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Veterinary Cover Letters


What your cover letter says about you.

By Bree Montana, DVM, VIN Foundation Vets4Vets® Program Leader

Job hunting can be a stress filled experience. Having a bomb-proof cover letter and resume can take a little pressure off of your job search. Once you find your good fit position, you’ll already have the paperwork ready!
Over the past few years, I’ve reviewed resumes for veterinarians from all walks of the profession. Brand new graduates, associates with over 10 years of experience, board-certified specialists… if you can imagine the job, I’ve probably seen a resume targeted for the position! The one constant theme is the meticulous pursuit of detail and accuracy of veterinarians.
Many of us have a hard time editing ourselves since we want to get everything down on paper correctly. The downside is this trait can lead to wordy and, forgive me, boring cover letters and resumes. Make yourself comfortable as we work through two main topics: cover letters and resumes. With a little guidance, and a nice sharp scalpel, we’ll debride your life history down to one pertinent page.
Great cover letters will make employers dig back into the digital envelope for the resume. Your cover letter builds interest, concisely explains resume gaps, and shows your prospective employer you will fit seamlessly into their crew.
Take time to investigate the job you’re applying for– stalk their website and social media pages to learn about the practice, clients, and culture. There’s a reason you want to join their team and your cover letter is the place to demonstrate you are their perfect match. Think of your cover letter as a movie trailer. Use it to make the reader want to see your awesome movie. Just like a movie trailer, your cover letter needs to be action-packed and short! You only have one page to make your movie a “must see!”


Tips for a winning cover letter:
  • Address it personally to the recipient
  • Keep it brief
  • Be honest and upbeat
  • Make it interesting and relevant
  • Avoid exaggerations
  • Customize it to each specific position
Remember to write your cover letter as if you are ready to take on the job you’re seeking.
Rather than focusing on why you became a veterinarian, write about your interests and strengths as a veterinarian. Your prospective employer wants to know what you’re bringing to the party, not what snacks you’re hoping the host will provide; so cut that paragraph about the kind of mentoring you want. Not to worry — you can and should discuss it in person once you have an interview!
I think this is a tough point for recent grads. We’re so focused on what we don’t have or our worries, we forget the cool things we can do. Don’t make the interview process and cover letter/resume overly focused on your own needs. Figure out what you can bring to the position. Are you good at educating clients? Working through a negotiated estimate? It’s also wise to consider how you can generate more revenue for the practice, perhaps by offering new services such as alternative medicine, care for exotics, advanced dentistry, etc. Think of your strengths and write from a position of strength.
Not everyone was born to be a writer; however, your cover letter needs to be written well! While your cover is a formal letter, you still want your personality to shine through. If you aren’t a gifted writer, find someone to edit your cover letter. A well written cover letter will get your resume the attention it needs. A poorly written cover letter may cause your resume to be overlooked or discarded.
Check back soon for a Cover Letter sample!

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