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Letter of Application

Curriculum Vitae/Resume




The objectives of a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or Resume are to tell your prospective employer about you. In two to three pages, not more, you must summarise your life, your employment history and your skills and achievements.


The CV should be constructed for the post and the collection to which you are applying. Do an internet search for information about the company. Read all you can, get a ‘feel’ for place. Do you know any present or ex-employees? Chat to them if you can. Read the job advertisement again. Once you feel confident you can set about putting your CV together.


All CV’s should start with your name, address, email and contact number.




James Smith,

71 Percival Street



NR2 P83

Tel-123 456 7890


Next give your date of birth and any relevant personal information.




Date of Birth – 7th April 1967

Place of Birth – Hebdon Bridge, Yorkshire.


You could at this point make mention of whether you are married or are divorced or have children. For some work applications the information is relevant, sometimes it is not. Add or omit as you see fit or maybe stick it in towards the end of your CV.

Next you should give a précis of your employment history in chronological order starting with your present, or last post, and working back. It is important that any dated ‘gaps’ in work are explained.


Next give details of your education, further education and qualifications.


Finish with your hobbies, interests and relevant society memberships.


Example CV


One last little tip:

Use a good quality cream or pale blue paper for your Application and CV…preferably a different colour for each. The paper should be just about 10mm bigger than A4 in size, so you will have to shop around and cut neatly to size.

The reason is that most applicants will write on standard white A4. Your Application and CV will stand out as different. The ‘slightly bigger’ size will mean that even if it is at the bottom of the pile of applications on the Directors desk it will not be missed.



Example CV


Curriculum Vitae


Full Name :  Peter Dickinson

Date of Birth :  3rd October 1948

Nationality :  British

Health :  Excellent

Postal Address :  Suite 201, Gateway House, 78 Northgate Street, Chester,

CH1 2HR United Kingdom

Home Telephone: UK 00 44 (0)123456789

E-Mail : peterd12345@yahoo.co.uk



Summary of Experience

I have been working continually in zoos since 1968 and, for most of this time, in the capacity of Curator, Assistant Curator or Head Keeper. I am thoroughly familiar with all aspects of Zoo Administration and Management and have extensive zoo contacts. I have wide experience of animals common to British Zoos and, due to my time in the Middle East, a number of less common species as well. At all stages of my zoo career I have taken an active part within the zoo, hand rearing where necessary and assuming a keeper role in times of staff shortage. I have been responsible for organising and running breeding programmes, and taken a particular interest in staff training.

I am dedicated to, and take great pride in my work. My health has always been extremely good and apart from the odd bout of flu, absences from work due to sickness have been very rare.


December 2007 – January 2008

Working as part of a dedicted rearing team for Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins in Dalian, China. I came in at the hatching stage and was able to assist hatch several eggs. Sadly collection/incubation problems (which I was not involved in) meant that  hatch was much lower than anticipated and a three month contract was therefore shortened.


November 2006 - January 2007

Temporary position as head of the extensive Arabian Rodent section at Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


October 2003 - April 2004

Collections Manager of the South Lakes Wild Animal Park. This popular North of England collection specialises in Kangaroos, Lemurs and Tigers but maintains a wide range of other species including Giraffe, White Rhinos and Spectacled Bears. The Park has three areas of responsibility, Admin, Cafe/Shop and Animals. My responsibility was for the animal side of the operation including the hiring, training and supervision of 12 full time keeping staff and maintenance department as well as food ordering, veterinary liaison, pest control, licensing etc.

I had an excellent salary and as in all of my career adapted to and enjoyed my work. However I decided to resign and travel so that I could see a bit more of the world.


September 1983 - October 2003

Assistant Curator/Head Keeper of the Welsh Mountain Zoo . A small mixed collection covering around 35 acres. Six full time keeping staff , three or four trainees and a varying number of volunteers. Responsible for day to day running of the zoo including staff rotas, supervision and training. I acted as zoo liaison with ISIS and was responsible for the development and maintenance of zoo records and studbooks using ARKS/SPARKS as well as stock control, diet implementation and adjustment, environmental enrichment, breeding programmes, drug administration, incubation, hand rearing, COSHH, first aid, driving, food ordering, veterinary liaison, keeper relief, show commentaries, educational lectures, telephone enquiries, correspondence etc. I also acted as British Isles studbook holder and coordinator for the Red Squirrel, UK representative for the European Otter EEP and was EEP for the Andean Condor and acted as the zoos representative at species related meetings and conferences.


January 1976 - August 1983

Curator at the National Zoological Gardens, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This was a very large and comprehensive collection which includes many rare and endangered species. The collection, whilst I was there covered more than 400 hectares and maintained more than 2000 specimens of around 350 species. My responsibilities were for roughly half the collection including most of the Arabian fauna. In conjunction with the vet, I was instrumental in setting up successful breeding programmes for Arabian Oryx, Arabian Gazelle, Laristan Sheep, Arabian Wolves, African Spur-Thighed Tortoises amongst other species. My range of duties were wide but included budgeting, staff training and supervision, pest control, animal capture and movement. Whilst here I gained considerable experience in the chemical immobilization of animals using a variety of systems. Though personally responsible for several sections and around 30 keepers, I had a supervisory role over the staff encampment which housed around 200 people.


I made one trip to Kenya, bringing back a number of new species for the zoo. From time to time I was called in to assist with animals on large private collections on islands in the Arabian Gulf. After contributing a paper to the 1977 Zoo Architecture Symposium  I was consulted by architects setting up new Middle Eastern Zoos.


Outside of the zoo I was a committee member of the local and very active Natural History Society. I left this post to move back to the U.K. to allow my children to go to an English medium school.


February 1974 - December 1975

Curator of the West Country Wildlife Park, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. A small but very popular mixed collection. My duties included the day to day management and supervision of the collection as well as acting as Elephant keeper and doing relief keeping as and when necessary.


April 1972 - February 1974

Curator of Cleethorpes Zoo and Marineland in Lincolnshire. This large coastal zoo held species which included Dolphins and Sea-lions as well as Elephant, Black Rhino, Chimpanzees, Giraffe, Kangaroos etc. My responsibilities were diverse but included staff supervision, general management and liaison with the Group Zoological Director who was based in Yorkshire.


December 1970 - April 1972

Curator/General Manager of Stanley Zoo, County Durham. Duties here were the day to day management of staff and animals but included the supervision of Bars, Cafeterias and Gift Shop as well as the implementation of advertising schemes and building programmes and forward planning. I was also responsible for accounting and banking.


August 1968 - December 1970

Keeper/Senior Keeper at Flamingo Park Zoo, Yorkshire. After training I was given responsibility for large cats but also acted as relief keeper on other sections. I was sent out as `cover` curator to other group zoos when their curators were on annual leave. I was also sent on a tour of major European collections to pick up ideas.


N.B. From August 1968 - February 1974 I was working for the same company within a group of zoos.



Primary education took place at the Anglo-American School, Ahmadi, Kuwait.


Secondary education was as a boarder at Fyling Hall School in Yorkshire.


Further education was at Durham Technical College where I took Business Studies, (uncompleted).


In 1982 I was awarded the City & Guilds Diploma for Zoo Animal Management with Credit and Distinction.


I have taken part in two customer care courses.


I hold several Certificates for staff training.


I am a qualified NVQ Assessor (will need renewing)


On the Secretary of State’s list of Zoo Inspectors


I hold a Firearm Certificate (will need renewing)


I hold a Shotgun Certificate (will need renewing)


I hold a clean driving license


I am a qualified First Aider (needs updating)


Personal Details


Status:  Divorced (2003)


Spare Time Activities


These include reading, writing, travelling, trekking and genealogy.


I run a private weekly Zoo News Newsletter (ZooNews Digest) on the Internet. This has around 5000 subscribers in over 600 zoos in 80+ countries. This Newsletter is being used as a training aid in Zoos and colleges throughout the world. This has greatly extended my range of contacts. It was presented with a commendation by the Zoo Federation for services to Zoo Education.

Associated to ZooNews Digest is Zoo Biology, a group I own and moderate. Membership is mainly restricted to Zoo Professionals and is the most successful group of its kind contributing advice daily to the world zoological community.


In the past I have written articles which have been published by magazines which include `International Zoo News`, `BBC Wildlife`, `Oryx` etc. One of these articles in `Ratel` was voted best of the year. I wrote the Zoo Management Guidelines for the Red Squirrel and did all the groundwork for the Management Guidelines for the Andean Condor before passing on to the TAG. My most recent paper was on environmental enrichment for chimpanzees which was posted freely on the internet.


Was a Member of the Association of British Wild Animal Keepers


Regular reader of publications from EAZA, WAZA, AKF, International Zoo News etc


Recently resigned as:

Coordinator and Studbook Holder for the Red Squirrel (ROLTAG)

UK Coordinator for the European Otter (SCTAG)

EEP for the Andean Condor (BOPTAG)


Owner/Editor of Zoo News Digest.

Owner/Moderator of Zoo Biology E-group