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How to write a winning CV

I think I’ve read over 100,000 CVs in my time in recruitment and I believe I’ve seen some great examples and some truly awful ones too!

I’ve compiled a few tips here that may help you write a winning CV and avoid falling into the awful category!

Form Good Habits

Preparing a CV can be a time-consuming, difficult task.  Remembering dates, job titles, responsibilities, manager’s names etc is hard.  As is remembering the CPD and additional learning opportunities that have been undertaken as part of your job.  That’s why successful people continuously update their CV as they go.  

Bear in mind that applying for work in our sector is different to others.  Employers will look for different criteria and you need to understand what they are looking for and what information can be removed from your CV to keep it to the correct length.

Too long and it won’t be read, too short and it’s not detailed enough.

If this is your first attempt at writing your CV, here are a few tips.


You should start with a template that is specific to the veterinary sector.  In general, your CV should be no more than two complete A4 pages.

The first CV should be general enough to be able to use it for a number of different Vet Surgeon or Vet Nurse positions.  It should  include:

  • Your personal details
  • A recent photo of yourself
  • A short summary of you
  • Your educational summary
  • Your employment summary
  • Your aims, aspirations, interests and hobbies
  • A note about references

Remember that if you are applying for a specific role that is of interest, you should tailor your CV and the aspirations section to focus the reader on this area. 

Educational Summary

Typically, you should list your degree, dates, university details in reverse chronological order.  Going back to age 18 is far enough – no-one is interested in the subjects you choose at age 11!

Experience Section

This area is the most critical.  Many employers will skip everything else on your CV and head straight to this section. I understand that not everyone has a great level of experience.  Perhaps you are a new graduate or new to the UK employment market.  Research has shown that your CV must grab the attention of the employer or recruitment agent within the first 5 seconds, otherwise you’ll be skipped over to the next applicant.

Whatever level of experience you have, it’s important to make it easy to see, read and understand.  Make sure you:

  • List the most recent experience first
  • List it in bullet points, include the dates and details of the experience
  • It’s important the reader is able to understand your experience level quickly
  • Make sure your dates make sense and account for everything – even the gaps in dates
  • If you have limited employment history, include periods of volunteering and seeing practice.
  • Make sure you relate the job that you did to a commercial value.
  • Don’t forget to mention your personal and soft skills too.

Summary Section

Let the reader know something about you.  What do you do to relax, what makes you tick, what you are passionate about.  This is all about making you a human being, rather than a page of words. Don’t forget to include details of your registrations and memberships of professional bodies too.

Finally, finish by listing two references or by stating that references can be provided on request.  You should be part way to writing a winning CV.

Medicus Vets CV Writing Service

Medicus offers a CV writing service for qualified Vet Surgeons and Vet Nurses.  All we ask in return is an opportunity to help you find your next position.  If you are interested in this service, we will book a telephone appointment with you for approximately 30 minutes to gather the information we need from you.  Your professional CV should be complete within 48 hours and ready for the interviews we arrange for you.



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