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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Hirsutism

Jobhunter's search for work continues this week with some practical and pithy advice on standing out from the crowd

Writing a CV isn't just about putting down the facts. This guide will help you produce a creative account that will make you stand out from the crowd.

School Go downmarket as much as you can, even in a well-heeled area. Your employer will feel politically correct by shortlisting you . However, avoid naming any kind of correctional facility.

Qualifications Be as creative as you like around O-levels which no one ever checks. Be careful with degrees, though. Creating an entirely fictional university is not to be recommended.

Undergraduate experience Be as inspired as possible in describing job experience. Six weeks wiping the backsides of elderly men as a ward assistant = undergraduate research into the colorectal habits of geriatric patients.

Hospital posts No one's going to check anything you've done 10 or more years ago, and if they do your consultant is likely to be retired or dead. Be careful about more recent posts. You may find the boss you've claimed to have worked for is a distant cousin of your potential employer.

General practice posts There's no way round a JCPT certificate and if you haven't got one I'm not going to give you the name of a good forger for the fee the editor's paying me. Once you've got that bit of paper, however, the world's your lobster. If you've only done locums since you finished GP training, describe yourself as a 'freelance GP'. Call yourself a locum and you might as well go for the interview with 'loser' tattooed on your forehead.

Clinical interests The practice you're applying for will want you do to all the stuff the senior partner's forgotten, so things like paediatrics will be a bonus. Adding something exotic like neurolinguistic training will make you seem interesting. Claiming you've had experience as a police surgeon could lead you into all sorts of difficulty unless you've actually been a police surgeon.

Subscriptions/memberships If you're not a member of

any medical organisation start one and set yourself up as medical director. I hear the British Society of Nasogastric Tubing is going begging, although I've got dobs on the website.

Other interests Unless you are genuinely interested in anything other than alcohol, sex and food, find out what your potential interviewer is interested in and studiously avoid it. There's nothing worse than claiming to be passionate about antiques to discover you're being interviewed by a Royal Doulton fanatic. Other than stalking, you have a virtually free field. Collecting paper plates, throwing yourself off cliffs, popping bubble wrap, anything that shows you occasionally stick your head out the surgery window.

Family If you haven't got one, get one. Parents can be acquired fairly cheaply from local old people's homes. Wives and children come more expensive and if you can't afford them, borrow someone else's, at least for the photographs.

The most important thing to remember is:

never tell the whole truth unless you absolutely have to.

Dr Laurence Knott, a GP in Enfield

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