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What is the right tone for a GP CV?

Written by: Neville Rose
Published on: 17 Aug 2015

There is a lot of truth to the old saying ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’. This is as true when writing a CV as it is to working with patients. As emotionally driven people we are innately tuned to understand how differences in voice intonation and body language can reveal the true, deeper message behind our words. Quite different messages can be interpreted from seemingly similar sentences.


Let’s take the phrase ‘Get out of it’. Said with an angry voice and clenched fist the meaning is clear: ‘Go away now or else!’ However, said with raised eyebrows and an inquisitive smile it could mean ‘Really, tell me more?’ Two quite different meanings. Whilst a CV may lack the subtle nuances and interactions between body language and the spoken word, you can still manipulate the tone of a CV and deliver the message in a way that will really engage the reader.

So, what can I do to adjust the tone in my CV?

Your CV needs to make an immediate Impression. Therefore, choose action words that will ignite the interest of the reader. Words like ‘transformed’, ‘driven’ or ‘accelerated’ help to get the reader excited about your achievements. Use facts and figures to support what you say.

The four Ps to getting the tone pitch perfect.

You want to strike the right balance between sounding professional and being personable. You want to promote your achievements yet at the same time allow them to sell themselves. You wish to appear confident without sounding arrogant. These characteristics are all important for being a great GP and the good thing is you control all of these things by getting the tone right in your CV.


Your CV should radiate positivity. No grey areas. No unnecessary question marks. Remember, the sole purpose of your CV is about getting you to interview. Once in front of a potential employer you’d be surprised how perceived issues easily subside once they have met and decided they like you.


As the first contact you may have with a new employer, your CV needs to create a great first impression. Certainly there should be no typos or inconsistent formatting. Clearly labelled headings will allow the reader to swiftly navigate their way around the CV to pick out points that are important to them.


Your career history, experience and skill set is unique. Nobody can bring to the table exactly what you do. Summed up this could be labelled your ‘personal brand’. For instance, you may have great people skills and be good at calming down challenging situations. It is important your CV conveys all the personal qualities and attributes that make you stand out and define you. This is a key part in creating a point of difference from other candidates.


sifting through CVs. In fact, research shows your CV has less than 30 seconds to capture the attention of the reader. With such a short amount of time dedicated to reading a CV you need to generate energy and pace. You need to excite the reader about what you’ve got to say and carry that through the document so they can’t help but say ‘yes’ to calling you to interview.

You only have one chance to get an interview. It’s very easy to forget just how important a CV is to your career advancement. Managing the tone of your CV can make a big difference in the reader engaging and really identifying with what you have to say. Follow the four Ps and you should be well on your way to a pitch perfect tone in your CV that will help land you your dream GP role.

neville CV Writers is the official partner to GP Jobs and specialise in writing CVs for GPs. In addition to a CV writing service, CV Writers can help with cover letters, Linkedin profiles and interview coaching. CV Writers also publish Perfect CV, an online CV writing toolkit.