Both employers and recruiters can receive 100’s of CVs for every vacancy they advertise. Time can be tight for employers and recruiters, so it is important that your CV stands out from the rest. You should use your CV to showcase your strengths and to sell your background to the reader, demonstrating that you are the right person for that particular job.
As a job seeker, you may find these guidelines helpful if you are wondering how to structure the CV and what to include in it.
Before starting to edit your CV, think about these points:
Tailor your CV:
Read the advert or job specification closely and tailor your CV to the vacancy. If your experience matches the job advert, make sure those skills feature prominently within your application. Make it very obvious to the reader what you have done, when you did it and where, in a simple and concise manner.
Keep it easy on the eye:
Ensure your CV is brief and succinct. There is no limit on how many pages a CV should be, it could be that you have a lot of experience – there should not be any gaps so the length is dependent on your experience. There should be plenty of open space in the CV, so use bullet points and good formatting to ensure that it is not too wordy.
1. Contact details:
Make certain that your contact details are easy to spot. These should be at the top of the first page of your CV and double check they are correct. It is amazing how many contact numbers miss digits.
- Home address
- Email address
- Contact number
- LinkedIn profile
2. Opening paragraph
Start your CV with a brief paragraph or two about you and a general description of your skills. Don’t forget to include your buzzwords here, these are skills, techniques, therapeutic areas, phases of trials, and regions you have experience in. Find out more about CV buzzwords here.
Detail the educational establishments at which you have studied including the attendance dates, in chronological order with the most recent first. You should include any relevant modules, projects, or dissertation work you have completed.
4. Work experience:
List your most recent position first. This makes it easier for the reader to see if you have the right experience and whether you have gained it recently. Put your other jobs after your current role in reverse chronological order.
You should include:
- Name of the employer
- Job title
- Achievements gained
- Any specific therapeutic areas or regions/countries worked with are very helpful if looking for specialised work such as oncology studies
- State if it was a contract or permanent role
A tip from the recruiters here at CK Clinical for those that have experience managing clinical trials, create a table at the end of your CV listing the clinical trials you have worked on with details of phase, therapeutic area, geography and number of patients. These are really useful extra details for the reader.
Employers will be particularly interested in activities that have developed your leadership and team-working skills. You should also mention here any volunteer work you have done.
It is best practice to give two employer references, one from your last employer and the other either a previous employer or from your place of study. Include their address, telephone number, and email address. Make sure to ask the people whose details you are putting down that it is okay to use them as referees.
It is a good idea to mention the notice period required by your current employer.
The Final Check:
Before sending a CV to the recipient it is essential to read through and check for the following:
Do not repeat yourself:
If you repeat yourself in your CV, it will look like you are padding it out or that you have nothing much to say.
Do not make silly spelling mistakes:
Either carefully check the CV yourself or ask a friend who is a good proofreader to check it over for you. There are numerous online platforms that will also check the document for free.
Once you have created a great CV, then think about your cover letter – take a look at our cover letter tips here
If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you use CV buzzwords, find out more about these here.