First things first: you need to set up your NHS Jobs account:
To set up your account, simply click on the Register button. Fill in your name, address and email; choose a password that is easy to remember, but difficult for others to guess; and click on 'create' to set up your account.
Note: NHS Jobs is changing. Your saved profile and application will not be transferred to the new service and will not be accessible after 31st January 2021. To download a copy of your profile and application, follow the advice listed in the latest news.
Next, Login to your account and head over to My profile under My NHS jobs. Load the "Standard form" form from the drop down menu and you are ready to start building your profile. Let's begin. Shall we? Ps: Those who have already made the profile head over to the next section to see how to maximise your NHS profile.
The first part is about Personal Information. There is nothing fancy in this section, fill in the details, double-check it and head over to the Qualifications. If you hold a valid visa while applying for jobs, make sure you provide the Visa number, start date and expiry date. If your Visa has a condition restricting employment or occupation in the UK (which most of us will have), write 'YES' and explain. Candidates those who are working in jobs other than a doctor's profile, if eligible for work, give complete details to ensure that.
One of the most important part of your NHS profile. This section is divided into 3 parts:
Education & Professional Qualifications
Training Courses Attended
Membership of Professional Bodies One of the most important thing to bear in mind while writing this section is to write each detail beginning with your current or most recent qualification/courses/jobs and working backwards chronologically.
Education and professional Qualification:
Make sure to write all qualifications relevant to your Journey in the UK. An example of which has been provided below:
Training Courses attended:
Lots of candidates have confusion under this section and either they leave it blank, fill irrelevant details or furnish false information. Others believe that only courses that you have completed should be mentioned. This is not 100% true. You should mention courses which you have undertaken or still in the process of completion. Let us quote what the NHS profile says regarding it. "Mention the details of courses that you have undertaken or currently undertaking, together with the date completed or to be completed".
Find an example written below:
Kindly, do not furnish any false information. Every detail you mention can be subjected to verification at any stage during your job. If found with false information, you not only risk losing your job but also could be reported to the GMC. Hence, our advice would be to take extreme precautions when you are filling in the details.
Membership of Professional Bodies:
Under this section please provide details regarding any relevant professional registrations or memberships you hold. Do not forget to involve professional registration from all the countries you hold. For example:
MCI (India), PMDC (Pakistan) and so on
If you have passed MRCP, MRCS, MRCPCH etc. degree
Under this section you will provide full details of your continuous employment history, beginning with your current or most recent employer and working backwards chronologically. If there are any gaps in your employment please ensure a full explanation is given at end of the ‘Employment History’ section.
☝︎First thing first, mention a date that you believe to be your effective start date. Mention a tentative date in the near future. Do not worry about the date much, since it will be discussed later on during your interview as well. But here is the bummer, if you have been trying for a long time, you would need to keep mending the dates now and then. Also, if you leave it empty it is not going to affect your application in any way.
☝︎ Let's start filling out the details. Start with your employment name, address, reporting to, telephone and so on. Make sure when you are filling up details regarding 'Your Job title', fill in the job title you hold/held during your job tenure and make sure to mention equivalent UK post in the brackets. Few examples have been mentioned below:
Senior House Officer (SHO)
Junior Lecturer (Junior Teaching Fellow)
Medical officer (FY2/FY3, depending upon the number of years after internship)
Intern Doctor (FY1)
Next, mention your start date and end date of the job. If you are currently working, only mention the start date and leave the end date blank. Regarding the internship duration, the one question that is often debated is whether or not to split the internship into various rotations. We would suggest to put them under one section. Recruiters and HRs very well understand the internship period to be rotational for a year. However, if you do not have any work experience after the internship or you are a fresh graduate, it is okay to bifurcate each speciality and write the roles and responsibilities undertaken in detail in each medical speciality.
The most Important section under this heading would be to write a brief description of the duties and responsibilities you undertook during your job. Let us pen down some of the vital points:
1. Start your paragraph by providing a brief description of the kind of setup you have been working. NHS is divided into primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care and providing equivalent relevance will give an idea to the recruiter about the hospital and your workflow.
For eg: XYZ hospital is one of the busiest hospitals in the city of __________. This is a ______ bedded multi-speciality tertiary acute care hospital with 52 specialities under one roof. It delivers health care to _____________ population in the city and the surrounding boroughs. I have been working/worked in ______ department for ______ years. The speciality is supported by ______ doctors where my roles and responsibilities include:
2. Roles & Responsibilities: It is very seminal to mention these in order of preference. Ideally, we would ask to introduce the most relevant and speciality specific tasks at the beginning and the common roles and responsibilities towards the end (History taking, examination and initial management). These will also change depending upon the job you are applying for if deemed necessary. So tailor it according to the job description and your requirements. For example, If you are applying for a teaching position, it would be apt to put the teaching sessions/meetings at the very beginning. An example of roles are responsibilities is given below:(Mixed responsibilities from various specialties)
To carry out immediate evaluation and management of emergency patients brought in for treatment
Perform interpretation of electrocardiogram and arrange back up from Emergency Medical Team (EMT
To perform diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. For e.g. abscess incision and drainage, debridement of burns and abrasions, epistaxis management, FB removal, catheterisation etc.
Respond to all forms of cardiac/cardiopulmonary arrest with immediate effect
Coordinated schedules of surgery and prepared the operating room for diagnostics, maternal checkups and ultrasound procedures.
Analysing patient condition, providing initial care and if needed assist in transferring to other departments while liaising with other members of the medical team.
Advised patients and responded to their queries related to health and treatment.
Observed physical condition of patients and delivered appropriate medical care.
Prepared and maintained accurate and detailed summaries and other medical documentation, and so on..... If you notice carefully, the clinical skills and procedures take preference over medical management and general care. e.g. ICU, CCU, assist in surgeries, endoscopy, colonoscopy, etc. should be brought into notice early in the paragraph while the general duties should be placed later in the description. Also, remember not to exaggerate the skills and responsibilities to meet the requirements or the criteria.
Your References must cover three years of continuous employment, training or education. It brings us to one important question which we come across very often. Who can be a referee? Your referee could be from an HR department, line manager or someone in a position of responsibility. If you have done or are doing a non-clinical job, your in-line manager could be a referee. You can provide a reference from your college professors, your hospital/clinic, your senior registrar or someone from the HR department. Those who are on a career break or have a gap and have not been in employment or education for the past 3 years, please remember that you may need to supply a character reference or a personal statement. One of the most vital parts under this section is to choose the referee carefully. Emails of employers can either be a valid work email address or the referee's email address. (NHS states that personal email id should not be used, but it is not mandatory, since a lot of them from back home might not have a dedicated work email address). It is crucial to remember the following 2 points:
To provide the email address of your referees whom you know personally. Should you be successful in your interview, you can contact them and help speed up the process of your paperwork.
Do not overburden the application with loads of referees unless necessary(where you have changed/worked many jobs in the last 3 years), it will only delay your timeline and would not be of much help.
When you apply for a job in the NHS, one of the most important areas is the Supporting Information section. The reason this section is imperative because it is the place where you can demonstrate why you’re the right person for the job and that you meet the criteria for the job. This section is divided into 10 different parts and is the backbone of your application. Make sure to make the best use of these sections for a better chance to be shortlisted. While you are creating your profile, none of these options will be present except supporting information, but we will suggest you make a word file for the rest of them. All of the first nine points will be visible when you are applying for the job. (From 31st Jan 2021, NHS JOBS are changing and you would need to apply via trac jobs.)
Management of Change
Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals
Prizes or Other Academic Distinctions
Management and Leadership Experience
Let's look at them one by one in detail.
1. Practical Experience:
List all your practical skills/experience relevant to the post you have applied for and have gained throughout your experience. It says in the application that the skills/experience is verifiable via a logbook/portfolio. We know most of us won't have any paper trail, but you need not worry it is not mandatory. When you fill-up the number the recorded procedures, please do not write numbers like 42, 47, 81 etc. these are not real numbers because we never count them when we do. Do we?
So for example, a better way of putting it is to write '< 10' under supervision section and '>20/40/50' under the independent section. Also do not mention an unrealistic number like 200, 250, 500 etc. There are further 2 more Questions under this section:
Q1. Briefly describe the extent of your proficiency and experience in the procedures highlighted above, along with any particular clinical skills/experience/special interests you possess that you may wish to highlight. ➤ Make sure to cover your clinical skills and proficiency as a whole and how you have become confident in doing them along the way. Also, don't forget to highlight any special interest you have in any particular skills and what you are doing to achieve them.
Q2. In the context of this post, in reflecting on your skills and abilities, are there any areas where you might seek further development and support? ➤ Discuss the skill areas you would like yourself to improve on and how do you wish to make them better. Include courses, opportunities in the department, Skills Lab and so on.
Under this section describe both formal and informal teaching you may have undertaken. In a lot of cases, we see the lack of formal teaching. Do not worry about it, reflect medical school days and figure out all the informal or bedside teaching you would have undertaken for your colleagues or your juniors.
Discuss the topics taught, the attendees and what method did you use to deliver your teaching. Make sure to write how you improved on your communication, time management and delivery skills. How did the feedback help you improve? Don't just make this about the teachings but also about what you have learnt in the process. If you have any formal training courses on teaching, for example, 'Teach the Teacher' it would be brilliant but again isn't a mandatory requirement. If you have, make sure to write what you learnt from the course and how you would you improve upon your teaching skills in the future.
3. Management of Change
Highlight the audits and quality improvement projects that you have worked on. in the audit cycle and your contribution. Did you work independently or under the supervision of a senior. Include details about the aim of the project, the outcome and how has it helped to bring about the change. You would find 2 additional questions under this section: Q: Of the change/audits/projects you have undertaken, which has been of most value, and why? → If you have multiple projects, make sure to highlight the one which has been of most value to you and reflection of a change. Q: Describe the impact of a change initiated by you on wider members of your team. → If you have initiated any change or been a part of it, under this thread discuss how it has changed the way you work and the positive effects it has brought inpatient service and within your department /team. Do not leave this section empty. There are many ways you can write this section from your own experience so far working as a doctor. You must have been involved in charity works, campaigns or would have volunteered in some projects as well. Make sure to include them under this section and explain how it formed aa management of change at your workplace and for the patients. PS: Kindly do not furnish any false information under this thread since it might be subjected to verification and can have lots of potential questions in your interview. We have seen candidates getting into trouble during the interview because of this.
Briefly describe any research projects you have undertaken in the last 5 year. Discuss the aim and outcome, the main learning points, how it is going to be a change in the future and if you hold any particular qualifications in research. They are looking for your understanding of research and its future implications.
Most of the IMGs do not have any formal research under their belt early in their career. If you have some, excellent! If you don't, don't worry about it. It's of prime importance for those posts which are research-oriented and have research as their essential criteria. Given the pandemic, most aspirants have a gap between PLAB1 and PLAB2. You can utilise this time to do some small project work and include under this section. You can do some online course about research and show your interest in the research field.
5. Publications in Peer Reviewed Journals
You can list up to 6 of your publication in peer-reviewed journals. Don't stress yourself if you don't have anything to include under this section. If you can figure out any project work you did in med school- kindly do not forget to include under this section. Doing project work and writing articles is one thing, but publishing them in a reputed journal is a different game altogether.
Here again, the maximum number of presentation that you can provide is 6. Most of us would have given some presentation during our college days. Put them under this heading and include under the regional presentation.
In case, your application houses National / International presentation, it would be an icing on the cake and will help you immensely when you apply for training in future.
7. Prizes or other Academic Distinctions
It's one of the most sought out or looked for heading by the recruiter. Make sure to list any academic distinctions you have received while in the medical school, during your work or even outside work related to medicine or in the medical field.
8. Management and Leadership Experience
Leadership for patients and the need for the managerial skills to run a busy and demanding ward is paramount in the UK. Excellent leaders and management skills are needed at every level across social care to ensure high-quality care for the patient.
To write this section we will advise you to look for Leadership qualities and attributes and try to relate with them. Leadership is about the initiative, inspiring people, communication, vision, resilience, problem-solving, supportive but driven, practical, motivation, ownership, and a lot more. It is a plethora of attributes that make you a good leader. Reflect and highlight every leadership role you did and management in terms of wards, protocols, rota etc. Give examples of your leadership role and make sure to write what you have learnt and achieved from each of your roles. In the end, make sure to include a small paragraph detailing why management and leadership are important in the workplace and your belief regarding it. We would advise you to divide the paragraph in two, one related to medicine and your work, other aside from academics where you showed leadership and managerial skills.
9. Team working
Team working skills are vital to a team’s success. In delivering health care, effective teamwork can immediately and positively affect patient safety and outcome. As a doctor working in the NHS, let me tell you effective teamwork was a challenge even before the global pandemic. Lockdown made it even harder. Having a good team working skills isn’t simply being able to get along with others. It’s the ability to show you can work well with others.
In the context of a complex healthcare system, effective teamwork is essential for patient safety as it minimizes adverse events caused by miscommunication with others caring for the patient, and misunderstandings of roles and responsibilities. There are just tons and tons of things to understand under this section, which can be a topic of discussion for some other time.
Divide this again under the clinical and non-clinical section. Mention what enabled you to work in a team, what did it involve, what role you placed in the teamwork. Remember to substitute each example with what you have achieved and learnt during the process. The foundation of every great team is a direction that energizes, orients, and engages its members. Teams cannot be inspired if they don’t know what they’re working toward and don’t have explicit goals. Our goal as a doctor is efficient and better patient care. Thus, this section becomes of prime importance for recruitment manager.
10. Supporting Information
The 'supporting information' section is your opportunity to sell yourself therefore make sure you use it to your advantage. This section is extremely important and many a time can be a deciding factor for your application. You can include any information here that has not been covered elsewhere on the form. Demonstrate why you would be suitable and how you meet the person specification. You need to convince the recruiter that you have the required skills, knowledge and experience and that they should be inviting you for an interview. Recruiting managers will often make this their main focus when shortlisting candidates for the interview. So you must make sure you’ve made your case for why they should take you on, but also avoid waffling or providing information that’s not relevant. The most important question that is asked is "What are employers looking for in your supporting information?" Let's try to break this in small sections are get cracking. Shall we?
We would advise you to divide the supporting information into small 5-6 paragraphs. Why? To put it simply, most of the job description would have a person specification and contains these basic Factors/domains under which they are looking for 'Essential' and 'Desirable' criteria. This section will entail the following sections:
Training and qualification
Clinical experience and Knowledge
Skills and Ability
Language and communication
Attributes (ex: the ability to prioritise tasks and information appropriately, initiative and the ability to deal effectively with pressure and/or challenge etc)
The criteria's mentioned above are not a part of every person specification, but we believe using them in your supporting information can amplify your application standard. Kindly DO NOT copy-paste information from the previous section. Using the above criteria as your paragraphs will decrease the time you would generally take to make changes to this section. Having said that remember you still might have to taint this section a little bit for every job you apply. Do not use generic sentences, because the recruiting manager would have seen thousands of applications and they would know in a blink of an eye.
Matching the Person Specification when completing the supporting information: — Within the supporting information section, you need to demonstrate that you have read the published person specification showing how you meet the essential and (where relevant) desirable criteria for this particular post. Hence you must align your ‘supporting information’ statement closely to the job specification and job description — Make sure to include your reasons for applying and take the opportunity to highlight your particular talents and strengths — Include points as what you feel you can personally offer, what is unique to you and what sets you apart from your peers. — How this job is going to help you develop as a doctor and help you towards your long term goal. — Why you have, if you have, chosen this specific geographical area.
Points to remember:
Provide an example of each skill listed on the person specification – try to ensure that all points are covered using an example of when you have used those skills.
Keep it to the point - you do need to be mindful not to make your application form too long-winded, so state the facts
Where possible list your examples in the order they appear in the person specification - as this will help the recruiter to recognise each skill when they are shortlisting
Relate your experience to the post you are applying for - Try to keep it as concise as you can, matching your experience to the skills set out in the job description and person specification
Ensure you proofread everything several times and check the spelling before submission of your application, as this is the first example of your attention to detail and the pride you take in your work
DO NOT copy someone else's supporting information. It could be a disaster if they find 2 applications with the same wordings.
As we always say, there is no good or bad way of writing it, there is just always a better way to write it.
Please note: This blog was written as a reflection of my own experience and after reviewing many NHS job profile. This might not be the best way to do it. We aim to help understand the topics and how you can do it better. ALL THE VERY BEST 👍