Resumes can be hard to write, especially if you aren’t comfortable “selling yourself.” Describing accomplishments and personal attributes in the most positive way possible is difficult for me because I’m afraid of belonging to the arrogant doctor stereotype. Since I grew up in rural Vermont and we didn’t have cable or satellite tv, any television I did glimpse made a big impact. My mother loved watching episodes of “ER” whenever we were traveling, and I remembered how everything got worse when the doctors thought they were better than the nurses or patients. Luckily it’s easier to dispel negative impressions in person, by smiling, chatting, and using your body language to connect with people.
When I heard that the VBMA (Veterinary Business Medical Association) club was hosting a resume workshop, I jumped at the chance to have classmates and professors give me feedback. We ate mounds of pasta and garlic bread while taking notes on some broad dos and don’ts of resume writing, then broke up into small groups. I received some helpful notes on what things to showcase and came up with some better words to describe my work and volunteer experiences. I feel much more confident that my resume doesn’t project arrogance or pretension, but instead accurately reflects my experiences.
As it turns out, clients also prefer humble doctors to arrogant ones. Many surveys have shown that clients rank a veterinarian’s kindness, respect, and gentleness as most important when choosing a veterinarian. I was a little surprised that a vet’s personal attributes were more valued by the client than the clinic’s reputation, services, location, and price. But on the other hand, it makes perfect sense that clients want to trust their veterinarian—after all, they are putting the health of close companions into someone else’s hands.