Take advantage of the excellent, free, animal-related training webinars available online to build your skills, resume and marketability. They are especially helpful if you lack time, money and experience. The webinars are perfect for pre-veterinary students, volunteers, career changers, pet parents and those working in jobs with limited educational opportunities. The webinars are on a wide array of topics including pet first aid, rehabilitation, managing older pets, cancer and shelter-management.
This post has two parts: I’ll show you my current favorite site, and then show you how to include webinar training on your resume.
For those unaccustomed to webinars, they are generally one-to-two-hour online sessions that you may attend live or later, if they are linked to a recording. There are no grades and rarely are there tests. Webinars are usually presented on the Zoom platform, which can be downloaded for free. You may use a computer at your local public library if you do not own either a computer or smart phone. Webinars may be free or there may be a fee charged. Free webinars are discussed in this post.
I've never seen age restrictions, so even younger people can join. You won’t become an expert after watching a presentation, but you will have gained knowledge that you can put on your resume.
My Favorite Free Webinar Series
I like the “FURst AID” series produced by the Oregon State School of Veterinary Medicine. This series is targeted to all animal lovers regardless of background and level of experience.
I watched, “Pet Triage and CPR,” taught by veterinarian Dr. Tandi Ngwenyama DVM and learned to: administer CPR on big and small pets; and determine a pet’s heart rate, breathing rate, capillary refill rate and pulse. I practice on my little beagle mix. (Note: This was not a certification course. It was an introduction.)
Oregon State's other FURst AID offerings (all free) include:
· "Disaster Preparedness for Pets and Furry Friends"
· "Preventing, Identifying and Treating Common Dog Injuries on the Trail"
· "Managing Equine Emergencies"
These are next on my webinar watch list:
Gray Muzzle is a nonprofit whose vision is that "every senior dog thrives and no old dog dies alone and afraid." They offer a free webinar series. No registration is required for already-taped webinars, which include:"Creating a Bucket List for Your Senior Dog"; "The Effects of Pain on Behavior"; and "Anxiety in Senior Dogs."
I need to learn more about cats. I don't understand cats. "Understanding Your Feline Friend" is a free webinar offered by Alley Cat Allies, a group that promotes low-cost spay and neuter, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR) programs. Registration is required even for taped webinars.
Explore the many other free pet-care webinars available on the Internet. Be curious and cast a broad net. Also refer to my previous blog post for links to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Best Friends. Both offer webinars about how you can help end animal cruelty. It's off topic, but many of my readers are pre-vet. Here’s a bonus link to the University of Florida's Pre-Vet Toolkit--not webinars, but tons of helpful information (also refer to my pre-vet blogs).
WARNING: Be careful of unfamiliar sites. There are some unscrupulous people out there. For this post, I primarily included webinars offered by nonprofit organizations and universities with which I was familiar.
How to Put Webinars on Your Resume
Watching a webinar is akin to taking a class or attending a conference. Even one webinar can make you more marketable if you are looking for a position working with animals. Include webinars on your resume and LinkedIn profile (if you have one).
We'll discuss what information to include and the headings to use.
Remember: You want to be honest. You are not claiming to be an expert.
To review, a resume is a one-to-two-page document on which you describe your background and qualifications for getting a position. A resume includes your contact information and experience, organized by headings, such as Education, Experience, Skills (or Special Skills), and Additional. A resume writer may include a Summary or Profile at the top.
You have flexibility regarding the headings you use and the information that you include. Click here to read more about resumes and cover letters.
I’ll use the Oregon State animal CPR webinar as an example.
The details of the webinar:
Title: "Pet Triage and CPR" (part of the FURst AID series)
Sponsor: Oregon State School of Veterinary Medicine
Presenter: Dr. Tandi Ngwenyama, DVM
Topics included: CPR and how to determine a pet’s vital signs.
Originally offered: March 2022
I watched it April 2023.
You do not have to include all of that information. The amount of free space you have on your resume, the relevance to the job and your previous experience help determine what to include. Most important: List the name of the webinar and the sponsoring organization. Make sure readers know it is a webinar.
Here’s how I would write the information on my resume:
“Pet Triage and CPR” (webinar)
Oregon State School of Veterinary Medicine (city and state are optional)
Topics: CPR (and positioning); vital signs, including heart rate, respiration, femoral pulse and capillary refill time.
I wanted OSU to stand out, but it doesn't have to be in bold. I could have omitted the topics (since the title is explicit) but listing them carries more punch if you have the space. You are not misrepresenting yourself as a vet student by including Oregon State because you added that it was a webinar.
I left off the date created, date viewed, name of the webinar series, presenter and URL, but it would have been fine to list them (and to link to the URL if you are sending an electronic resume). I would have included the date originally offered if I had viewed it live. I consider it optional to include the date I watched the recorded version. Others may disagree and that's fine. Go with what feels right to you.
2. Select a heading.
There are many headings to choose from. For example, Animal Care Education, Animal Education, Webinar(s), Continuing Education, Skills (or Special Skills), Training, Additional Training, and Additional. I could also have listed the webinar under a sub-heading in the Education section after you list your formal education.
TIP: I suggest that you use “Pet” or “Animal” in the heading or sub-heading if you have limited animal-related experience.
I selected Animal Education for my resume. It is fine to have one item under a heading.
Webinars can give you a head-start to a new career or add to skills you already have—free and on your own time. Take advantage of these high-quality educational opportunities. And if you crave even more animal-related learning opportunities, you know you are on the right career path.
Dr. Phyllis Brust is an award-winning career counselor and writer and the founder of CareerMutt, which focuses on pet-related careers. She has published in "The Chronicle of Higher Education," "The Wall Street Journal," "Careers and the MBA," "Resumes for Dummies" and SHRM.org. She advised students, alumni and faculty (and their partners) at Yale University, the University of Chicago, Thomas Jefferson University, Muhlenberg College and Haverford College. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
The site is not a substitute for legal, medical and other expertise. Recommendations, advice, etc. may not apply in your situation. Do your due diligence. We try our best to avoid, but cannot be responsible for, errors.