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Improving your CV – tips for CAMHS nurses

As a CAMHS nurse practitioner, you should make sure your CV does justice to your personal attributes as well as your qualifications and experience.

All nursing jobs are about having a caring nature as well as professional expertise. However, when you're a specialist nurse in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the ability to understand and relate to your patients comes to the fore. That's why, when you're applying for CAMHS jobs, it's so important to make sure that your CV focuses just as much on your 'soft skills' as on your academic and career achievements.

Here are our top tips for making sure your CV will catch the eye of a prospective employer...

1. Introduce yourself

Start your CV with a brief intro that highlights your key attributes as a CAMHS nurse practitioner, for example good listening skills, knowledge of safeguarding issues, experience of working with partner agencies such as education and social services, etc. Remember, less is more here. Just 50 to 100 words should do the trick.

2. Work backwards

You should always list your career experience in reverse order, showing your most recent nursing position first. Even if it's not the role that's most directly relevant to the CAMHS job you're applying for, it's the one that will be of most interest to your prospective employer.

3. Include search terms

Many employers and recruitment agencies use keyword searches to filter CVs. Therefore, it's a good idea to include relevant words and phrases. Obviously, CAMHS itself is the most important. Others include: talking therapies, self-harm, emotional issues, eating disorders, learning disabilities, substance abuse, bullying and transgender issues.

4. Show you're proactive

It's just as important to focus on the future, as well as the past. You need to show that you're prepared to grow in the role and are not afraid to take on new responsibilities. As evidence, maybe list previous CPD activities, for example courses or seminars.

5. Outside work

You should only include stuff you do in your spare time that's interesting and relevant. Maybe you do some volunteering or mentoring with young people? Perhaps you're studying for additional qualifications? Working as a CAMHS nurse practitioner is more than a job; it's a vocation, so any details you include about your personal life should reflect that.

6. Proofread your CV

Spelling and grammatical errors in your CV won't look good. All healthcare workers need to be precise and conscientious, but it's particularly important for CAMHS nurses who may be dealing with complex issues and sharing sensitive data with partner agencies, such as the police or social services.

You'll find more tips here and your Sanctuary recruitment consultant will also be happy to offer advice on CV writing and interview technique. Follow this link for more advice on CV writing from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
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