV have to offer and want to combine both formats.
How big should you make headings and subheadings?
This is a tricky format issue that is hard to explain. Essentially, you don’t want your headings to be too bulky, as they’ll take up valuable space. That said, you don’t want them too small and squishy looking either.
Ideally, headings should be at approx. 12 or 14 font size, but the title of your CV (usually your name) can go in a bigger font. This usually depends on the design of your CV.
Should you format your CV to prioritise the most important sections first?
As a standard CV protocol, most tend to list their work experience first on a CV. This kind of CV usually abides with the chronological CV format.
However, it is entirely up to you how you structure your nurse CV. If you recently completed a masters module or other training and educational courses, you may prefer to list your education section first. Just make sure you leave enough room for other important sections, such as work experience, skills and achievements.
After you’ve finished your CV, zoom out enough so that you can view the whole page to check formatting factors such as line spacing, headings, text size and clarity. Another way of doing this is by printing your CV to see what it looks like in real life. Although, most job applications and CVs are reviewed on computers these days so simply zooming out can suffice.
Colours? NHS colours? Private clinic practice colours? Simple, classic black and white? Modern template design? There are a million different options for your CV design.
One of the best options for making a stellar CV is by using an online CV builder that offers lots of different CV template choice. Using a CV template as opposed to designing your own CV is the best way to avoid the whole design conundrum and instead, focus on more important aspects, such as CV content.
Professional nursing CVs should have a simple design but if you fancy adding some colour, perhaps you could coordinate your CV with the healthcare organisation’s company colours?
No medical CV or job application will ever require you to include a photo in a UK nursing job application. This isn’t just a medical industry protocol, as CVs in the UK don’t include photos like other European cultures might choose to, such as German CVs.
Ideally, a CV written for a nursing position should include the following sections:
- Personal info
- NMC registration and PIN
- Work history
What you choose to include in you nurse CV is entirely subject to your professional background, desired job post and most importantly, the job requirements. Filter out any irrelevant information and make sure you include CV sections that will tick the boxes of the job requirements.
Other CV sections to consider are:
- Hobbies & interests
Depending on your experience as a nurse, your CV should range from about one to two A4 pages. Make sure you include all relevant work experience as a nurse or in similar medical posts. If this means stretching your CV onto a second page, it’s not a problem, as long as it’s all relevant. Try out a one-page CV for impact and a fresh look with the most important and influential CV information.