Lions and tigers and bears, oh – no big deal. It's all in a day's work for zoo keepers. You've got a front row seat to some of the world's most impressive creatures, but if you're looking to make a career change, you'll need an equally impressive zoo keeper resume to get you there.
That's where Resume.io can help. With 300+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides, we provide expert resources for job seekers in all fields and career levels. Here's what we'll cover in this zoo keeper resume example and guide:
- What does a zookeeper do?
- How to write a zoo keeper resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a zookeeper resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a zookeeper do?
A zookeeper is a trained professional who provides care and services to animals in zoo settings. A zookeeper may specialize in caring for one type of animal or may be trained to work with a variety of animals. Zookeepers typically work to meet the basic needs of animals and perform duties such as feeding, bathing, grooming, administering medicines, and socializing animals. Zookeepers carefully observe animals to ensure their health and wellbeing, and maintain careful logs containing important information tracking their health and development. They provide preventative care to animals and also assist with treatments for animals suffering from illnesses and injuries. Zookeepers are expected to hold an associate’s degree, or preferably a bachelor’s degree in zoology, animal science or any life science.
For even more writing tips and ideas, check out our other related resume examples including our veterinarian resume sample , dog trainer resume example and career change resume sample .
How to write a zookeeper resume
A great zookeeper resume will need many of the common sections found on most CVs, including:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
A successful zookeeper resume should clearly convey a candidate’s ability to provide care for animals in zoos. Your resume should highlight your ability to perform duties related to promoting the well-being of animals including feeding, bathing and grooming the animals. Your resume should also showcase your knowledge of animals and your ability to understand animal behaviors. Be sure to emphasize your education, training and your experience working with certain animals. The skills you list on your resume are also of great importance. A strong zookeeper resume should list impressive skills such as knowledge of animal behaviors, knowledge of animal physiology, advanced observation skills and effective communication skills.
Choosing the best resume format for zookeepers
Since zookeepers are required to have some level of professional training, the reverse chronological resume format is usually the best choice for their resumes. This format focuses on an Employment History section where candidates can list their previous positions going back to the past ten years. This format is preferred by both hiring managers and the Applicant Tracking Systems built into virtually all of today's online application portals.
While other resume formats exist, they are usually better suited for career starters or those with non-traditional career trajectories. Our guide provides an in-depth look at alternative resume formats .
Applicant Tracking Systems (or ATS) are one of the biggest hurdles your resume will face. These algorithms scan applications for keywords and send only the top-scoring to the hiring manager's desk for review. While being filtered out is a scary possibility, here are some steps you can take to minimize the chances:
- Read the job description closely and pick out any duties or skills emphasized by the employer.
- Place these "keywords" in the appropriate resume sections using the exact language from the job description.
- Label each section with a commonly-used title that tells the ATS what to scan for (i.e. "Employment History" or "Education").
Resume summary example
Your resume summary is the one place on an otherwise rigid document where you'll be able to communicate directly with the hiring manager. In these 3-5 sentences, give the employer a sense of who you are, your biggest accomplishments and attributes and your reasons for applying to the position. Remember to use powerful action verbs and job-specific terminology. You should convey your success in providing optimal care for animals in zoo settings. Below you'll find the summary from our resume example.
Devoted and experienced zookeeper with several years of experience providing top of the line care for the wonderful animals at the San Diego Zoo. Adept in caring for a variety of exotic animals, working to meet their every need. Knowledgeable about animal behaviors, and skilled in using calm and effective training and communication methods to work with animals. Adept in carefully monitoring the feeding habits and behaviors of animals, and skilled in keeping a watchful eye for any irregular behaviors. Wholly committed to fostering a healthy, safe, and happy environment for all animals
Employment history sample
The employment history sample is the place to list all positions of important, emphasizing those relevant to a zookeeper position. Include the employer name, job title, location and dates worked. Underneath, add 4-5 bullet points that describe your duties and achievements. Remember to use powerful action verbs and mention job specific accomplishments. Check out the employment history section from our zookeeper resume sample below.
- Monitored the health and welfare of animals on a daily basis.
- Maintained accurate documents of behavior and feeding patterns.
- Planned animal diets and prepared their meals.
- Administered medications and performed minor therapeutic treatments at times.
- Carefully monitored the care and progress of unwell animals.
- Worked to cultivate a healthy, happy, and safe environment for animals and for zoo visitors.
CV skills example
Whether it's feeding the penguins or cleaning the snake enclosure, your skills are some of the most important qualities you bring to your work as a zookeeper. Make sure to highlight any areas of expertise that you don't want the hiring manager to miss in the CV skills section. Since this CV section often takes a bullet-point format, it's best for attributes that can be described in a word or two. Don't forget to include a balance of soft skills (personality traits) and hard skills (technical abilities.) See our resume example below.
- Knowledge of Animal Behavior and Physiology
- Behavior Management Skills
- Animal Diet and Nutrition
- Strong Communication Skills
- Advanced Analytical Thinking Skills
Zookeeper resume education example
Since most zookeepers are required to complete some level of higher education, this section will be essential to any complete resume. Make sure to include any degrees or programs in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. You may also list degrees in progress along with your expected graduation date. If you've completed a master's degree or higher, you may leave off your high school. See our resume example below for more ideas on the education section.
- 2010-2014 Manhattan College, Bachelor of Biology NY, NY
- 2006-2010 Ursuline Academy, High School Diploma New Rochelle, NY
Resume layout and design
The layout and design of your resume are almost as important as the words on the page. That's because a hiring manager is going to make a quick decision about your experience and professionalism just based on how you present yourself. Therefore, it's worth putting in the time to create an attractive and functional page design. Make sure to create an eye-catching header that emphasizes your name and contact information. You'll also want to leave a balance of white space to text so that the page doesn't become to taxing on the reader's eyes.
For zookeepers, an elaborate design is unnecessary and can even come across as inappropriate. A simple resume template can help you include all the relevant pieces of information in a layout with a touch of classic style.
- A great resume will set you apart and draw the hiring manager's attention to your skills and experience.
- Don't forget to add a touch of passion and personality to your summary section.
- Use descriptive language, statistics and action verbs wherever possible.
- Check out our adaptable zookeeper resume sample for more ideas on creating a great page design.