Original image: Austin Community College (CC BY 2.0)
Being a veterinary nurse is one of the most rewarding occupations around. However, as with all jobs, there are a number of things you can do to give yourself a better chance of finding the ideal role.
Work out what you can negotiate on
All job offers are a form of negotiation and you will likely have to sacrifice some things to get the right role. You may have to deal with a longer commute than you would like or a lower salary.
Take time to work out what you can and can't do without then stick to it.
Get as much experience as possible
Getting experience can be tough, especially if applying for your first veterinary nurse role. However, the more experience you can get, the better.
Whether it's a work placement, as a volunteer, on a temporary contract, or as someone working the desk at a clinic, get as much experience as you can. This will make you more valuable and show you are proactive.
Build up contacts
Another thing to be proactive in is trying to build relationships in the industry. There is nothing wrong – especially when taking the first few steps in your career – with emailing local veterinary nurses and vets, and asking a few questions.
You could even politely send a CV across and say you would love for your name to be kept on record. This might seem basic, but you might be surprised how few people actually do it.
Research what employers are looking for
As with most employment sectors, supply and demand vary in the world of veterinary practice. The skills employers are looking for most can change year-on-year.
Take the time to examine the descriptions for the most in-demand jobs so you can see the skills asked for most then do what you can to build experience in those specific areas.
Try to always give employers what they want.
Build other skills
You can set yourself apart from other veterinary candidates by learning additional skills that are not related to the practice.
Many surgeries are essentially small businesses, so having skills that can benefit them in this sense – such as design or marketing – could give you the edge ahead of candidates with the same amount of veterinary experience as you.