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A guide to job hunting in the UK

Post date: 23/02/2023 | Time to read article: 3 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 21/06/2023

As an International Medical Graduate (IMG), it can be tricky to navigate the working world in a new country. Here are a few top tips for searching for a job in the NHS from Naveen Keerthi, founder of DOC2UK.


At the centre of your move to the UK is the search to find that all important job in the NHS. With over one million employees, the NHS is the largest single employer in the UK. It also has an incredibly diverse and multicultural workforce, which makes it the perfect place for you to further your career. The job market in the UK is competitive, and any advantage you can get could make the difference in landing your dream role. This guide takes you through every step of the process and offers some tips to consider along the way.

Build the perfect CV

While most job applications are completed online, having a CV is a crucial element of your job search in the UK.

Your CV (curriculum vitae) – or resume as it’s sometimes called – is your record of education and work history, which makes it a handy reference tool when completing applications. It’s also useful when contacting HR teams directly. A CV template can be found here

Here are some helpful tips on writing a great CV.


Search for a job

The NHS has its own dedicated job site to help make your search easy. Every NHS vacancy – across every NHS trust – is available here.

With tens of thousands of roles to discover, it’s important to be specific with your search. You can specify a certain keyword, such as ‘Trust Grade Doctor’, as well as location if you have a certain part of the country in mind. If you’ve seen a job advertised elsewhere and you made a note of the job reference, you can search using that code too.

There’s also an NHS Jobs YouTube channel full of helpful videos to refer to as you go through the application process.


See if you meet the job requirements

Every NHS job has its own ‘person specification’. This lists what is required of you to be considered for that role.

It's vitally important that you are honest in your applications about what you have and haven’t done so far in your career. You’ll need to satisfy the employer that you have the experience and qualifications they are looking for, but don’t think that you must meet ALL the essential criteria. If you tick most boxes then you may still be a great candidate for the role, so apply anyway.


Do your research

Every hospital and NHS trust is different, so take the time to find out a little about the one that you are applying to work at. You can then use that knowledge in your application and throughout the interview process to show that you have done your homework.

If you are applying for more than one role in more than one Trust, be sure to tailor each one specifically. It’s tempting to use the same application for the roles that interest you but personalising each one will really pay off.


Explain what makes you the perfect candidate

Treat each job application as a chance to really sell yourself and explain what you can offer to the role that no one else can. Have you highlighted that you meet the essential criteria straight away? Do you have specific clinical experience that would be particularly useful? Do you have knowledge in a certain area which would be advantageous? If you have something that might make you the standout candidate, be sure to mention it in your application.


Be confident and be patient

The NHS is very welcoming to highly-qualified candidates from outside the UK, so if you see a job that you think is right for you, apply for it with confidence. It's also worth remembering that recruiting for any NHS role can take time. Once the closing date for applications has passed, it may be a few weeks before you hear if you’ve been successful in getting through to the next stage, so be patient.


About the author 

Naveen Keerthi is an orthopaedic doctor, UCL Partner’s Innovation Fellow and NHS England’s Clinical Entrepreneur Mentor. His clinical background is in trauma, and he works for the Silverstone circuit as their trauma team doctor, covering events like Formula One and Moto GP races. He has a mini MBA from Stanford University.

While he was part of the NHS Entrepreneur Programme, he started (a digital recruitment platform) to connect NHS hospitals with overseas doctors. As an IMG doctor, he understands the principles of ethical recruitment and the intricate issues of a new doctor in a complex system like the NHS. 




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