By berrysmotivation - June 10, 2019

I get lots of questions from people asking why it takes time to get their first job or why isn't any one getting back to them after so many applications. I thought to myself, why not write up a post to help as many seeking their first job with the NHS especially foreign trained doctors coming to the U.K for the first time.

This will only help after you have registered with GMC (General Medical Council) and ready to job hunt. Certainly not before because no one will employ you to work as a doctor without a license to practice.

When I started applying for my first NHS job as a foreign trained doctor, I was lucky to be in the midst of so many in similar situation so we did applications together. We sat down, talked about it, compared CVS and challenged ourselves to put in at least 20 applications daily. There is really no trick to it, its just to have an insight to how things work.

There are few things to note whilst you begin your application.

Apply through the NHS website. The initial process is usually long with filling out the required fields but once that's done and over with, its easy as you just need to keep applying. Apply to as many as possible.

First thing to note is to read the person specification and job description to see all that is required. For example, they may need you to have experience in that field or need you to have been working as a doctor for a certain number of years. You need to make sure your CV has most of all that is required or at least something close.

Next, when you apply, be sure to not just tick boxes based on previous applications, some parts of your CV or NHS jobs profile may need to be adjusted according to current job you are applying for. It just wouldn't feel right to see something like I love surgery when you are applying  for an internal medicine job.

Then, your cover letter should be like a love letter, sell your skills no matter how little, suturing, cannulation, independent decision making, tutoring etc. They love to see these things. No one wants to employ a doctor who is just good at being a doctor, your interpersonal skills, social skills  or anything useful doesn't have to be related to medicine are very important during the consideration process.

Location also matters. Most people make the mistake of just applying to specific areas. No doubt you need to apply to areas where you can live, places you know people and places you are definitely comfortable with but one thing to note, this is your first job so you have to be flexible. Broaden your search and explore other areas. You may be lucky to get what you want but leaving your options open gives you an opportunity to get something else if your choices don't work out.

Think of other specialties. Again this is your first job, as much as you want a specific
 specialty you should  be willing and ready to explore other areas. This would give you an opportunity to have some experience in other areas.  Say for instance you want pediatrics but there are Geriatric jobs, extremely opposite right? Now think of how much you would learn from managing the elderly that you wouldn't have the opportunity to experience whilst in pediatrics. A little experience here and there would be useful someday. You know what they say, no knowledge is ever lost.

You need to follow up your applications. There is always an email address or number to call on the job adverts. Be sure to send a follow up email when you apply and it's an opportunity to ask questions about the job. If possible give them a call to be sure things haven't changed. Keep an eye on the closing date on the job advertisement, it would give you a rough idea of when you should expect to hear back from them.

Finally, keep applying. Don't give up if you get nothing in the first few weeks or if you get so many rejections, something will definitely come up, It may not just be as soon as you want, I always say to people, if you really want something you wouldn't relent till you get what you want. Regardless of the multiple rejections you may get, just keep applying. Apply to at least 20 jobs a day if possible, keep updating your CV as you go along, you may remember things you forgot to add or you may just need to change certain things. It may also be worth looking at CVs of others who have had successful interviews just to compare to see what things you could add to yours.
Hope this helps.

All the best,

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