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Veterinarian Technician May 2009 (Vol 30, No 5)

Management Matters — Words to Open the Hiring Door

by Birgit Puschner, Robert Poppenga, Katherine Dobbs, RVT, CVPM, PHR

    When you're job hunting, the first impression isn't made when you walk through a clinic's door for an interview — it had already been made when your potential employer read the first words of your application. A terrific cover letter and résumé can help you sell yourself before you even shake hands!

    Résumés

    Make sure you use proper medical terminology when describing your skills and knowledge. For example, "drawing blood, taking x-rays and holding dogs" can be better described as "phlebotomy, radiology and canine restraint." Also, be sure to use consistent tense in your descriptions. For example, "conducted laboratory tests, assist in surgery, client education" should be "conduct laboratory tests, assist in surgery, participate in client education."

    You also need to highlight your career advancement. List each position title separately with a summary of duties and the length of time in each position. This demonstrates your ability to learn and grow with a practice. Remember to keep the summary of your skills and knowledge just that — a summary.

    Cover Letters

    Now that you've spent time creating a great résumé, you need to ensure it goes to the top of the pile on the manager's desk. For this to happen, you need to have a compelling cover letter that is personalized to the hiring manager or to the practice.

    Because the cover letter is designed to take the place of the "position seeking" or "career goal" sentence on the top of a résumé, demonstrate why you feel you are the best choice. Also remember to thoroughly edit your cover letter so it does not contain any typographical errors, misspelled words or improper grammar.

    Your letter is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about the particular practice. Visit the practice's website or facility and find a way to incorporate its mission or goals into your letter. A few well-phrased paragraphs can make a wonderful first impression and get you the interview you want!

    Next time — the interview process will be discussed. From your first "Hello" to your good-bye handshake, be ready to put your best foot forward!

    Tip: If the only email address you have is a reflection of your social life rather than your professional life, create a new email address for your résumé. You will not make a good first impression with "ILoveIdol@123.com" or "BeachBum@XYZ.com."

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