Social Media Now A Key Driver For Your Veterinary Career
Sometimes changing jobs is inevitable.
There are a myriad of reasons – your partner may have secured an opportunity of a lifetime elsewhere, you may need to move a little closer to family as they need extra care or you decide that now is the time to step up, move ahead in your career and changing jobs is the most viable option.
So, having made the big decision, it’s now time to start working on your Social Media Veterinary Career Strategy.
Yes, because today it’s not just about a paper resume, employers have the opportunity to gain a richer, deeper, three-dimensional view of candidates via Social Media. And you have the chance to really stand out for that perfect job if you apply some street-smarts and a little Social Media magic. You need to market yourself across multiple media platforms to attract the attention of the very best potential employers in this industry, and to secure that dream Veterinary career opportunity.
And the best place to start is by creating a professional Social Media profile to boost your chances of securing that ideal job.
According to one Statista report, 40% of employers consider Social Media and Online Professional networks as critical sources of top talent, and a rapidly growing 55% will perform some form of online research into your background and digital presence, Before and After your interview.
Time For Some Digital Spring Cleaning
Step 1 is to Google yourself and see what comes up, not just on the first page of the search results – go two or three pages deep. For most of us the findings are pretty lean and normal, but occasionally things turn up that you may not be too proud of. No matter how justifiable at the time, that Twitter rant or that daring costume party pic is likely to tarnish your prospects. Switch your profiles to maximum Privacy and if there is anything untoward, asking nicely for it to be taken down is always a great first step, and surprisingly successful.
Choosing the Right Platform for You
There are a wide range of Social Media options, and you need to select a scale of presence that you can comfortably manage day to day while harnessing its features to the fullest. It is often best to settle on just one networking site if your hands are full.
By far the three key Social Media platforms for career development and professional visibility are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – each one for quite different reasons – but these are the optimum combination. And regardless of your current work situation, you should make a diary note to check these every quarter and keep them current – you never know when someone with a great opportunity may be browsing your Profile.
With 600+ million users today, this is the go-to platform for managing your career profile, so take some time to get this right.
Write a 3-5 paragraph summary about your strongest personality traits and professional skills as relevant to the job you seek. Give specifics about your expertise, experience and achievements including the type of animals you’ve cared for in the past, as well as your preference in the future.
Here are some useful LinkedIn features for your optimization:
- Headline: This is your value proposition – what you stand for. Express you strengths as well as empathy for your fellow team members, clients and their pets.
- Permalink: Get a custom link (URL) to your LinkedIn profile. Change the default numbers and letters to the right of the last forward slash in the URL to something like http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourofficialname. This will allow you to share the link in highly useful ways, including adding it to your online resume, job application email signature, or business card – it shows you are social savvy
- Endorsements: These are great for building a reputation. Fellow Veterinary Professionals that like your expertise or have experience working with you can provide credible skills and talent endorsements. You can request endorsements and you can endorse your peers too!
- Authorship: If you’re a capable writer, showcase your experience and expertise by writing and publishing relevant content on your LinkedIn profile. Consider tackling exciting and informative topics, for example, Veterinary Care Technology like telemedicine, or chronic complications in animals, such as hepatitis in cows or hypothyroidism in dogs. Write about the skills and abilities needed to be a great Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Technician.
Facebook is a great place to share what’s happening or blow off steam (be careful, employers are watching), but it can also be where you discover your next job opportunity. Here are some handy ways to maximise the potential of Facebook for your career development:
- Research opportunities: Use Facebook’s search bar and find prospective employers of interest. Many employers are increasingly advertising positions on Social Media, and you can follow or like their official pages to stay up-to-date on the latest employment opportunities.
- Join Veterinary groups: Increase your chances of getting noticed by joining Veterinary groups on Facebook. Be sure to understand their membership terms and conditions to avoid being kicked out for over-promoting your resume or over-soliciting work. Grow your popularity in the communities you join by commenting and providing helpful responses to some of the issues other members raise or by starting engaging threads of your own.
- Contact potential employers: Initiate engagement with potential employers via Private Messaging. If you wish to join a Veterinary Hospital that you discovered on Facebook, for example, introduce yourself and politely ask if you may send your CV – ask first, then send as this helps start a conversation online
- Contact acquaintances that work for potential employers: You may Private Message current employees that you know about job openings, working conditions, remuneration, etc.
- Share captivating content: Keep your friends, followers, and fellow group members engaged by sharing interesting or trending content, including multimedia.
- Ask friends and university alumni: Your Facebook (and LinkedIn) friends and former Veterinary School classmates who are working for potential employers may be able to point you in the right direction, or even arrange an introduction.
Many employers are actively engaging their own followers on Twitter, and you too can use the platform to conduct research about them. On Twitter, you can learn a lot about a potential employer’s culture and values based on their tweets and re-tweets. You can use that information to design responses to possible interview questions.
Practical Twitter strategies include:
- Knowing what you’re talking about: Sound like a Veterinary industry expert in your Tweets and share case studies or surgical examples
- Share the occasional puppy pic or team bonding moment which helps potential recruiters or employers see your team skills and leadership strengths
- Leveraging #hashtags: Use hashtags, such as #vetlife or #veterinaryjobs, to find job listings as well as professional advice. You can also build professional connections by following Twitter pages and profiles
- Engaging employers: Start by following current employees of a Vet practice you wish to join. Next, exchange a tweet or two, to showcase your skills and experience. Once you have built up some rapport, you may then request the employees to introduce or refer you to the people responsible for hiring
Social Media is fast becoming the Primary place to network with employers, recruiters and your Veterinary professional peers while showcasing your talents in relation to new jobs or career growth opportunities in the Veterinary industry. It’s time to harness the power of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to boost your Veterinary employment prospects. Start today!
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