A quick guide to writing your veterinarian resume
This resume guide is designed for veterinarians looking to improve and polish their resumes before applying to jobs. Topics covered include writing tips for a resume summary, work experience section, education section, and skills. The guide also covers choosing the proper format.
Becoming a veterinarian takes perseverance and hard work – but also a well-written and thoughtful resume to impress future employers. As a veterinarian, you have the lives of beloved pets in your hands. Thus, your resume should reflect your values, work ethic, and qualification for the job.
In this guide, we will teach you how to optimize your veterinarian resume to impress hiring managers and land you the veterinary position you desire. Keep reading to learn the answers to the following questions:
- Which resume format is best for veterinarians?
- How do you write a strong veterinarian resume summary?
- What skills should you include on a veterinarian resume?
- What details should be listed in your work experience section?
- How should education be listed on a veterinarian's resume?
1. Which resume format is best for veterinarians?
Typically, the best format for a veterinarian to choose for a resume is the reverse-chronological format.
Reverse-chronological resumes highlight your past responsibilities, work experience, and accomplishments – all very important factors when it comes to the veterinary industry. You will list your most recent position first and work backward chronologically from there.
This resume format allows you the best opportunity to showcase your qualifications and experience in the field. There are some scenarios, however, in which an alternative format may be necessary.
Here are 3 resume alternatives and when to consider using them:
- Curriculum vitae (CV): The CV is generally used for applicants applying for positions within academic or scientific fields. For a general veterinary practice, a CV likely will not be necessary unless you are applying for a lead or management role. CVs are also helpful when applying for positions that involve research and publications.
- Functional resume: The functional resume focuses on education and skills over work experience. This format is often favored by recent graduates, who have tons of educational experience but limited formal work experience.
- Hybrid resume: A hybrid resume will combine elements of both the functional and reverse-chronological formats. This is well suited for applicants who are changing fields or industries, or who have large gaps on their resumes.
2. How do you write a strong veterinarian resume summary?
The veterinarian resume summary is important, as it introduces you as a professional to the reader – in this case, an employer.
When writing your resume summary, you want to focus on including major accomplishments and contextual information regarding your experience and skill level.
Here is an example of an incorrect summary, followed by a corrected explanation, to help illustrate this point:
Incorrect veterinarian resume summary example:
"Experienced Veterinarian with a specialization in urgent care. Part of an award-winning practice in which my service contributed to an overall increase in client satisfaction and business rating."
What's wrong with this example? This example hits on some good details, such as specializations and awards, but fails to provide specific information around these details. A strong summary will offer up a clearer overview of what specializations the applicant has and how they earned the awards.
Corrected veterinarian resume summary example:
"Seasoned Veterinarian with 10+ years of experience working in the emergency and critical care unit. AVMA board-certified specialist in Behavior and Behavior Modification, as well as Emergency and Critical Care. Helped previous practice to earn a national award by implementing a new customer service model that increased client satisfaction by 30%."
Why is this better? This example is far more specific and provides both compelling and impressive details regarding the applicant’s specializations and role in improving their previous practice.
3. What skills should you include on a veterinarian resume?
Being a veterinarian requires you to have intensely technical skills, and often specific specialization for working with certain species of animals.
However, veterinary work also requires you to interact and communicate effectively with pet owners. For emergency care veterinarians, this can even mean serving as a source of emotional support and education for pet owners.
As such, you should list both your technical and interpersonal skills on your veterinary resume.
Best hard skills to put on your veterinarian resume
- Animal examinations
- Administering medication and injections
- Taking X-Rays and diagnostic images
- Assessment of animal behavior
- Knowledge of behavior modification
- Fitness and nutrition program planning
- Emergency and critical care
- Surgical procedures
- Supervising and mentoring technicians
Best soft skills to put on your veterinarian resume
- Active listening
- Critical thinking
- Verbal communication
- Emotional support
- Patient education
4. What details should be listed in a veterinary work experience section?
When creating a job entry for your veterinarian resume, it is important to include specific and quantifiable details – much like you did in your resume summary!
As a veterinarian, you often assume a role of leadership for the veterinarian technicians and other staff members.
Highlighting your ability to collaborate and lead a team is essential for proving your value to a business beyond your technical talents.
Example of a work experience entry from a veterinary resume
Veterinarian | Animal Hospital of Kentucky
Bowling Green, KY | June 2016 to May 2020
- Treated up to 40+ patients per day while working independently on solo vet duty.
- Established a new intake and outtake system that allows veterinary technicians to speed up patient processing by 20%.
- Improved quality of care by implementing investments in new state-of-the-art medical machinery.
5. How should education be listed on a veterinary resume?
To become a veterinarian, you need at least a Bachelor’s degree followed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
As this job requires some hefty educational credentials, it is crucial to include these on your resume, along with any additional specialized certifications you may have.
Example of an education section on a veterinary resume:
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine | Boston University
- M.A. in Veterinary Medicine | Boston University
- B.S. in Biology | Boston University