How to build your brand and your CV

building your brand
BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey revealed that the majority of practices who had recently tried to recruit struggled to find suitable candidates. It has become increasingly important to promote yourself in the right way if you want to get the right job.

What does an employer want?

Alison Lambert, the owner of Onswitch, asked a range of practices what they look for in their potential employees and found that clinical skills are only a small part of what they highly value. They frequently mention words like compassion, personable, empathy and team skills – your CV is the first step towards building this brand narrative of yourself and who you are as a person.

Building your brand through your CV

Your CV is your tool to build your brand, with the ultimate goal of achieving your next career step. Your CV should be specific to your personal brand narrative, targeted at your specific field and addressing the needs of the potential employer. For full tips and guidance on preparing a veterinary CV, please click here. 

Here are some top tips for building your CV:

  • 1 page is preferable, but 2 is also okay if you require space to demonstrate how you fit the job description
  • It should be easy to scan and include only the top lines of your career to date
  • Free from spelling and grammar mistakes
  • The print quality should be good and easy to read
  • The font should be professional and use word processing software to ensure the visual impact is proficient

See our in-depth checklist to use when building your CV

Application letters – expanding on your brand

Your application covering letter is an important marketing tool which highlights your most attractive qualifications to potential employers and leads the employer to your CV. Consider the reader and how exactly you want to represent yourself.

BVA’s job hunting guide lists the principles of good letter writing as:

  • Personalisation
  • Use your most significant accomplishments or abilities
  • Be polite, formal and positive
  • Be specific
  • Avoid using jargon
  • Check your spelling
  • Never misrepresent yourself

Next steps: Interviews

Once you’ve made it to the interview stage, you need to prepare your personal brand – think about who is interviewing you, what position are they in, what might they ask? This is your chance to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and show you are the right fit for their practice. Read our 6 top tips to help you prepare for your next interview.

If you are a new graduate, you need to be fully prepared for what to expect in your first post-graduation interview.

Creating the right image

Deciding what to wear for the interview will depend on what sort of work you will be doing. Decide what to wear and get your clothes ready the day before. You don't have to buy a new outfit. Aim for a neat, clean and tidy appearance; if you look good it will help you feel good.

Try to arrive early, and remember that conversations in unguarded moments may be very revealing for both you and the potential employer.

So where do I find the right job for me?

Vet Record Careers is a job site dedicated to listing the latest job vacancies for veterinarians. The site features a wide variety of roles, covering all sectors and specialties, including companion animal, equine, farm animal, academic and industry vacancies. You can sign up for job alerts so that you’re the first to hear about the latest vet job vacancies. Alternatively, you can create a job seeker profile so that recruiters can contact you directly.

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