Applying For Your First Veterinary Job

You did it! You've hustled through four years of veterinary school, internships, externships, and more hard work, and you're excited to start applying for your very first veterinary job.

Remember – first impressions are everything. You've got to make sure that your application is the best representation of yourself and makes potential new employers want to meet with you. Follow these tips below to land the veterinary position you’ve been working so hard for.

Follow these tips for applying for your first veterinary job.1. Keep it short and sweet

Pay attention to the request for a resume versus a CV to apply for a position. More often than not, a short resume is all you need – one to two pages, max. Anything more than that can overwhelm the reader and make it difficult for them to see what sets you apart from the rest. Don't get overlooked!

2. Ditch the objective

Objectives are really not necessary for a professional position, unless you're using it to explain something about your application that doesn't align with what you're applying for. For example, you may want to note that you're looking for a position in the Chicago area if you're moving there from Tennessee, or moving from a large animal focus to small animal medicine.

3. Include all of your relevant hands-on experience

This includes being a veterinary assistant or technician at a hospital before school or during breaks. While an employer may want to hear about your externships, all of your clinical experience is great to highlight as well. Same goes for your customer service positions. If you have the room for it (remember, you want to keep it short), include that waitressing job or that time you answered phones. It is important to show that you can connect with clients and build their trust in your recommendations.

Remember to keep it concise and relevant. If someone wants to know the details of your academic career, including publications and research, they will ask for a CV.

4. Write a cover letter

Everyone assumes you have a passion for animals, so there's no need to dive into that. Keep it brief and enlightening – in most cases, one paragraph is sufficient, and a great opportunity for you to illustrate how well you can communicate effectively and concisely.

You may also want to go to the practice’s website and social media to get a feel for who they are and what services they offer. Emphasize any special interests, i.e. ophthalmology, orthopedics, pain management, etc. You may very well fill a void that they are looking for.

5. Read before you send

When you've finished, re-read everything and check for typos. Then save and attach your files as PDFs to avoid any formatting issues, and make sure that the file names are clear. For example, "John-Doe-Cover-Letter" or "JDoe_CL" makes it easy for an employer to identify the correct files, especially if they are reviewing multiple applicants.

Don't forget to double check your attachments! If you have customized any parts of your cover letter or resume to specifically target different employers, make sure you are sending them the correct files.

Good luck! We are always here to talk with you about the first year and how we can help with the transition from school to real life. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to