How to Prepare your Nursing CV

Posted on 16 August 2021

You’re ready to showcase your skills and qualifications to prospective employers, but where do you start?

The best nursing CVs are succinct, engaging and tailored to the job that is being applied for – a CV is integral to the success of your applications, so getting it right is essential.

Competition can be fierce, so how do you create a nursing CV that stands out?

What to keep in mind

Though you might have the temptation to write paragraphs about your passion for nursing and about all your experience, the opposite is true – the more concise, the better.

You want to make sure that hiring managers and recruiters are engaged with your CV, which is much easier to do when being succinct.

The overview section of your CV is where this will be most essential, given that it is at the very beginning.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expand on skills you have, as it’s important to stand out and ensure that all relevant skills and experience are laid out.

Just remember that the first few seconds of scanning a CV are crucial in capturing attention, which is easier to do with sections that are well laid-out and broken down.

The basics

There are key areas that should be covered in order for any hiring manager, recruiter or other person of importance reading your nursing CV:

Contact details (make sure these are up-to-date!)

NMC registration and pin

Personal summary

Core skills

Employment experience

Education and qualifications

Let’s take a look at what you need to include in each of these sections.

Contact details

It may sound self-explanatory but you’d be surprised how many candidates enter incorrect contact details on their CV.

Make sure to include your phone number, address and email at the top of your CV to cover all bases, and also add in your NMC registration and pin.

Personal summary 

This is the paragraph that usually rests near the top of your CV, making it of high importance.

Think of the personal summary as being your ‘first impression’. You’ll want to cover the essentials in a relatively short paragraph that is tailored towards the job role you are applying for.

Using key terms around specialised skills, previous job roles and career history is a good basis for your personal summary.

Remember that using industry-specific language is beneficial as it shows your knowledge and expertise.

Where possible, avoid using buzzwords and common phrases such as ‘professional’, ‘hardworking’ or ‘excellent communication skills’.

Without added context, these phrases are unlikely to engage the reader or give them the information necessary to determine your fit for the role!

A starting point for the structure of this section is: job role, years of experience, key duties/responsibilities, training, soft and hard skills.

Core skills

The next section of your CV should highlight your abilities that are relevant to your career, and more importantly, the job role you’re applying for.

Anything showcasing your nursing skills can be included here, and those applying for more senior roles will want to highlight leadership skills and projects in which leadership skills have been utilised.

Core skills are best presented as a bullet-pointed or dash-preceded list, utilising small sentences that include the skill and how it is used or was earned in the workplace/job role.

Remember that this list does not need to be exhaustive, but instead, focused on the job role you’re applying for by putting the relevant skills into context with evidence or elaboration where possible.

Employment experience

Detailing your employment record is the next step, which is usually done in reverse chronology, with your current job at the top, then your first ever job last on the list.

The main aim in this section is to give a brief overview of your duties and responsibilities – hiring managers and recruiters will want to read about hard and soft skills and any management experience.

The standard information to include is your job title, the name of the employer, length of time in the job role, and an overview of your responsibilities.

Using bullet points will keep this section engaging and also help you to ensure that all information you’ve included is relevant and necessary.

Depending on the duration of your employment history, you may find yourself having to summarise your older jobs with a short sentence or smaller paragraph to cover a broader time period.

If you are newly qualified or early in your career, you may also want to include any details about nursing placements you did at university, or bulk out more of your education and qualifications section.

Education and qualifications

For this section, you’ll want to detail where and when you got your nursing qualifications – whether through on-the-job training or a degree – including any relevant training placements and what type of work was undertaken.

This section is rather similar in format to employment experience, given that you want to include the type of work that you were completing and the responsibilities, professional development and any specialist qualifications you have. 

As with the employment experience section, be sure to list them in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent first and working backwards. 

Many of these sections will be adaptable to the specific job role that you’re applying for and will need to be tailored as such.

When looking at a specific job advertisement, be sure to take note of specific hard and soft skills that are mentioned so that you can clearly display these in your CV where applicable!


To summarise, here are the main tips for formatting your nursing CV:

Use simple fonts that are easily readable, such as Arial

Try to stick to black text on a white background where possible, this is better for readability

Maintain consistency with font, font size and formatting (e.g., only using bullet points rather than alternating with dashed lists) throughout

Avoid unnecessary visual elements that may cause your CV to look cluttered

Keep in mind that the easier it is for a hiring manager or recruiter to read, the better!

When applying for nursing roles, you want your CV to stand out and be engaging, which is why being concise and specific is essential.

Remember to highlight your key skills based on the job role, and don’t be afraid to brag about your achievements!

Get in touch with the T2 Healthcare team today to find out all of the options available to you in nursing right now. Call us today on 0203 002 6305, or

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