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Because your voice matters.

How to “Sell” Your Experience in an RSVP

Posted • Last updated

The RSVP process is a chance for you to showcase yourself to the health care partner. This guide provides an overview of information that you can include, and how to do so.

You’ve been through your orientation and have signed the Volunteer Agreement. You’ve seen an engagement opportunity that you think would be interesting for you and would benefit from your involvement. Now you’re ready to RSVP for the opportunity.

Your responses are the primary tool that health care partners use to decide which patient partner(s) will be the best fit for their opportunity. Below are some principles to think about as you write short and informative responses:

Download the tips

  • Keep your answers short and simple: 300 words or fewer. Share information that you feel is relevant and highlights what you can bring to the table (i.e., skills, passions, and experiences that you have), without sending in a detailed resume or online profile.
  • Consider how much personal health information you are sharing in your response, and ensure that it is related to the opportunity. For example, if you are expressing interest in cancer services, you may not need to talk about your experience with your heart disease.
  • Health care partners may not have time to fully read and understand information that isn’t related to what they need from patient partners. Try to focus your responses on exactly the criteria being sought for the engagement opportunity in question. This demonstrates your ability to distill complexity (your life!) into a coherent snapshot that anyone can easily understand.
  • Use complete sentences in the best grammatical writing style that you can. Use your responses to demonstrate your writing ability, personality, and communications style.
  • Remember that your information will be shared directly with the health care partner who is leading the opportunity. While PVN’s engagement leaders have had the privilege of developing rich relationships with many patient partners, the health care partner may not have, so think of the RSVP information you share as a brief introduction to a new colleague – what key information can you provide that will help create a productive and respectful relationship where everyone’s needs are being met?
  • Please: If you ever have any questions or concerns, the engagement leaders are here to help. We are only a phone call or email away!

From Our Community

Christine Wallsworth

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Christine Wallsworth

Patient and family partners should not be a check box on research proposals! They need to be involved right from the start. I know patient and family partners are doing their part by providing their knowledge to researchers from their lived experience.  It’s a win-win for us to work together through PVN to make sure our input drives improvements.