Tips on Finding Veterinary Locum Jobs
Finding veterinary jobs is not always easy, particularly if you restrict yourself to a specific location. There is a number of possible reasons why traveling is not an option for you, or at least not unless absolutely necessary. You may be married with children, for example, but apart from that here are a few tips on finding jobs as a veterinary locum.

First you will need a CV. Your Curriculum Vitae may be an essential part of your application, and you should assume that all potential employers will check it. It is wise to have a professionally prepared CV ready, whether you are currently seeking a permanent or locum veterinary position or may do so in the near future.

Prepare Your CV in Advance

Your CV should include the obvious personal details such as nationality and date of birth, and also your qualifications. Most surgeries will only be interested in professional qualifications and in making sure that you are registered with the RCVS. You should also include your veterinary experience, providing details of the surgeries with which you have worked, and the type of work you have carried out including the range of animals with you have had experience.

Any specific experience, such as equine, exotic animals, etc, should be included in your CV together with any specific techniques with which you are familiar. These could include surgical techniques, any research carried out, radiography and so on.

Also outline your situation regarding transport, accommodation and how you will be employed (e.g. as self-employed or as a limited company) and state if you have specific needs in these respects. State whether or not you have your own professional indemnity insurance or are personally insured for accidents in the workplace. All of this will show that you have put some thought into the job.

Your Covering Letter is Important

Your covering letter should explain why you feel suitable for the advertised post together with any specific reasons for applying for this particular job. For example, the surgery might be focusing on your main interest (small animals, farm animals, equine surgery and so on) or may even be situated in your area of the country. Perhaps you have a specific liking for locum work.

It is important that you are not too vague with your requirements; simple seeking a 'job as a locum' will not impress anybody. You should state your availability with respect to start and finish dates - be as flexible as you can and state your flexibility with respect to working hours.

The Interview

Be honest when being interviewed, but also be ready for any searching questions during the interview. If you are from overseas, be prepared to explain why you wish to work in the UK, and why particularly this part of the UK. If it is because this is the only areas where a job is available then say so.

Although you should have a CV ready when you apply for an advertised veterinary locum position, you should be prepared to change it according to questions asked of you during your first interview. If you are unsuccessful with your first application, try to determine why and correct the problem, if possible, for the next interview.

After the interview send a letter to the surgery, or the interviewer, thanking them for the opportunity of an interview, and also do the same if you have been informed that your application has not been successful. You never know - this politeness might impress, and you may be asked back the next time a vacancy arises.

Finding Locum vacancies

Before you reach the interview stage you have to find advertised posts. These tips apply whether you are a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse seeking locum work. Keep in mind that you will generally need at least two years experience in a surgery before anybody will employ you as a locum, and some ask for four or more. A locum has to be able to make their own decisions and even to run the surgery for a short time if necessary.

Here is where to find the adverts for veterinary locum posts:

1. Check the Professional Publications

A professional publication such as the weekly Veterinary Times or the fortnightly Veterinary Business Journal advertises veterinary jobs, including permanent and locum positions. Any veterinary nurse or surgeon seeking a veterinary locum position should be able to find potential jobs offered in one of these publications or others like them.

2. Try the BVA

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) advertises vacancies for locum veterinary surgeons or veterinary nurses online from its Employment and Recruitment section, and also in its publication, the Veterinary Record. The BVA is easy to join for those registered with the RCVS or studying for a qualification entitling them RCVS registration.

3. Online Veterinary Recruitment Agencies

You may find online veterinary recruitment agencies a rich source of jobs for locum vets and locum vet nurses. They all advertise online, and if you find the right one offering the right jobs for you, you might find that you even have a choice of suitable veterinary locum positions. Some agencies will offer to pay you themselves, and while you do not pay them they will charge the surgery, who might then be offering you a lower salary. So make sure you compare the salary offered against the average rate prior to registering with such agencies.

Others simply act as a buffer between you and the potential employer, and many believe this is the best type of agency to use. With this type of agency, the employer will pay for the advert and once you and the potential employer are introduced the rest is up to you. You can negotiate your own remuneration.

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