Making the Step

The first step to take in finding a career within the NHS is creating a profile on our system. Your profile helps employers know you’re interested, what area of the country you are in and which careers appeal to you. The system also enables potential employers to track your journey and see if you have attended any work placements or Step into Health events.

Once you have created your profile, the next step is to get in touch directly with any organisations that you are interested in. On the login screen, you will be able to get access to dedicated representatives from pledged organisations. Each organisation will have different opportunities to offer, and you are encouraged to get in touch with all organisations that you would be interested in applying to.

Please note that due to the nature of COVID-19, volunteering, insight days, work experience or shadowing opportunities may not be available at this time. However, NHS employers are still on hand to offer recruitment support and advice regarding working in the NHS.

Other actions to consider after you have got in touch with organisations include having a look at the NHS Jobs website or NHS Scotland’s recruitment website for more information on the vacancies that are available, attending information days , organising work placements within the NHS and attending employment fairs.

Read our case studies to learn about real experiences that members of the Armed Forces community have had in making their step into a career in the NHS.

Employers from the NHS have added their details to the VETS programme which offers mentorship to members of the Armed Forces community looking for opportunities in the NHS. Join the programme and create a conversation with someone with similar experience to you.

*We ask that you do not send unsolicited CVs to contacts on the candidate system and apply for jobs via NHS Jobs. For guidance on applying for a specific job on the NHS Jobs website, please reach out to the contact listed on the job advertisement. Thank you!

Application top tips from veterans

  • If the job application includes a tick box asking whether you are a member of the Armed Forces community, make sure to tick this – a number of organisations offer guaranteed interview schemes if you meet the minimum criteria.
  • Get in touch with the point of contact cited on the job advert. It is always useful to have an initial conversation to ask more about the role and identify the key skills and attributes they are looking for as this is often difficult to articulate on a job description.
  • Highlight the skills you gained from the Armed Forces or being part of the community. For example, operational skills could help you implement new systems within the NHS or being able to make difficult decisions under pressure would be a valuable attribute to many teams across the NHS.
  • When completing the application form, answer directly to the person specification. Use headings and subheadings to clearly demonstrate how you meet each requirement.
  • Get to know and reference the corporate values of the organisation you are applying to and link those to military values.
  • Use the ‘situation, task, action, result’ or ‘challenge, action, result’ techniques to articulate your answer to questions in the job application.
  • Being able to quickly adapt to changing environments and uplift others while managing a crisis would help the NHS during difficult periods, such as tackling the current Covid-19 pandemic – make sure you emphasise all relevant experiences you have.
  • Sign up to job alerts through NHS Jobs for organisations and roles you are interested in, so you get notified when a new vacancy becomes available.