“Writing a Good CV” for Veterinarians

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How to write a CVA Résumé, or CV (Curriculum Vitae), is vitally important to make a good first impression, and secure an interview.

It should be:

  • Easy to read
  • Include all relevant information
  • Accurate

An employer wants to know your name and contact details, what level of experience and qualifications you have and what additional skills you can bring to the practice to make you a valuable employee.

How to lay out a CV

Your CV should be easy to read so that a potential employer can quickly find the information they are looking for.

  • Use clear headings
  • Line things up! – use tabs
  • Use bullet points or numbered lists
  • Use a standard format throughout your CV – make it match
  • When listing things in date order, put the most recent first
  • Use a clear font – don’t use a handwriting or ‘fun’ font
  • Don’t use a large font – 10 or 11 is fine
  • Optimum 2 to 3 pages long
  • Do a Spell Check and a Grammar Check!

If you aren’t very computer literate, you can use a Résumé Template in your word processing program to give you a hand, but make sure you delete any irrelevant information.

Major Headings

  1. Contact Information and Personal Details
  2. Qualifications/Education
  3. Skills / Personal Statement
  4. Previous Employment
  5. Undergraduate Work Experience
  6. Undergraduate or Non-Veterinary Employment
  7. Continuing Education
  8. Personal Interests
  9. References
  10. Additional Sections
  11. Photograph
  12. Once you’ve written your CV, DO A SPELL CHECK!

1.      Contact Information and Personal Details

Include your full name, address, contact telephone number and email address. If your Visa status or Nationality will have a bearing on your suitability for work (eg overseas qualified vets) you can include it here.

2.      Qualifications/Education

Don’t include too much detail. List the most recent first ( reverse date order). New grads can include school details but for vets qualified several years it isn’t necessary.

3.      Skills or Personal Statement

Use this section to list your skills and competencies, veterinary interests, and career aspirations. Sell yourself!

Why Should we hire You?

4.      Previous Veterinary Employment

List previous veterinary employment with the most recent first ( reverse date order). Make it easy to read and to see dates. If there are any dates where you were travelling for example, or took a ‘career break’ for any other reason, include those details too. Do elaborate (briefly) on your actual duties and any specific skills acquired.

If you have been graduated for a long time and worked at many clinics, only give additional details for the most recent.

If you have locumed for a while, you don’t need to list all your locum jobs – just give a brief summary.

5.      Undergraduate Work Experience

This only applies to new graduates, and is extremely important. List the most recent first. List the clinics that you have seen practice at, and for how long. Describe the clinic, and give a brief description of the skills that you learnt while there.

6.      Undergraduate or Non-Veterinary Employment

It’s only worth including this if you’re a new grad, or if the type of work you have done is particularly relevant to the veterinary jobs you are now applying for.

Writing a CV

7.      Continuing Education

This section is extremely important, and becoming more so as the various Vet Boards start to enforce a requirement to complete a set amount of continuing education each year. Put the most recent first.

8.      Personal Interests

Yes, this is important! Vets need to be well balanced individuals to cope with the stresses of their work life.

9.      References

If you have a written reference, attach it to your CV. Please include full contact details for your referees – nothing is more annoying than having to look them up!

It can be difficult for new graduates to get references, however, it is worth asking the practice principal where you have had most work experience to write you a reference, or be listed as a referee.

10.      Additional Sections

In addition to the basics, you may want to include more information. Put extra info between the Continuing Education, and Personal Interests sections. Examples could include professional memberships & subscriptions, and additional useful skills, including technical/computer skills, languages, community activities, volunteer experience, Awards received.

11.      Photograph

It’s a hard question, whether or not to include a photograph of yourself on your CV. Generally, if you’d like to include a photo, just use a regular passport style photo.


You're Hired


Wendy Nathan
Kookaburra Veterinary Employment

This information includes the views and opinions of Kookaburra Veterinary Employment and is of a general nature only. Factual information is believed to be correct at the time of writing, however, should not be relied upon and any person should confirm details with the relevant authorities and through their own research prior to acting on any of the suggestions in this article.

18/05/2020 |

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