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You worked hard all throughout school in order to get the job of your dreams: working in animal care. But the dream of being a veterinarian can come with a costly educational bill.  Working toward financial freedom can be a huge hurdle in your life, and even more so when attempting to lessen your student loan debt. When you envision a future, likely it doesn’t involve years of paying off debt. But you are not alone in this struggle.  There is no shortage of information relating to the student debt crisis that is sweeping the nation. Students are defaulting and struggling to pay back their loans as the interest increases and the penalties get more severe. But there are ways to help manage your veterinary school loans.  Do you have a plan to help eliminate your student loan debt from studying veterinary medicine?   The thing you should initially do is list your loans to see the extent of financial burden. After you’ve listed your loans to determine the amount of your debt, the next thing to explore is consolidation and refinancing. If you are looking to lower your interest rate and monthly payment, refinancing is a good option to explore. A private lender, such as a bank, online lender, or credit union, can help bring down the interest and monthly payments. But before you consider this option, make sure you explore the options available through federal loan services. Federal loan services offer loan-reduction options and loan forgiveness, as well as options for low-income students and direct consolidation. If you opt to work with a private lender, you will lose these options so it’s important to explore these choices before committing.  Consolidating your loans is another option to consider in order to lessen the burden of your veterinary student loan debt. Often when you borrow for school you borrow from a variety of lending institutions, which can result in an overwhelming payment schedule. By consolidating it will help to simplify this schedule and keep you on track when it comes to the consistency of payments. But keep in mind that just by consolidating it doesn’t automatically mean that your monthly payments will lessen.  It’s also essential to find ways to manage your debt in order to get out from under your loans. There are some tips to do this, starting with being knowledgeable about what you owe. This will start with doing some research, including checking the extent of your federal loan debt through the national debt registry and directly contacting any private loan lenders to check what your debt looks like with them. After you make note of your loans, including the balance and the interest, explore whether or not deferment or loan forgiveness is an option.   Once you have a handle on what you owe and the nature of your veterinary loan debt, you can look into what payment options are available to you. It’s important to understand what payment options are available to you based on your needs.  Do you think you might qualify for need-based loan forgiveness?  Some loans have options for income-driven payment options. This entails having your monthly payment shaped by how much you earn. It might also be possible for you to temporarily defer your loan payments based on need. This means if you are financially incapable of making your monthly payment it might be possible to apply for temporary deferment while you’re looking for full-time employment. But it’s important to note that these options are exclusive to federal loans and not private loans.  Once you’ve assessed your options, there are additional factors to take into consideration to help you start eliminating your debt. The first thing to do is to ensure that you take advantage of tax deductions. Paying the interest on your student loans means that you can deduct that amount from your taxes for federal loans. The interest on your loans can be calculated against your income for the year that you are filing, make sure that you take advantage of this knowledge when it comes to re-obtaining that money for your taxes. And it would also be prudent to consider careers where student loan forgiveness is factored into benefits. Some veterinary jobs will offer assistance with your student loan payments as part of their workplace benefits.  Ultimately, it is important to start budgeting. Staying ahead of your payments and paying more than your monthly minimum will help to keep you on a schedule for repayments that will eliminate your loans quicker. Make a list of your monthly expenditures and try to determine if there are areas where you can reduce spending and dedicate that money to your loans.  And finally, remember that there are career-based institutions that can help with your veterinary student loan debt.  Are you aware of programs that can help with your debt?  Veterinary medicine has a great need for new professionals and there are programs geared toward drawing in new veterinarians and helping them with their loan burden. Look into areas that experience shortage and those who are willing to entice new professionals with the perk of lessening their student loan debt. That could be places like  The Veterinary Loan Repayment Program  or  Shortage areas for livestock veterinarians . No matter where you are in your debt repayment, remember that you are not alone in this challenge. There are plenty of ways to make the repayment process less of a headache, and to say goodbye to your loan debt faster! //   //
You’ve worked hard, you’ve updated your resume, and you’ve finally scored an interview for your dream veterinary job! But now that the interview is coming up, the real work starts: trying to impress your interviewer with your skills and make the dream job a reality. Going for an interview at an esteemed veterinary clinic or animal care facility can be intimidating, no matter where you are in your career at a vet or vet tech. But we’ve compiled some tips to help showcase your talent and make a favorable impression on your future employer. Get to know the practice  How do you familiarize yourself with the practice you are interviewing at? Do you have a strong grasp of what this clinic has to offer? Doing your research on the background the practice is essential in looking informed for your interview. Some things to make a special note of when you do your research are to find out what kind of patients they service, including whether they serve small pets or large animals; find out a bit about the layout of the practice, the grounds, and the backgrounds of the hiring managers; and if the practice or any of its employees were recognized for awards or notable recognition.  Present yourself with confidence and kindness Are you ready to make a positive impression immediately? In order to make a good impression it’s best to approach the interview feeling self-assured and confident. Confidence radiates off a person and it will put the interviewer at ease. But it’s helpful to balance it with a positive comment and courtesy. When you arrive for your interview, be sure to pleasantly introduce yourself to the front desk staff and when you are introduced to the hiring manager extend your hand for a handshake and couple the greeting with a positive comment. That could be noting how nice the practice looks, congratulating them on a recent accolade, or noting your appreciation and dedication to animal welfare.  Make a mental inventory of your most noteworthy skills Have you recently received a noteworthy certification? Do you have a board-certification in a rarer specialty? Or are you a veterinary tech with decades of experience working with large animals? How about a special aptitude and skill with obtaining equipment? No matter what it may be, it’s important to highlight a skill of yours that will set you apart from the competition. If you have a special skill or certification that you’ve acquired through your years of hard work, be sure to mention it and how it can be an asset to the open position and practice.  Dress to impress The old adage, “dress for the job you want,” is true. In order to get the job you’re after it’s important to look professional and well-groomed. Making smart choices about your outfit and appearance will also help you feel more confident. Overdressing might not be the best decision, as it might hint that you’re unwilling to contribute to the messy work of animal care, but it’s also important not to underdress as it might appear sloppy. Here are some things to keep in mind while you’re getting ready for the interview: make sure that you are tidy and clean, avoid using perfume or wearing statement jewelry as both can be distracting, wear comfortable shoes to help avoid fidgeting.  Come prepared  Make sure that when you go to the interview that you bring extra copies of your resume, letters of recommendation, and copies of certifications. While the hiring manager likely has a copy of both on hand, it’s important to not assume that to be the case. Since vet clinics are so hectic, there might even be a chance that the hardcopy of your paperwork might have gotten lost in the daily shuffle. It’s courteous and helpful to have extra copies of these things, especially if you’re being interviewed by more than one person.  Exude positivity Going on an interview can be stressful and unnerving but it’s important to have a positive attitude. Coming off as happy and positive is an attractive quality that hiring managers gravitate to. And while you might be feeling a little anxious, there are some easy ways to come off as positive to your employer. The first is to remain upbeat and smile, being warm while still being professional will help to showcase your positive attitude. The second is to avoid saying anything negative about your previous employer or why you’re looking to leave your current position. And lastly, express your gratitude for being considered for the position.  Give a realistic time frame  Let your interviewer know when you are able to start the job. If they are looking to staff the position immediately, it will be helpful to let them know that you can start as soon as needed.  Inform them of your willingness and flexibility  Vet practices can be hectic and chaotic places with unexpected and unpredictable emergencies. Many practices are offering extended hours, emergency appointments, weekend hours, and even twenty-four-hour care. Stand out from the other candidates by highlighting your willingness to be flexible about the hours you’re staffed.  Demonstrate your versatility  Don’t be afraid to talk about the variety of your skills and background. This will help show that you are willing and able to assist in a number of diverse situations should they arise. And expressing your willingness to perform any number of tasks is an important quality in the right animal care candidate.  Ask questions  And lastly, remember to go ready to ask thoughtful questions. The last portion of any interview will allow for the candidate to ask questions and often this is a missed opportunity. Stand out from others by coming prepared with researched and compelling questions. That could be something like “What makes the culture of your clinic different than others?” or “What performance expectations would you have for a new hire within the first three months on the job?” No matter what, be sure that your questions are sincere and thought-provoking and you’ll be sure to stand apart from the crowd.  If you follow these tips and suggestions, we have all of the confidence in the world that you’ll leave that interview having impressed the hiring manager. These are ensure to improve your odds and help you make a distinct and memorable impression in comparison to the competition.      //   //
Have you been having a lack of response to your perfectly crafted job ad ? There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time and care to craft an engaging job ad and not receive either the volume of candidates or the appropriately skilled candidates. When you have an open job position it’s imperative for your clinic to fill it as fast as possible. These tips will help nudge your previously crafted ad to where it needs to be in order to get the volume of applicants that you need with the appropriately skilled backgrounds.  The first thing that you can do is start to sell yourself. It’s not entirely on the applicant to alone sell themselves to you, it’s up to you to identify what makes your clinic and practice individualistic. What makes your practice a unique and enjoyable place to be employed? There will be an alarming amount of job ads that cover the very basics of their practice, highlighting things that all places will likely have. Look into the practices in your area and see what makes you different than them. Don’t be afraid to directly state things that other ads might not mention, such as compensation and competitive benefits. Not shying away from that will draw more applicants toward the job. When it comes to over-worked and undervalued veterinarians and veterinary technicians, money and benefits is the first thing they want to hear about.  The second thing you can do is to do more research. While research might not be the most rewarding part of your day at work, the more you know about what candidates are looking for and the different things you can offer in comparison to your competition. You can start by checking out the job ads from other veterinary practices in your area. Is there something that you saw in another ad that spoke to you or sparked your interest? Make a list of compelling phrases and details that you would like to amend and add to your own job ad (but with a lens toward your own unique practice, opportunities, and individuality! Remember to not just copy and paste). Next, be sure to be fully aware of the exact duties you’ll want your candidate to perform so that you can be as detailed and thorough in your ad and speak to the most qualified, but also the largest quantity of, candidates. And finally, make sure, again, to speak to what you can offer that is better than the competition. This is especially true if you have a smaller veterinary practice in comparison to larger ones in the area. Try to find ways to speak to the benefits of going with a smaller practice than a big one.  Try amending the tone of your job ad. If your job ad is coming off as too formal, it might be time to edit the language you use and the character of your ad, as well as the organization. Most people looking for jobs are scanning job ads and it isn’t until something catches their eye that they’ll read more in-depth. In order to avoid getting passed over, be sure to start with the highlights. And using an inviting and warm voice will also help get you noticed. Be sure to include both what you can offer but also what you’re looking for in a candidate. This should include job functions but also the personal characteristics that would best suit the job. While the job ad should gather a number of candidates to pick from, you also want to ensure that once you select the person that they’ll be happy in the position to stay at the practice for a long time.  And finally, seek out your candidates! Go to where the candidates that you’re looking for would go to. There are plenty of places to go and seek out candidates. Are you familiar with locations that your candidates might be searching for jobs at? This would include places like job aggregator websites that are geared specifically to veterinary jobs and vet tech jobs. The candidates on this site will be people who have had similar jobs in the past or are recently completing their education in the field. But it might be equally dynamic to look at social media options. This could be creating social media accounts and making your own call-to apply flyers that would lead to the job ad, this kind of engagement is easy and free--and many candidates use social media and will be able to see what you put out. You can also look into your email lists. This would be email lists from veterinary networking sites. You can utilize these lists to put out an email campaign to alert the people involved through the networking site that you’re looking for candidates. And finally, utilize your own personal network. Networking is an essential part of all job markets, so it is imperative to have your own network. This also looks like asking your team if they have applicants in mind--friends from veterinary or vet tech school--or reaching out to veterinary educators that you may know and seeing if they have any students looking for an opportunity.  With these tips, you’ll be sure to drive a large number of highly qualified candidates to your job ad and hopefully find the perfect person for the role.   If you would like to post a job ad on myveterinaryjobboard.com you can create a free employer profile .  Then once your purchase a job posting subscription you can post your job and and search our resume database ! //   //
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