How to Advertise Yourself for a Veterinary Surgeon or Locum Job in the UK
If you are seeking a veterinary surgeon or locum job in the UK, it is wise to advertise yourself in addition to checking out the adverts for veterinary positions online or in professional journals and other publications. This is particularly the case if you are currently living abroad and wish to come to the UK to work.

Perhaps you’re an expatriate who has been working as a veterinary surgeon or nurse overseas and want to return to your homeland to work until retirement, or maybe you have qualified in your own country and prefer to seek work in the UK after spending some time gaining experience in your own country.

You might want to come to the UK to work as a veterinary locum or full time vet, or perhaps you are already a UK permanent resident and are seeking employment as a new graduate or as an experienced veterinary surgeon. What are your options, and how do you advertise yourself in a way that improves your employment chances.

Your CV

First you require a well written Curriculum Vitae (CV). A CV is like a resume, but is more detailed with emphasis on your veterinary qualifications and any previous veterinary work. Your CV should consist of at least the following sections:

Your Personal Details
Your full name, current address and date of birth are essential, and you should also include whether or not you are married and the ages of any children you have. Each of these has a reason, for example marriage and children could indicate a degree of stability that a future employer may be looking for. Do you have a visa or a driving license? If so, say so.

Your Qualifications
A potential employer is more interested in your professional qualifications, so while brief details of secondary education such as A-levels or equivalents can be included, your veterinary qualifications will be of more interest. Any degrees and postgraduate qualifications will be important, and any professional awards or further studies will also help you.

Your Previous Employment
Details of your previous employment as a vet are essential, beginning with the most recent. It is OK if you have only recently qualified, but you would need at the very least 2 years experience if you are seeking employment as a locum vet or local veterinary nurse. Detail any specific procedures you have been involved in, any specialities (e.g. equine work, radiography, etc) and any responsibilities you have been given.

Covering Letter

You should then write a covering letter to go with any job application you make. Include in that:

  • Why you want the job
  • When you are available for employment

Plus, if the job is for a locum vet vacancy:

  • Any working hours restrictions you have (e.g. can you work only day hours)
  • How you have to be paid - are you self-employed, a limited company, etc
  • Whether or not you have professional liability insurance
  • Your accommodation situation
  • Your travel situation - do you have a long way to travel to the surgery?
  • Have you carried out any voluntary work while waiting for a paid position?

Advertise Yourself

Then you are ready to advertise yourself as being available for employment. You should initially register with one or more online veterinary employment agencies, for which you will need copies of your visa if you are not a British national or your identity card if you are from the EU. These will have to be scanned and sent to the agency, along with whether or not you hold a driving license.

When a position becomes available that suits your needs the agency will inform you and you can make an application. You can also advertise in professional publications that you are available for employment.

If you are a veterinary nurse, the BNA runs an employment register that is free for members to use, so if you are not yet a member you should join. You should also telephone veterinary surgeries in your area asking if they have any nursing vacancies available. If you have no luck immediately, you could offer your services to a local veterinary surgery free of charge.

Doing that will make it easier for you to get a job as a veterinary nurse in the future when one becomes available. It is normally more difficult for veterinary surgeons to offer their services free, but if you have just newly qualified, then that is a possibility for you. Whether you are a qualified veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse, you could also offer your services as a volunteer to a local animal rescue centre or animal shelter.

This type of voluntary work will stand you in good stead when a vacancy does arise, and you can include it in your CV and /or covering letter with your application. This is not easy if you are currently overseas, but even then some voluntary work in your own country would look good on your CV.

By taking the above steps to advertise yourself as a veterinary surgeon or for veterinary locum work you will improve the likelihood of you being accepted for work when any vacancies become available. Having a good CV ready to post along with a covering letter showing your potential employer that you put a great deal of thought into your application will always be of benefit.

Advertising yourself by registering with online veterinary employment agencies will help, as will carrying out voluntary work until you finally get that permanent or locum veterinary job that you have set your heart on. These factors all apply whether you are currently abroad and want to work in the UK, or are a British national seeking work close to your home. Show you are keen and resourceful, and success will follow.

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