CV Tips for Vets and Nurses

Have a think about your strengths and compile a profile at the top of your CV underneath your contact details. It’s important as it’s at the top and likely to be one of the first thing a potential employer will read on your CV – it’s a golden opportunity to sell yourself.  Write it as a “third” person instead of putting “I am a” or “She is a”  – just record it as a statement like “A confident and personable individual that enjoys working with people.” It only needs to be a few sentences. Steer clear of surgical terms, however you may wish to include a line about what you’re confident with in the job such as “Confident with routine surgeries and consults” or “Confident with routine nursing and especially enjoys nurse clinics”

Consider the use of Bold text and different sizes to emphasise headings, job titles and dates etc.

Ensure your Veterinary credentials are detailed next – Where you qualified, what year and the type of qualification. Underneath this you can record any further qualification you’ve obtained and any other relevant education.

Don’t list all previous employment. Focus on the most recent and relevant career experiences. List positions held in the last 5 years plus positions that are directly applicable to the prospective position

Job dates should be recorded as month & year to month & year, there’s no need to put exact dates.  Jobs should be listed in reverse chronological order, in other words, most recent job first so that the person reading will see what you’re doing now

Each job listed should probably include one line describing the size/type of practice e.g. 6 Vet Small Animal practice with 3 branch surgeries. Following underneath we recommend 4 or 5 bullet points of the type of cases you dealt with, how much sole charge (if any) & any additional duties/responsibilities; That’s really enough. Too much information will make the person reading it switch off!

Don’t give excessive detail about professional experiences (e.g., most veterinary assistant activities are similar; avoid “restraint, observed, cleaned”). Don’t reiterate every task. Avoid repetitive content.

Always cover gaps in employment, so for example if you’ve been travelling, include a section covering those dates and you may wish to bullet point any specific experiences you had whilst away, e.g. “I volunteered at an animal clinic in Africa. Here I gained valuable knowledge of techniques & procedures with exotic animals.”

There’s no need to include the reasons for leaving a position. This can be covered at interview

Check carefully for mistakes and typographical errors. Without exception, it must be absolutely error-free. Proof read, use spell-check, have someone else review it, and proof read it again. Proof read every new version.

Don’t give the appearance of padding your CV by including minor accomplishments, high school awards and activities, and non-professional work experiences.

Don’t list irrelevant personal information such as height, weight, health, age, date of birth, marital status, religion, nationality, race, or children in a CV, or cover letter. Don’t include a photo either as this could provide a further opportunity for discrimination.

Don’t use category subheadings that are more ambitious than their content (e.g., “Articles, Publications, and Grant Proposals” followed by one grant proposal). Use “Professional Activities” as a broad category, with the intent of adding specific categories as needed.

Don’t print a CV on coloured, busy, or textured paper.

Try to stick to two/three pages long maximum and consider reducing font size if it gets too long.

Most important of all, when it’s finished make sure you send it to us by clicking here!

Please contact us if you need help with your CV – we have “example” formats that are easy to adjust to your own career and experiences 

For interview tips click here