How To Write The Perfect Veterinary Job Ad
Given the generally recognized shortage of Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, and Vet Nurses globally, the task of reaching potential new team members in a way that compels them to apply has never been more critical. While focusing on adding skills and talent to your practice is essential, today, you must also “pitch” yourself and your practice to potential candidates and tell a captivating Story.
An effective job ad, or Job Campaign as we prefer to describe it, is not just a job description and a list of equipment. Today it must be a carefully crafted Story aimed at attracting and engaging with the best candidates for your job.
We developed our ideal Job Campaign structure based on a deep analysis of 1,000’s of Job Campaigns and what makes potential candidates click on an Apply Now button and what does not. We focused not purely on what content to include but also on the flow or the order of how that content, your job ad copy, should be structured. And so here is our step-by-step guide to creating the perfect Job Campaign…
First, let’s start with some Do’s and Don’ts…
- Do – Use language that is informal, warm, and friendly
- Do – Tell a story, not just about the job or the practice but about why your role is the ideal next career step for the candidate you are seeking
- Do – Talk about your team and how everyone works well together
- Do – Put yourself in the mind of your target applicant
- Do – Be short on itemized tasks – the right candidate knows what is needed – 4 or 5 is enough
- Do – Be long on what makes your practice unique and about what softer attributes you are seeking
- Do – Go on to the other major job boards, search for a similar role, and read the top 3 ads – then write something much, much better, or browse some of our Job Campaigns, and you will quickly grasp the styles that succeed
- Don’t – Tell everyone about all your equipment, no matter how proud you are. it’s not essential to this task, and candidates assume that you will provide the tools to do the job; if you do have an intergalactic travelling scanner, by all means, share that, but talk about what it will do for patients, not how many giga-things it has
- Don’t – Use Job Ad parlance or clichés such as “We are seeking…” (of course you are) or “The incumbent will…” (yes, we still see these from time to time)
- Don’t – Get too creative or quirky – it may stand out, and people will say “great ad” but responses from quality candidates are 25-50% less
- Don’t – Oversell the role – be transparent about your expectations
- Don’t – Publish a Job Description – a JD is not a Job Ad; an ad is there to sell, not be a list of tasks
- Don’t – Exaggerate – when a job sounds too good to be true, it generally is and will only attract applicants who are gullible, unrealistic and non-performers
Like all great consumer product ads, a Job Campaign is there to entice people to action, not do the entire pitch job. And a job ad is not some Harry Potter sorting hat either, so cast your net as wide as is sensible. What you really want to happen is for you to receive plenty of resumes to consider; having too many to choose from is a much better problem than having one…or in this candidate-short economy, potentially even none…so start telling a great Story.
Here is our outline of what the ideal Veterinary Job Ad, or Job Campaign as we call it, should look like based on analyzing hundreds of Job Campaigns and identifying the elements that deliver the best candidates…plus here is a Sample Job Campaign for you to follow along with…
A short, sharp, six-word max headline that should include a well-recognized job title – don’t get too clever as applicants, and Search Engines, are quick to discount odd terminology.
3 Key Bullet Points
These are the highlights aimed at engaging the “suspect” and turning them into a “prospect” and encouraging them to read on…
- One about the practice team and culture
- “Join our warm, welcoming, talented and highly collaborative team”
- One about the role that will engage with the best candidates
- “Let your passion for pets and best practice veterinary care shine every day”
- One about the appeal of the location, work-life balance, or lifestyle
- “Leadership closely attuned to work-life balance, in our ideal lifestyle location”
In two or three sentences, summarise the role, and why they should apply – often, it is best to write this last once you have the body of your ad composed – this is your punchy “sales” intro, so make it really appealing. You’ve got 3 seconds – these first couple of sentences are like the opening paragraph in a novel or the first scene in a new Netflix drama except WAY more important; you’ve got just 3 seconds to engage with each candidate, gain their trust, and encourage them to read on.
Tell your story. About you and your team, how great they are, and how well you all work together. A candidate is potentially looking at who they will be working with for the next few years, so this is a crucial element. Plus, an overview of your practice philosophy concerning quality veterinary medicine and a little history if it adds to your story. If you do have a brand spanking new piece of equipment, by all means, mention it but don’t spout a list, including the kitchen sink; after all, if you were adding a painter to your team, how much time would you spend telling them about the brushes and paint?
Team Member Quote
Nothing says “join us” more than a compelling quote from a current team member about how much they enjoy working in the practice. Apart from the actual nice things they say, including a team member quote lets potential candidates know that there is someone prepared to go on the record to reinforce what the rest of the ad is saying.
About This Role
Everybody knows what a Vet, Nurse, or Vet Tech does, right? Wrong. You need to specify four to six essential skills (and no more, just the highly relevant ones) that are particularly important to you and your hospital. This helps candidates understand your priorities within the wide range of abilities that are typical on a day-to-day basis and allows them to mentally tick off that their skills and strengths are a match, which creates engagement.
About You (we mean the candidate)
Building your culture is an essential foundation for your business, and it’s crucial to achieve harmony, balance, and diversity as well as focus on particular personality traits and attributes that reflect the culture you desire. Here, you want to list four or five of the “softer skills” you seek, such as empathy, compassion, leadership, or the ability to deal with adversity gracefully and professionally.
Nowadays, “where” is sometimes as important as “salary and benefits”, and people often can have preconceptions that you need to unwind. Two or three sentences about the locale or the region help applicants connect with your practice and the destination. Help them understand the advantages of working in your community and potentially moving there from a distance away – help them remove some of their subconscious misconceptions and see your location in the best light.
Yes, here comes the tricky bit. For various reasons, some competitive, some relating to existing team members, and some to do with history, practice owners, partners, and managers are very reluctant to publish job ads with indicative offers that state dollar amounts openly. We get that, but our test research has proven that Job Campaigns without at least a broad salary range eg, $50-60k or $120-150k, get half the number of clicks. In addition, many countries, states, and even cities are passing laws that require that a credible salary range must be included in any job advertisement.
You also need to state the rest of the benefits that you offer, even if you think it is obvious because, to many, it is not obvious. Salary, production bonus, sign-on bonus, medical/dental/vision, insurances, paid vacation, paid sick leave, maternity leave, continuing education, licensure, memberships, 401k co-contributions, or superannuation guarantees – you don’t have to offer all of these, but state openly what you are offering.
It’s Time To Apply
Add a short, sharp paragraph rephrasing and restating your opening pitch with a solid call to action, including the contact name of the person to apply to, and encouraging a preliminary phone call to chat about the role.
Ideally, you should include your practice name (so-called confidential or blind ads get meagre response rates, if any at all), your address, licensing requirements, email address for applications, and so on. And to top things off, make sure you have a sharp logo plus, you also need to tidy up your website and social media accounts, as these are the first places candidates will look when considering whether they should follow through and apply.
And then, have at least three people read it, preferably at least one not from the veterinary industry. Apart from grammar and spell-checking, you will get valuable feedback on the overall appeal of your value proposition.
A Job Ad is like an artificial fly to a trout fisherman – it is both pretty and functional – and like the fly is there to attract and the hook is there to capture, so it is with job ads for Vet, Vet Nurse, and Vet Technician candidates; your Job Ad is there to attract their attention and engage or hook them, it is then up to you to reel them in so make sure that you respond same day to every inquiry and acknowledge every application on the day you receive it.
“Can I be bothered going to such trouble? It’s just a Job Ad?” No, it isn’t.
You know that your team is the foundation of your business and more important than any other thing or task in your practice, from being a primary revenue driver to delivering best practices in Veterinary Medicine. Put in the effort to secure the very best candidates, and the time and effort will provide the best Return On Investment you will ever make.
Sample Veterinary Job Ad
You can find an example of the perfect Veterinary Job Ad here.
About Veterinary Jobs Marketplace…
We connect veterinary talent with the best veterinary jobs. Explore our Job Campaigns for GP Veterinarians, Emergency Vets, Veterinary Nurses, Technicians, and more, enriched with video insights. Find new team members using our unique Reach, Frequency, and Story strategy, now including One-to-One Outreach.