How to Write the Perfect Medical CV for Finding Locum Work in 2023
Your medical CV is the most important document when searching for locum jobs. It is your pitch to the hospital and needs to show that you are one of the most qualified locum doctors out of everyone applying for the position.
The most popular shifts and hospitals will receive many applications, especially for long term bookings, so yours must stand out to have the best chance of securing your ideal locum role.
Having a great CV that highlights your relevant additional skills can also help you and your agent to negotiate better rates for you, especially if you have experience and competencies above the typical locum doctor at your level.
This guide follows our previous article “How to write the perfect medical CV”. If you haven’t already, we recommend going back and giving this a read first to get an idea on:
👉 The key principles of writing a medical CV
👉 How to structure a medical CV
We've also written a great CV template filled with further guidance and examples. You can download and edit this 👉 HERE 👈
Tailoring your Medical CV for Locum Roles
For locum doctors, your CV must show exactly what clinical skills you have, to demonstrate to the employer that you’ll be able to hit the ground running when you arrive. It’s also key to explain whether you’ve locumed before and try to show that you’re adaptable to new environments, especially if you've not worked in that Trust before.
Here you can find an example template for a locum doctor CV. The rest of this article will be based on the structure and sections that you’ll find here.
Our specific tips
🩺 Tailor your CV to your preferred specialty
You should take the time to tailor your CV to the specialty that you want to locum in. Specifically, this means:
👉 Specifically, mention the specialty you want in the ‘Summary’ or ‘Profile’ section at the top of your CV
👉 In the “Clinical Experience” section, focus on your experiences in this specialty in greater detail than the others
👉 Similarly, focus on relevant skills, qualities, and any procedures you are competent to do in the “Skills and Procedures” section that relate to the specialty
If you are looking to locum in 2 specialties, you could get away with cramming these into one CV. However, any more and you will need to write an individual CV for each specialty you are interested in locuming in. You’ll also, of course, need to update your CV if your locum specialty preference changes accordingly!
⏲ Mention any previous locum work you've done
Calling out that you’ve locumed before, especially if it’s in the specific specialty you’re looking to find work in, can be really helpful. A Trust faced with multiple CVs for a locum post will often choose the one who can show that this isn’t their first locum job.
A note to F2s considering an F3 year as a locum doctor. If you’ve done some locum work alongside your foundation training, it may be useful to mention which specialties and Trusts you've locumed in before (even if just additional shifts through your Bank) to demonstrate your flexibility and that this isn't your first time working as a locum doctor.
We suggest adding this as an additional role in the Clinical Experience section.
💉 List Specialty-Specific Procedures That You Are Competent In
List these in the ‘Skills and Procedures’ section.
So focus on the most relevant skills and procedures that you are competent in. You can find examples of these in the template here.
If you’ve managed to gain competencies in skills above your grade, i.e. FAST Scan as an SHO, then make this your chance to set your CV apart from others, so make sure to mention these.
If you don’t have many of these under your belt just yet, don’t worry! The truth of the matter is that there is far more demand for doctors than there is supply. So whilst you might not get the most competitive roles, it won’t prevent you from finding work, especially in departments like A&E. Plus you can always build these up over time as you locum.
🖋 Highlight skills and characteristics that make you a good locum
Your 'Skills and Qualities' section should highlight characteristics that are desirable in a locum and bank worker.
For example, your ability to settle into new teams quickly, to follow guidelines in different Trusts, to be efficient, to maintain good note-keeping, and to communicate effectively.
🥇 Keep Your CV brief
As a locum doctor, your medical CV should only be 2 pages long.
Although this is heavily generalising, as doctors, we tend to be quite bad at keeping our CVs short. Many of us will find ourselves filling over 10 pages with every single course, exam, achievement, QIP, audit, and research project that we've ever completed since Medical School.
This is the wrong approach, and you should aim to keep the 'Courses, Additional Exams and Achievement' section relatively brief.
For locum doctors, employers will be far more interested in whether you’ll be able to start work immediately in an efficient and safe manner, rather than the 20 QIPs and 5 publications that you might have.
This means focusing only listing the courses, exams and achievements that are 'relevant' and helpful to the role. I.e. ALS, ATLS and MRCS would be incredibly useful for an SHO Surgical, or even an A&E role.
However, if you were applying for a Research Fellowship, then these would definitely need to be mentioned. But for the purpose of a locum CV, scrap it.
Template and Examples
The above might sound tricky at first, especially when it comes to being succinct in order to keep your CV to no more than 2 pages.
We understand that it can help to have something to help guide you, so make sure to check out our detailed Medical CV for Locum Doctors template. It incorporates the advice given above and gives you a good starting point from which you can base your locum-specific CV.
This article is part of a wider series of resources and guides that are designed to support you as a locum doctor, covering areas such as getting your first job, managing your finances, understanding your rights, and many more. Visit our Locum Doctor Hub for everything you need to know about locuming today.
Additionally, if you're considering an F3 year, you might also find it useful to look through the selection of resources we've put together in our F3 Resource Hub.
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