When job hunting, you may be wondering what skills you need to make a point of highlighting to make you a better candidate and what is less important to focus on. These are a few of the soft skills you need to know to help you stand out among the people you are competing against for the job.
Keep in mind, soft skills are about how you interact with others, they are also known as "people skills." Hard skills are quantifiable and teachable; the knowledge you obtained during veterinary school is a good example of hard skills.
One of the most important skills in life, both personally and professionally, is communication. Miscommunication can be disastrous in the workplace; a single miscommunication can completely derail projects or lead to a valued employee quitting. Being proficient in verbal communication is great, but non-verbal communication — especially written — is vital. Having skills in all forms of communication can make you stand out among other applicants for a job.
Putting complex information into simple terms that are easier to understand can be difficult, but it is another part of communication that is important to a vet; this includes having the ability to explain to a pet owner how to properly administer treatment to their animal. Having good communication skills is also important as a vet because you need to be able to clearly explain sensitive situations, like a pet needing chemotherapy, or discussing euthanasia.
When working with animals, non-verbal communication is especially important since they cannot just tell you what they are feeling. Accurately interpreting body language and facial expressions, and responding with the right body language, in turn, is really the main way you can communicate with your patients, so having a deep understanding of communication is one of the most important skills you can have in the veterinarian profession.
Another important skill in any professional is time management. The ability to maximize your time to get more done in less time is valuable among employers. This also helps you to see more patients in a single day and lets you determine how much time you need to spend with each patient to give them the care they need without feeling rushed.
It is important to keep in mind that just because you are doing everything on your to-do list every day, rushing through all of your tasks just to get them done well. Managing your time well means that you are not just getting everything done, but that you are getting it all done properly too. Rushing through everything just to finish off your list can lead to mistakes, which can sometimes come with consequences.
When working as a veterinarian, you need to be observant so you can assess situations quickly. In a veterinarian job, it is important to be able to make determinations through observation like patient symptoms and behavior, diagnostic images, and microscopic analyses; observation is also needed to determine if a patient is showing signs of aggression, fear, or other behavior that may be dangerous or help indicate whatever is afflicting the patient.