CV guide

CV guide

As a biomedical scientist, the first part of your job search should be identifying the position you’d like to be considered for. This, of course, will depend on the area you have chosen to specialise in after completing your degree. There are a range of specialities open to you as a newly qualified biomedical scientist (see table below).

To qualify as a registered biomedical scientist in the UK, you will need to have an IBMS-accredited degree and to have been trained in an IBMS-approved training laboratory, where you will have completed your IBMS Registration Training Portfolio for the Certificate of Competence awarded by IBMS. You will also need to be registered as a biomedical scientist with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Selling yourself

It is a good idea to include any speciality training that you may have in your CV, in order to maximise your chances of landing an interview. When a company is hiring biomedical scientist professionals, the main aspects that they look at are:

  • What education the candidates have
  • How many years of experience they have accumulated
  • What skills they hold
  • What training they’ve previously done

The type of equipment they’ve used. When writing a CV, you need to keep in mind that hiring managers and recruitment agencies will usually be able to conclude whether or not you are suitable for the role you have applied for after a few seconds of reading over your CV. So remember – keep it clear, concise and relevant to the job that you’re interested in.

As a general rule, your CV should follow the format in Figure 1. It’s a good idea to write a “master copy” of your CV, which has every single role and achievement on it. You might be surprised by how much experience you have once it’s all down in black and white.

Once you have created the overall CV layout, a few points to keep in mind are:

Keep it clear, concise and easy to read.

  • Avoid using graphics and different colours or fonts – always keep the formatting consistent.
  • Always list your education at the top, followed by your experience.
  • When writing about your experience, only list it if it relates to biomedical science – hiring managers will rarely be interested in what else you did prior to the speciality.
  • Within your “Experience” section, list your roles and responsibilities in bullet points. You cannot assume that the person reviewing your CV will automatically know what your specific role entailed, and if they don’t see it on your resume, they will assume you don’t have the experience needed.
  • If you’re applying for roles outside the UK, remember to list your date of birth, nationality and marital status. This is important for HR and visa purposes.

If you are applying for roles in the UK, hiring managers tend to prefer shorter, concise and to-the-point CVs – no more than two pages in length for an entry-level role. However, international clients, such as employers in the Middle East for example, like lengthy CVs. If you are applying internationally, we would recommend that you include detailed job descriptions, particularly when listing the duties you have in your current role.


Spelling, grammar and punctuation

If English is not your first language using online translation tools can be a great help with a word or two, but using Google Translate to write your entire CV is a sure-fire way to make certain it will not make any sense.

Writing the way you speak

Your spoken English may be perfect when socialising, but if you write a document in the same way, it could put your potential employer off, as a CV is a formal document. Overusing language: Resist the temptation to show off your foreign language skills by using over-complicated sentences and vocabulary. Demonstrating your language competence will enhance your CV, but overdoing it will have the opposite effect.


Formatting your CV

Personal Profile Name, address, contact information. Remove any items such as photographs or your date of birth from your CV before making your application. Unless your prospective employee specifically requests it.
Education and qualifications Name of school/Institution, the qualifications you obtained there, any relevant committees of clubs you may have attended which might support your application, any academic distinctions or prizes you won. Remember to include the dates you attended.
Employment history Starting with the most recent role first, this section should include the dates you worked, any duties you had and any improvements you made to processes or working conditions while you were there. For example: "during my time at... I implemented a system which significantly reduced the amount of time we spent on..."
Certifications and professional licenses Such as: IBMS-accredited BSc Hons degree, Certficate of Competence awarded by IBMS and registration with the HCPC.
Further training and additional courses This can include any day courses that you may have attended, such as top-up courses. If you have taken any courses in personnel management, or have a mentorship qualification, be sure to list this.
Publications, memberships or achievements Conferences and talks you have been invited to speak at, magazine articles, book publications, radio and television appearances, professional awards won. 
References Including the name or contact information of your referee in this section can be a bad idea. Instead, simply write "References available on request". Be sure to thank the referee for giving you a good reference. The gesture will be appreciated and they will be further inclined to help you in the future. 


Evgenia Zhovnaruk, Selase Klu and Zuleika Lebow from Cavendish Professionals, which offers recruitment expertise in clinical and technical sectors worldwide and is currently recruiting for biomedical science professionals for opportunities in the Middle East.

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