Where to find jobs
Finding the right job takes planning; know what you want personally, professionally for longevity, satisfaction
There are numerous places where available positions in veterinary medicinecan be found.
In most states and provinces in the United States and Canada, veterinarygraduates who are properly licensed are allowed, by law, to start theirown practices.
However, most new graduates choose to continue their education or findeither temporary or permanent employment in an existing practice or otherveterinary-related business as soon as possible after graduation.
The first place to start is with yourself. In order to find the positionright for you, one that will give you satisfaction on a personal and professionallevel, you need to honestly assess what you want, where you want to liveand what kind of work you really want to do. Asking yourself the followingquestions might be helpful:
· 1. What are the goals you have set for yourself that you puton your resume?
· 2. Are you interested in working for industry or government?
· 3. Where would you, and/or your family like to reside? Wouldyou prefer a rural, suburban or urban setting? This question should be veryhigh on your priority list.
· 4. If your desire is so-called traditional private clinicalpractice, what species of animal would you like to work with? Do you haveany special interests such as avian or exotic?
· 5. Do you have any interest in a practice that provides primarilyemergency and after-hours service?
· 6. Would you be most comfortable in a small one or two personpractice or a multi-doctor practice?
· 7. Are you aware of corporate groups such as Veterinary Centersof America (VCA) and Banfield that own multiple animal hospitals in theUnited States?
· 8. Are you anxious to become involved in the business aspectsof veterinary practice or would you rather "leave that up to someoneelse?"
· 9. What are your financial requirements? Before you start yourjob search make a budget for yourself and include what you will need tolive, pay taxes, payoff student debt and allow yourself a modicum amountfor yourself. I will discuss this in more detail later. I will also coverinternships, residencies and "non-traditional" practice opportunitiesin Your DVM Career in April.
Following is a partial list of sources for information concerning availablepositions.
· 1. Job search-related efforts, including placement centers,bulletin boards and job fairs, sponsored by your college.
· 2. Practices that you have been employed by before or duringveterinary school or during externship programs.
· 3. Word-of-mouth from other students, alumni and friends. Thiscan be a particularly good source if coming from a former employee of thepractice where you'd like to be employed.
· 4. The classified advertisements found bi-monthly in the Journalof the American Veterinary Medical Association. These advertisements areclassified by state as well as small animal, feline, equine, mixed animaland food animal. Other professional journals have classified ads as well.
· 5. The AVMA Veterinary Career Center, which is a computer-basedmatching service that can be found at www.AVMA.org or can be contacted bycalling the AVMA at (847) 925-8070, ext. 6683. This service is free forjob-seekers.
· 6. Block advertisements placed by the corporate veterinary groupsin professional journals, on bulletin boards or on Web sites that will directyou to a human resource department that will have information about allpositions available in that company throughout the U.S.
· 7. Web sites-many Web sites exist for job-seekers. The larger corporate veterinary groups maintain Web sites that have information onall available positions with that group. These are generally categorizedby state, type of practice and type of position and give details on howto obtain more information or apply. Three of the larger corporate groups,Banfield (www.banfield.net), VCA (www.vcai.com) and National PetCare Centers(www.nationalpet.com) maintain such Web sites.
· 8. Employment placement services that are private organizationsnormally get their funding from the prospective employer and do not chargethe job-seeker. These organizations can be readily found in most of theabove sources and do offer personalized job searches based on criteria givento them by the prospective employers and employees. These organizationsalso maintain Web sites listing job opportunities available through them.Two of these organizations are VetNet America (www.VetNetAmerica.com) andVetEssential (www.vetessential.com).
· 9. If you are interested in positions with the U.S. FederalGovernment, information concerning available positions, application proceduresand other information can be found at www.pueblo.gsa.gov/call or by calling(800) FED-INFO.
Hopefully, you've now compiled a list of several possible employers foryour first position. Depending on the instructions given in the ad or listing,you will contact the practice and ask if you may send them a copy of yourresume with cover letter. In some cases, that might be the primary instruction.You will, either on your first contact or in your cover letter, ask foran opportunity to visit the practice and schedule an interview. You havemade a big first step in finding the "perfect first job."
Dr. McCarthy is an internationally known author, speaker and teacherand currently serves St. Georges School of Veterinary Medicine as visitingprofessor of ethics and jurisprudence and special lecturer on practice management.