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How Do I Write A Well Written Veterinary Job Ad?

It is not a surprise to anyone reading this blog that at this current juncture there is a major shortage of veterinarians and veterinary technicians. While you might have experienced this only anecdotally, there is research-based evidence to this shortage. On September 12, 2019, eminent veterinary economist James Lloyd, DVM, Ph.D., presented his research which quantified the number of open veterinary positions on job-seeking sites to the number of available veterinarians from AVMA and AAVMC data. The results showed that there is indeed factual evidence of a shortage of animal care professionals. 

Armed with this knowledge, it is essential to maintain highly qualified staff capable of performing to the best of their abilities. But retention and development of the staff within your practice might not speak to the needs you’re experiencing. And because of that, being capable of selling your practice and crafting the perfect job ad is an essential skill. Your ability to draw qualified individual’s resumes is the ultimate goal and there are a number of ways to go about achieving your aim. 

However, it is important to know what a job ad isn’t. Do you know that a job is not? A job ad isn’t merely a description of the open position. Typing up a flavorless job description doesn’t detail the qualities of the candidate you are looking for, and will likely result in you getting resumes from people who are not an adequate fit for either the open position or the unique nature of your practice. 

So how do you write an effective job ad? 

  1. Utilize tone and voice when writing the ad. A dry job description doesn’t denote the personality of your practice, and it’s important to write the job ad in a way that reflects that personality. Try ensuring that the ad is friendly and welcoming while still being professional--after all, that’s the kind of candidate you are likely looking for. 
  2. Speak to your potential candidate’s career ambition and let them know that your practice is the place for them to advance. Be direct about how placement within your practice is the ambitious yet logical next move for them to hone their skills and that further advancement within the field is available via the open job. 
  3. Be sure to talk about the culture of your practice. Be openly informative about your team and speak to the environment of the practice. Within the ad, speak to the personality you’re looking for along with the job skills that will best suit the role. You don’t want to draw someone with the skills you’re looking for but will ultimately not be a well-suited addition to an established team. 
  4. Before even writing the ad, think deeply about who the ideal candidate is. After you envision that candidate think about what would draw them to respond to an ad. Think about your imaginary candidate’s driving motivations and what qualities they would like to see included in a veterinary job ad. 
  5. Be thorough about what tasks will be required and the expectations you have about the performance of those tasks. No need to write a very long list, try to narrow down the main responsibilities to no more than five items. 
  6. Think thoroughly about what makes your practice that much different than the next. Being unique and standing out is essential when job boards are flooded with tons of ads. So taking individualized and unique approaches will help you stand out. 

Ultimately, you will want to couple these tips with research. Go onto different job boards and check out the different ads. Take note of what you find impressive, be aware of what you found lacking and not compelling, and after you’ve finished researching write an ad that will stand out among the best of the best of the ads you read. 

But knowing what to do isn’t exclusively the most helpful. Knowing what not to do will also assist in crafting the very best job ad. 

What are some things to avoid when writing your job ad?

  1. Avoid defaulting to veterinary jargon when writing the ad or the feeling that it was developed by an HR overseer. This means your job ad will be packed with unfeeling filler making it easy to skip over. 
  2. While attempting to be unique and welcoming, make sure you don’t become cutesy or cliche. Avoid pet puns and over familiarity or you risk attracting people who won’t take the position seriously or treat it with the gravity that it deserves. 
  3. Coming off as desperate. There is nothing that will draw a candidate away from a role than appearing too desirous to immediately fill an open position. 
  4. Don’t oversell. While you are looking to get a great candidate who will fit the culture of your practice, you can’t achieve this by misleading people. Be honest about the expectations of the position and the leading benefits of working for your practice. Don’t offer things you can’t provide. 
  5. Don’t make a list of all of the latest equipment that is utilized in your practice. This isn’t a relevant or motivating detail to a qualified candidate. 
  6. Keep it brief! You’ll be able to go into greater detail once you find a resume that speaks to you. 

Now that you have the tips and research, it’s time to write your job ad. Do you know the outline of a job ad? A job ad is broken down into several brief sections that will flow together with a confident voice that eliminates the obviousness of the structure. Start with a short job heading that is exactly what you’re looking for. If the job is more complicated than a six-word header, you can utilize a subheading to clarify the position. Address three key points: location, salary, and benefits. Have a very short introductory job description that summarizes the subsequent job ad with immediacy. Following that, a job ad will have an opening paragraph, which will immediately engage the reader. After the opening paragraph, provide a quick overview of the practice. This should speak briefly to the culture and nature of the practice. Open you’ve established the overview of the practice, address three essential elements of the job and following that provide three things that you are seeking in a qualified candidate. Once you’ve established those things, offer three key benefits of being part of your team and follow it with why they should apply to your practice and how to apply to the position. Provide a one-sentence conclusion that will leave the candidate looking to learn more. 

Knowing how to write the perfect veterinary job ad is an essential skill that will lead to the right candidate coming to your practice. It is worth the time, practice, and research to perfecting this ability--in the end, it will make your team and your practice stronger. Happy writing!

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