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  • 22 August 2013
  • 3 min read

September has arrived, time to apply for a new job!

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August was a busy month for us in terms of candidates applying for jobs, but now it’s time for the September surge of activity from both candidates and employers. September comes joint first with January for the time of year when the most jobs are posted and employers are keen to get great applications from candidates who are ready for a change.

However, before you click that apply button and send off last year’s CV, STOP and think!

Shouldn’t you update your CV first, and maybe take a look at your personal statement? My answer is definitely!

The last thing an employer wants to see from a good candidate is an out of date CV and a personal statement that doesn’t relate to the job they’ve applied for. It can really put a black mark against your application. Make sure you avoid this at all costs by updating your CV before you apply.

Your personal statement and covering letter also need work together, and one size definitely does not fit all!

Your covering letter should be re-written to suit every single application you make, and it should summarise why you’re the best candidate for the role and the qualities you have that match the requirements in the job description.

Your personal statement should then go into more detail about your skills and competencies, why you see yourself in this job and how your experience so far in your nursing or midwifery career could help you in this role.

Don’t risk sending in the personal statement you wrote the last time you applied for jobs because it won’t match the requirements of this job, and the information contained in it about your skills and experience will be out of date.

It’s a tough job market out there, and as a candidate you need to give yourself every chance of being the best applicant for the job. Think of the employer looking through your application and CV with a checklist of questions such as:

Are you a suitably qualified candidate for this job?

Do you have a current registration?

Do you have the essential skills and qualifications we requested in the person specification?

Can I contact them by email / phone?

If you’re looking through your CV and the answer to each question isn’t obvious in a couple of seconds, then it needs rearranging.

You don’t have long to capture the attention of an employer when they open your CV, and it’s in your interest to lay the information out in a clear and logical order.

Don’t make an employer have to guess at answers to their questions. For example if you weren’t working for a period of time because you took a career break to have a family, then say so.

Put accurate dates in your employment history to cover the period you didn’t work, that way the employer knows there is a perfectly legitimate reason why you weren’t working at that time.

Give yourself every chance of getting through to an interview simply by updating your CV, personal statement and covering letter.

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About the author is about sharing knowledge so that nursing professionals can make informed decisions about their career, and feel supported. I believe every nursing professional should be able to carefully choose their perfect employer, be happy at work and have a great career.

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