How to Build your CV

This can be something people overlook the importance of in Dentistry since some posts like DF1 and DCT are application form based and do not require a CV. So here are a few tips to get you going for when you may need one!

This article can also be found on DentSpace

It's is always useful to have an up-to-date CV to pull out of the bag even if you're not actively looking for a job. 
CV writing is something you need to take seriously, it's not something you can knock together in 30 minutes! It can take time to get it right so that when you are job hunting, it gives you the best chances of getting the job you want!

It's also important when applying for positions that you send in a cover letter or email together with your CV which is tailored to the job you are applying for - look at the personal specification that most jobs include when they are advertised and use this to your advantage.

When writing your CV, remember to be concise; ideally it should not be more than 2 pages long. Use tables to summarise information and display it in a clear manner. If you are applying to hospital jobs, you may want to have a separate CV from the one you use to apply to be an associate in practice.

Essential things to include in your CV include:

  • Personal details e.g. name, address, e-mail, telephone, website etc. (I wouldn't include a photograph in your CV and employer's should not request one at the interview stage)
  • Education (this is probably best displayed in a table)
  • Personal specification
  • Work experience
  • Publications
  • Audits
  • Courses that you've been on (you don't have to list every single one you've gone to, just ones that you've found particularly useful or interesting)
  • Any presentations or lectures you have done
  • Volunteer work
  • Interests outside of work
  • Contact information for your references (at least two)

Need some help?

Linked In

Make use of this professional social media network! It can help you out a lot with what information you can fill in and getting personal recommendations or endorsements from your colleagues and mentors is something that employers may value. 
There's even a printable PDF format of your profile you can print off which can act like a quick-fix CV if you're desperate - although I would definitely recommend writing a separate CV rather than rely on this feature of the social network.
If you're wondering what my Linked In looks like, see here and feel free to connect with me. 

Portfolio websites

There are quite a few sites out there where you can create your own professional portfolio of your work. Whether you choose to build your portfolio on one of these sites or use your own platform, this is something that can help you out when applying for jobs. Some of these sites include Dentinal Tubules, Dental Circle and Denteez

Where can I post my CV?

A really good site to post your CV is the Dental Job Board which even has a dedicated section for DF1s and DCTs to enter their CVs.
The site allows you to upload your own CV as well as enter profile information so employers can see a brief overview of yourself. Plus there are opportunities to have CV makeovers if you are struggling to put yours together! You can browse through posts on this site too, not only throughout the UK, but internationally too.
It's quite a nice format which is simple to use and I think it is much clearer than the BDJ jobs site, although there aren't as many posts advertised. 

Remember to review your CV monthly to make changes and get another person to read through it for errors before you send it off to perspective employers. Try to avoid folding your CV as this looks unprofessional and if you can, hand in your CV in person to the employer so that they remember you (you can check out the place you're applying to work in at the same time).

To find out more about careers in dentistry, please see one of my previous posts here.

I hope you have found this post useful. If you have any more tips for CV writing or have used the Dental Jobs Board website please leave your comments in the section below. 

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