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Academic Affairs

Career Services – Writing a Resume

  • The first thing to remember about writing your resume is that you are selling yourself. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective employers and attract their attention. Your goal should be to make the resume attractive and readable at the same time you are emphasizing your strengths and unique abilities.
  • Certain essential pieces of information such as your name, address, education and experience must be included, but there is no set way to display this information. Experiment with different fonts, headings and formats until you are pleased with the visual appeal.
  • The resume should be short; one page is ideal for a graduating student, and most employers prefer a one-page resume. If you have a great deal of experience you must include, you can make it longer, but three pages are the absolute limit.
  • Use short phrases or sentences that begin with action verbs. Some words commonly used to describe skills on resumes are: accomplish, achieve, arrange, calculate, catalogue, chair, collaborate, communicate, compile, complete, conduct, consult, delegate, demonstrate, design, establish, guide, interpret, investigate, manage, motivate, perform, plan, prepare, publish, record, report, represent, research, review, revise, schedule, select, control, cooperate, coordinate, create, decide, implement, initiate, present, preside, process, promote, publicize.
  • Be consistent and concise.
  • Your resume may include a variety of sections, listed below. Make adjustments to suit each situation and match the description of the job for which you are applying. You can reverse the order of your education and work experience sections depending on where your strength lies. For example, if you just graduated, but you have a lot of on-the-job experience you think the employer might overlook, you can put your work experience section first.

Categories of a Resume

  • Name, Address And Phone Number
    Remember to give an address where you can be reached. Don’t send out your college address in May if you are going to be leaving right after graduation. Include your e-mail address if you have one.
  • Career Objective
  • Education
    Put the most recent first. Make sure that the employer knows if you are expecting to receive a degree soon. (For example: DVM expected May 2000.)
  • Work Experience
    List your experience chronologically beginning with current position. Give your title, names, dates and locations of places you worked. Don’t forget externships, volunteer work and summer jobs. Describe your duties briefly, highlighting those that are relevant to the position by listing them first and emphasizing your skills. Don’t forget to use action verbs. Do NOT list your pay, supervisor’s name or reason for leaving.
  • Coursework, Research Projects And Academic awards
    This is optional. It is impossible to list every course you have taken, and employers know what the requirements are for a DVM. Use this only to bring out a valuable asset that doesn’t fit into another part of your resume.
  • Activities
    This is optional also. You may want to use this section to highlight your leadership ability and organizational skills in activities that support your career objective.

DO NOT INCLUDE: Personal information such as your age, sex, social security number, health, marital status, children, religion, scholarships, or hobbies. Don’t include irrelevant publications, awards, activities, associations and memberships. References are generally not included unless the posting specifically requests them.

Writing a Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • A curriculum vitae is used to describe educational background and academic accomplishments. Veterinarians use cv’s most often to apply for internships, residencies, post-doctoral training positions or jobs at universities. The origin of the term is Latin and means “the course of one’s life or career.” It includes a detailed account of academic credentials, teaching experiences, research, publications, presentations, etc.
  • The cv can vary in length from two pages to several pages. The order of categories listed is flexible; you should arrange them to highlight your strengths. List items within each category chronologically, most recent first.

Categories of a Curriculum Vitae

  • Name, Address And Phone Number
  • Professional/career/vocational/research objective(s)
    May be as brief as one sentence stating a general goal or as long as a brief paragraph expressing both short-term and/or long-term goals. It should be logical and clearly stated and match the program or position for which you are applying.
    This section is a brief but thorough description of your academic background. List your degrees, licenses and/or certificates including professional, post-graduate, graduate and undergraduate. Include graduation dates, names of colleges and professional schools and your major and minor.
  • Coursework
    Include courses/training (i.e. senior rotations) that support and strengthen your objectives. Give a brief description of important content/experiences.
  • Honors/achievements/awards
    Include scholarships, fellowships, dean’s awards, community and professional awards.
  • Research Interests And Experience
    Be specific enough to ensure congruence between your objectives and those of the program to which you are applying, but general enough not to preclude options that you might pursue if you were flexible.
  • Internships And Residencies
  • Work Experience
  • Teaching Interests And Experience
    Include only teaching interests that can be documented by experience, for example tutoring or group learning for which you were leader.

Other categories to consider


Give a bibliographic description of your own or coauthored publications. Also, give a detailed description of presentations with the title, name of the organization, location and date.

Special Skills

List your competencies and skills, what you do well, including all the things you have learned as well as skills developed through education, training and experience.

  • Professional Associations/Learned And/Or Scientific Societies
  • Background
  • Community Service
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • References/Recommendations

Sample Resume:

John Doe, DVM

3501 Lindbergh Rd.
Cary, NC 27513
(919) 391-8600


Employment as an associate veterinarian in a small animal facility that focuses on quality pet care, effective management, teamwork and client education.


Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (expected 5/2000)
NC State University, Raleigh, NC

  • Maintained 3.95 cumulative GPA.
  • Elected President of Student Chapter American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners for 1999-2000.
  • Served as Treasurer of Student AVMA, 1997-1998.
  • Served as Vice-President, Student Chapter American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, 1996-1997.

BS Biology (5/95)
NC State University, Raleigh, NC

  • Graduated cum laude.

Relevant Experience

Veterinary Technician (7/95 – present)
Lindbergh Veterinary Hospital, Cary, NC

  • Provided assistance to four doctors in a small animal practice with a large surgical load in a modern, computerized facility.
  • Acquired excellent small animal and emergency skills.
  • Used telemetric ultrasound unit and CBC blood chemistry lab, EKG monitor.
  • Served as liaison between doctors and clients.
  • Developed strong written and oral communication ability.