After GP training – getting a job


  • Do the research
  • What do they think they want
  • What do they need
  • What do you need
  • What can you offer
  • What questions will you ask
  • Being yourself

Before you start, do your homework

  • Visit the practice and talk to the people who work there. Who are the key players in the team?
  • What are the good points and the deficiencies of the practice
  • Would it suit you? Why? Do you think you will fit into the team? Why?
  • What are the downsides for you? Spot the subliminal compromises.
  • Talk to people who might have something to do with the practice – friends, local doctors, patients, the lady in the corner shop…
  • Glean information from other areas eg the Primary Care Trust (PCT), the web.

The curriculum vitae (CV)

  • Use good quality A4 paper (white or pale background).
  • Keep it concise.
  • Be completely truthful.
  • Keep it clear and specific – simple language works best. Use short sentences.
  • Use positive active language.
  • Highlight your selling points clearly e.g. your key skills, generic skills and achievements.
  • Career history and education should be most recent first, although this may depend on individual personal circumstances.
  • Consider a small picture of yourself
  • Include a personal profile stating strengths and personal qualities but be careful – you will need to back it up at the interview.
  • Include hobbies and interests and describe how you use these skills in your work
  • Explain any gaps in employment history. Remember, time out for parenting adds to your CV eg: life experience, multitasking – make it positive.
  • Decide whether you want to include your date of birth.
  • Always type or word process your CV and get it checked for spelling, grammar and ease of understanding by a good proof-reader.
  • Do not include names and addresses of referees in the body of the document -add these on a separate sheet.
  • You may need to prepare more than one CV depending on what you are applying for. Amend the CV each time to make it appropriate to the job that you are applying for
  • Include a covering letter.

The covering letter

  • Take as much care over the covering letter as over the CV itself
  • Type it so it can be easily read
  • If you are sending a targeted CV in response to a specific job, quote the reference number and job title
  • Use good quality plain white paper
  • Where you have a named contact, address the letter to that person
  • Include your postcode, telephone number and date
  • Keep it brief and to the point – no more than one page
  • Use a strong opening statement
  • Don’t repeat what is in the CV
  • Keep it clear and concise – use short, direct sentences.
  • Make the content reflect you so the reader can get a flavour of how you approach things
  • Include what you would bring to the organisation and how the organisation might benefit from employing you
  • Finish on a positive note
  • Print your name under the signature
  • Check spelling and grammar and get it checked for spelling, grammar and ease of understanding by a good proof-reader.
  • Check it thoroughly before posting
  • Use a quality envelope
  • You may wish to telephone the recipient to ask if they have received your CV if you have heard nothing after a week.

Producing a CV which is easy to photocopy or scan

  • The original should be printed in letter quality.
  • Use a standard typeface in a font size of 10 to 14 points.
  • Use standard spacing; letters should not touch.
  • Avoid using italics, underlining, lines, graphics, two-column format, or boxes.
  • Emphasize using bold or full capitalization.
  • Your name should be at the top of the first page, followed by your address beneath it.
  • Each phone number should be on a separate line.
  • Successive pages should have your name in the header text.
  • Footer of each page should include page number and total number of pages
  • Do not fold or staple. Post in A4 envelope


  • Choose your referees carefully. Make sure they are clear why you chose them and the particular areas you expect them to cover. Choose your referees to show your strengths.
  • Referees should be from recent jobs that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Ensure your referees know they have been asked. You may need to remind them.

The interview

  • Inter-view: this is a 2-way process, remember.
  • Make sure you have done your homework
  • Be prepared to expand your brief thoughts from your covering letter and CV
  • What does the practice feel it is good at? Where does it need to develop? What is in the PPDP?
  • Be completely truthful – and expect the interviewers to be the same.
  • Do you want to work with this bunch? Would they want to work with you?
  • Plan the answers to standard “personality” questions: strengths, weaknesses, coping with stress etc.
  • Watch your own body language, keep your second head.
  • Make sure you know who everyone is
  • Remember your communication skills – they apply equally well here as with patients.
  • Listen carefully to the question asked.
  • Take time out to think if you need to – signpost the thinking time. Be clear and avoid waffle.
  • Have some useful questions to ask them already prepared.
  • If you don’t get appointed
    • What you were offering may not have been what was wanted
    • Ask for some feedback about your interview and CV

Further information

en English