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Has a job advert or adverts sparked your interest? If so, now is the time to submit your CV and/or covering letter.
If the job advert you applied to has a named contact, try to speak to him or her. Vets are notoriously busy people and, as such, can be quite elusive to get hold of – some will be very good at getting back to you, but with others, you will have to really persist.
I usually give an initial telephone call to see if I can chat to someone about the role, just to see whether it would be suitable – and, therefore, worth applying for. It also puts a voice to the name when you do inevitably email in your CV.
Ideally, the practice manager or one of the partners will speak to you or telephone back later, but this would sometimes hit a dead end, with a receptionist simply saying "send your CV by email and we’ll be in touch".
At this stage, it is important to follow your job application up. A fine line exists between bugging the practice and being enthusiastic, but here I would say it pays to tread that line on the persistent side. If you just email your CV, you may never hear back unless you telephone to give a gentle nudge in the direction of your application.
As a general rule, I would telephone the practice a week after emailing my CV to politely enquire whether it had received my application. I genuinely believe, in some cases, this has led to me being offered the job opposed to just being another unopened and forgotten email.
Organisation is key
Be organised – once you start contacting a handful of practices, it can be very easy to get confused between which vacancies are which, where they advertised, where you’ve sent your CV to, when you sent it and whether you’ve followed it up.
It might seem like overkill, but I made a spreadsheet with these headings and also copied or taken a screenshot of the advert in, too. Often, by the time you interview, the advert has been taken down and you can’t quite remember what exactly was advertised.
Keep calm and carry on
I may sound like a broken record, but the most important thing to remember throughout the whole job hunting process is to stay calm and don’t panic.
The veterinary employment crisis is very real, which makes it an employee’s market – the power is in your hands. Don’t rush into applying for or accepting a job that isn’t quite right – it may seem very scary to turn things down, but I promise, the right job will come along.