Your CV is the beginning of your journey to your next medical or legal job, so getting it right in your job search is crucial. Here are Gorilla Jobs’ three tips on nailing a great CV format.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room - most people struggle writing CVs, so if you’re in the market for a new job and are avoiding sprucing up your medical or legal CV, you’re not alone!
As recruiters, Gorilla Jobs want you to put your best foot...and CV...forward so that you are optimally placed to get your next dream job. The best way to think about your CV is as the key to a recruiter’s attention. Given we literally receive hundreds of CVs a week for jobs we are trying to fill, having the right eye-catching but professional format will help your CV stand out as we sort through the digital document pile.
So, here are our three basic tips to remember when writing your CV.
Medical and Legal CV Formats
Tip 1: Get the basic CV types right
Chronological (or reverse-chronological):
This is the most popular format and one you probably already use. Leading with a professional summary, the Chronological CV outlines your employment history in reverse order from most recent, finishing up with skills and education. The key to this format’s success is listing under each role your major achievements. This builds a picture of your career progression, building a case as to why you would be great for the vacant role. Because of how clean and easy to digest this format is, many recruiters and employers prefer it. However, it doesn’t always suit early-career professionals, those who have gaps in their careers or if you have had a less-standard professional life.
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Still leading with a summary statement, the bulk of the Functional CV focuses less on career progression, and more on skills and training. It should include both soft and hard skills that talk to the skillset of the role you are applying for, while also including qualifications, educational background and a brief history of relevant roles. This is a great CV for recent graduates or those changing careers as it illustrates skills that cross industries, and is a good format for presenting a wide range of qualifications or skills. However, it does miss out on career development and applicant tracking systems (ATS) can struggle with scanning it.
The third format brings together elements of the chronological and functional CV, allowing a recruiter or employer to get a balanced picture of both the skills you bring and how you’ve accumulated those skills through practical employment. This is a great way to contextualise skills via career progression but can fall over when the skills and work achievements don’t pair up.
Tip 2: Formatting and styling
Once you’ve decided on a format that suits you, choosing how it looks is your next step.
As mentioned, there are a multitude of CV templates out there, with Canva alone having a tonne you could use. These can be helpful in that they have already made styling decisions for you, so all you need do is populate the content.
However, be careful not to get drawn to something that is all about the visual and less about the substance! While you need to ensure your CV jumps out of the pile to grab recruiters’ attention, this doesn’t mean using wacky fonts, garish colours or kooky graphics. Neither does it mean your CV has to be boring - it can still stand out from the rest of the pack and remain professional-looking.
Consider the following as the essential basics of formatting and styling:
- Choose a standard font (this is a good guide) and ensure it is at a readable size, so no less than 11pt.
- Use a heading hierarchy (headings have a larger font size or could even be a different font to stand out) and line breaks to keep your CV consistent and make it more readable.
- Bold some elements - such as position titles in the chronological cv - so your cv is quickly scannable.
- Avoid underlining as this is often construed as a link.
- Ensure there is some white space on the page via line spacing even if this means your CV is a little longer. It’s key to not overcrowd it or make it too busy.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash
Tip 3: Ultimately, content counts
No matter how well you’ve crafted the look of your CV, substance and quality content counts.
Even if you are under the pump to get your CV written up and submitted, take time writing it. Use clear, concise language (think: less is more!) that is professional, modest and honest, especially in the career statement/professional summary. Never overwrite or over-embellish achievements or skills. We want a true picture of who you are so we place you in the best job for you.
And always ALWAYS double and triple check your CV before you send it out. Use free grammar/spelling checks either in word processing programs or online (such as Grammarly) - even ask a friend or partner to run their eye over it.
Remember - your communication skills are a soft skill that can either shine or let you down in a poorly written CV, and you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle. Your CV is your calling card in your job hunt, so ensure it is at its best and in doing so, end up in the best job for you!
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!