How To Write The Perfect Veterinary Job Ad
With the generally recognised shortage of Vets and Vet Nurses, particularly in regional areas, attracting, retaining and developing your team has never been more important. Whilst focussing on retention and development is essential, when it comes time to recruit your next team member, as an Owner, Partner or Practice Manager, today you have to sell yourself and your practice.
Remember, it is called a Job AD…and like all good ads, it is there to entice people to action, not do the entire sales job. All you really want to happen is for you to receive plenty of resumes; having too many to choose from is a much better problem than having one…or none.
An effective job ad is not just a job description. It is a carefully crafted message with the aim of attracting the best qualified candidates for your job.
We have worked our way through a wide range of Job Ads, through our own site as well as others, identifying what works, and what does not work, when it comes to writing a Job Ad that works.
Now, here are some well-researched Do’s and Don’t’s…
- Use language that is informal, warm and friendly
- Tell a story, not just about the job, or the practice but about why your role is the ideal next career step for the candidate you are seeking
- Put yourself in the mind of your target applicant
- Write up a position description with the main tasks and responsibilities – include only the 3 most important elements
- Write up a persona description – what would the ideal candidate be like – this will come in handy when you start to sort your applications
- Be short on itemised tasks – the right candidate knows what is needed
- Be long on what makes your practice unique
- Go on to the major job boards, search for a similar role and read the top 3 ads – then write something MUCH better
- Use Job Ad parlance or clichés such as “We are seeking…” (of course you are) or “The incumbent will…” (yes, we still see these from time to time)
- Get too creative or quirky
- Oversell the role – be transparent about your expectations
- Job descriptions are not Job Ads; and ad is there to sell, not be a list
- Exaggerate – when a job sounds too good to be true, it generally is and will only attract applicants who are gullible, unrealistic and non-performers
So here it is…our outline of what the ideal Veterinary and Pet Care Job Ad should look like…
A short sharp six word max headline that usually includes a well-recognised job title – don’t get too clever as applicants, and Search Engines, are quick to discount odd terminology
Occasionally you may want to add some clarity to the headline eg must be registered in X
In two sentences summarise the role and why they should apply – often it is best to write this last once you have the body of your ad written – this is your punchy sales intro so make it really appealing
3 Key Bullet Points
These are usually about location, salary and benefits – it is best to include the salary, not doing so will not attract more applications, it will in fact reduce interest as the assumption is that you are not prepared to meet the market
You’ve got 3 seconds – these first two sentences are like the opening paragraph in a novel except WAY more important; you’ve got just 3 seconds to engage with each candidate, gain their trust and encourage them to read on
Overview of the Practice
So often we see practices under selling or being assumptive about how candidates (and customers) perceive them. Again, two to three sentences about the size of the practice, the nature of customers and the type of services you offer, and why that would be interesting to the bets candidates. And if you are in a remote location, sell the destination and even link out to the local tourist website.
3 Key Interesting Elements
There are 100 components to delivering vet services, as a Vet or Vet Nurse or vet Technician, so don’t provide a long list. Most candidates “get it” so just highlight the 3 most important or interesting elements that are also going to appeal to leading candidates
3 Key Things You are Seeking
Again, there is a huge shopping list of things you might like your new team member to have, so just highlight the ones that are important to you, but that will also be important to candidates – soft skills like empathy, team collaboration, worldliness
3 Key Benefits
Apart from salary and financial benefits, include other great things about the job such as Continuing Education, extended leave, training opportunities and more
Why They Should Apply
This is your call to action – having got this far, why they should brush up their resume and whip up a cover letter because this is the ideal job as their next career step
How To Apply
A simple instruction as to the process of applying and what you are expecting to receive – we recommend asking for a cover letter summarising why they would be perfect for this position. We generally don’t encourage phone calls.
And then, have at least 3 people read it, preferably at least one not from the industry. Apart from grammar and spell checking, you will get feedback on the overall appeal of your value proposition.
And to top things off, make sure you have a sharp logo and a couple of great, high resolution pictures of your practice, hospital or store as some job sites will allow you to include these as part of your overall Job Ad.
A Job Ad is like an artificial fly to a trout fisherman – it is both pretty and functional – and like the fly is there to attract and the hook is there to capture, so it is with Vet, Vet Nurse and Vet Technician candidates; your Job Ad is there to attract, it is then up to you to reel them in.
“Can I be bothered going to such trouble, it’s just a Job Ad?” No, it isn’t. It is the foundation of your business and more important than any other thing or task in your practice or pet store. Put in the effort and the Return On Investment will be the best you will ever make.
Sample Veterinary Job Ad
You can find an example of the perfect Veterinary Job Ad here.
Matt Lee, is a long term pet industry marketing expert and runs Vet & Pet Jobs, a Veterinary and Pet Care industry job board that is designed to bring together the best candidates and the best vet practices and pet care operators. Later in 2018 will be the launch of VetLocumotion, a marketplace platform designed to match the availability of Vet Locums and Vet Nurse Locums with shorter term availability at Vet Practices, Hospital and Specialist Centres.