Episode #216 – Your Animal Health or Veterinary Interview, Part 1: The Role of Your Resume

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #216 - Your Animal Health or Veterinary Interview, Part 1: The Role of Your Resume
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Julea: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter, Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we will be starting a new series on “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” one which focuses on the interview stage of the hiring process for Animal Health and Veterinary professionals who are considering interviewing for other jobs in the employment marketplace.

Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Julea. As always, I’m glad to be here with you.

Julea: Stacy, I know that you’ve touched upon the topic of the job interview once or twice on this podcast, but now you’ve decided to devote an entire series to it. Why is that?

Stacy: There are multiple reasons. First, I believe that the job interview stage is one of the most important parts of the hiring process, for both the candidate and the employer. Second, I also believe that job seekers and candidates underestimate the importance of the interview stage of the process, and as a result, some people don’t maximize their performance during their interview. And third, I want to do everything I can to help those in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary career who are hoping to grow their career.

Julea: It seems that today we’re starting at a point before the interview even begins, and that’s the resume, correct?

Stacy: Yes, that is correct. I want to mention up front that it is possible for a candidate to get an invitation to interview with an organization without submitting a resume for a specific position. However, this typically happens with the very best talent, the top 5% to 10% of candidates in the marketplace. However, it is not commonplace, and submitting a resume is usually a prerequisite for an interview.

A person’s career growth starts with their resume. In fact, your resume can be considered the launching pad for your career. The bottom line is that the purpose of your resume is to help you land an Animal Health or Veterinary interview, whether that’s a phone interview, an in-person interview, or a virtual interview. And we’re going to discuss the intricacies of all three of those in the future.

Julea: Stacy, I have a question. What about a person’s LinkedIn profile? What role does that play in all of this?

Stacy: That is a great question, and one that we’ve addressed before on our podcast, but it merits addressing again. First, your LinkedIn profile is NOT your resume, meaning that it has not replaced or your resume. In the vast majority of cases, an Animal Health or Veterinary professional will still need an updated and clean copy of their resume for their candidacy to be considered. When a hiring manager receives a candidate’s resume, they will search for the candidate’s profile on LinkedIn to make sure that they mirror each other and there are no inconsistencies or discrepancies.

Julea: So, a person’s LinkedIn resume also plays an important role in their ability to get an interview, but is not their resume is that right?

Stacy: Yes, that’s correct, which is why it’s important to not only make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are consistent, but also that you don’t post anything inappropriate on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. I know for a fact that something a person has posted on social media has sunk their chances of getting an interview with one of our firm’s clients. It has happened multiple times.

Julea: Stacy, what points would you like to make about an Animal Health or Veterinary resume?

Stacy: Well, we covered some of this information in the early days of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider show. In fact, it was podcast #5, which was titled “The Importance of A Resume And How To Build A Great One.” I encourage our listening audience to find that episode on The VET Recruiter website and listen to it. In the interest of brevity, I’d like to quickly list some of the things that a professional should not do with their resume:

  • Do not include an objective statement or mission statement on your resume. Instead, use an executive summary or professional summary. Ultimately, employers are more concerned with how you can help them than what your career goals might be.
  • Don’t use an email address from an old provider. This includes not just AOL, but also MSN and Hotmail. Even Yahoo might be iffy these days. Gmail is what I would recommend.
  • Don’t include your photo. You might think that goes without saying, but you would be surprised how many people have a photo on their resume. Photos are sometimes used in a non-traditional resume by people who work in a creative or graphics-related field, but it’s generally not appropriate for those in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession. I recommend a traditional resume instead.
  • Don’t include your full address. Instead, just the city and state will be fine.

 

In addition to the podcast episode I just mentioned, the VET Recruiter website also offers plenty of information about the best practices for constructing resumes. Once again, I recommend to our listening audience to check out these best practices on our website, but I’d like to touch briefly upon them here, as well.

Julea: Okay, that sounds good. What are those best practices Stacy?

Stacy: I mentioned earlier not to use an objective statement or a mission statement. Instead, use a summary that includes your title, years of experience, and special skills. And example of this would be, “Small Animal Veterinarian with more than 10 years of experience with two veterinary hospitals. Three years of leadership experience directing a veterinary hospital. Customer service oriented.”

And when it comes to traditional resumes, there are a few different types.

Julea: What types of traditional resumes are those Stacy?

Stacy: One of the most popular types of traditional resumes is the historical or chronological resume. This set up is reverse chronological order, starting with a person’s most recent job first. This type of resume is best suited for those Animal Health or Veterinary professionals who already have quite a bit of experience in their field of work.

Another type of traditional resume is the functional resume. With this type, a person uses titles or job functions as headings. This style is popular with recent college graduates or those people who don’t yet have a lot of experience.

Yet a third type of traditional resume is the analytical resume. With this format, a person uses skill fields as headings. A person who has diverse experience or is in the process of changing careers might use this type of resume.

Julea: Stacy, which type of resume do you recommend?

Stacy: I recommend the first type, the chronological or reverse chronological resume. When listing your professional experience, list each job that you’ve had in reverse chronological order going back at least 10 years.

Julea: Stacy, what if you’ve had multiple positions with the same employer?

Stacy: That’s a good question. If that’s the case, then list all of them to show that you’ve progressed and grown at your employer and also describe your responsibilities and your accomplishments.

There are also a couple of different formats that you can use to organize your experience to show a potential employer the value that you can bring to the organization.

Julea: What are those formats?

Stacy: The first one is called the Feature-Accomplishment-Benefit format, which you can use to sell your accomplishments.

In this equation, the Feature is a person’s actual responsibilities, the Accomplishment is the person’s performing of those responsibilities, and the Benefit is how the person’s performance affected their employer in a positive way.

Julea: Can you give us an example?

Stacy: Yes, I can. Let’s take the example of a small animal veterinarian. In this example, the Feature would be the fact that the veterinarian turned around the clinic, the Accomplishment would be that the increased the client base by 30% in one year, and the Benefit would be that they helped to increase annual revenue by more than 45% during that year.

Then you take that information and turn it into a value-driven statement. In this case, that statement on the person’s resume would be, “Turned around clinic by increasing client base by 30% last year, which led to increased revenues of more than 45%.”

Julea: What is the second of these formats?

Stacy: The second format is called the Situation-Solution-Outcome format. A person would use this format to demonstrate their problem-solving capabilities to a potential employer.

In this equation, the Situation is the specific situation that the company or organization was facing; the Solution is what the professional did to help solve the problem; and the Outcome is, not surprisingly, the outcome of the situation.

For this format, let’s use the example of a Vice President of Sales. In this example, the situation is the fact the employer wanted to grow the non-government portion of its business, the solution is that the professional created and implemented a commercial market penetration strategy, and the outcome is that the organization increased its revenue over $50 million.

Julea: Is there a statement associated with this example, too?

Stacy: Yes, there is. The statement that the professional would put on their resume is, “Company wanted to grow non-government business. Developed business that resulted in the capture of commercial sales with increased revenues of over $50 million.”

Julea: Stacy, when it comes to accomplishments on a person’s resumes, what kind of words or phrases are hiring managers looking for? Which things will grab their attention and make them take notice?

Stacy: That’s another great question. I have a few such phrases that I can share with you and our listening audience right how, but there are others on The VET Recruiter website, and once again, I encourage our listener to check out the resume resources on our site.

The top five accomplishments on a resume that are of interest to employers are as follows:

  1. Increased revenues
  2. Saved money.
  3. Increased efficiencies
  4. Cut overhead.
  5. Increased sales

 

Julea: I can see why those accomplishments would catch the attention of a hiring manager!

Stacy: Yes, it is easy to see, and it goes back to why an organization would hire a professional in the first place. An organization will hire someone because it believes that the person will either make it money, save it money, or both. The bottom line in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession is the same as it is in the rest of the employment marketplace. Organizations are in business to make money and make a profit, and if you want to get noticed and hired by employers, then your resume must show how you have done that for your previous and current employers and how you can do it for them, as well.

Julea: That makes perfect sense. Stacy, what other advice do you have in terms of a person’s resume?

Stacy: Well, obviously, I would recommend always telling the truth on your resume.

Julea: That seems rather self-evident, but you felt it was important to mention it. Why is that?

Stacy: For the simple fact that more people lie on their resume than you might think. A few years ago, OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International, conducted a survey. In that survey, OfficeTeam asked survey participants if they knew somebody who included false information on a resume. The results: 46% indicated that they did know someone who did that.

Julea: Wow, that’s almost half!

Stacy: Yes, and false information encompasses a lot. It could be a big little or a “little white lie,” as they call them. They include lying about your experience on your resume or embellishing or exaggerating your credentials. These are all things that can backfire you. Not only will you not get an interview, but you may tarnish your potential reputation.

I have a real-life example of this. An employee’s company was relocating to another state, and people were offered severance packages if they did not want to move. This man used the company fax machine to send a resume to a potential employer. He listed his current position as Chief Information Officer, when in fact he was not involved in technology at all and held a lesser title.

Julea: Let me guess. He got caught?

Stacy: Oh, he did! He left his resume on the company fax machine, and his co-workers found it. So not only did he not get the new job, but he also lost the job that he currently had, and with it, he lost the severance benefits that he would have received.

Julea: That is certainly a cautionary tale about telling the truth on your resume. Stacy, we’re just about out of time for today. Is there anything else that you’d like to add before we end today’s episode?

Stacy: Yes, there is. I have one more thing to add, and that’s if you’re a professional in the Animal Health and Veterinary industry and a hiring manager or recruiter asks for a copy of your resume because you’re a potential candidate for a job, send your resume!

Julea: That also sounds like something that goes without saying. I’m guessing that there are some candidates who do NOT send their resume?

Stacy: You are correct. Even when they’re interested in another employment opportunity and even if the employer is interested in them, they don’t always send their resume when they’re asked to do so. One of the reasons they don’t is that they say, “See my LinkedIn resume.”

Julea: Okay, I see. That goes back to what you said earlier about the fact that a person’s LinkedIn resume has not replaced their resume.

Stacy: Yes, it does. And it underscores the continued importance of the resume. Without the resume, you can rarely secure an interview, whether it’s a phone interview or an in-person or virtual interview. And that’s why I wanted to talk about it today. The number-one, overriding goal of your resume is to secure an interview, and that’s why professionals must recognize its role in the process and not overlook the best practices for constructing one and presenting it to potential employers.

Julea: Stacy, thank you so much for all of this great information. Once again, the website address for The VET Recruiter is www.thevetrecruiter.com. Stacy, as always, thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: It’s been my pleasure Julea, and I look forward to our next episode of the Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider, which will be the next episode in our series about the interview stage of the hiring process!