The Virtual Future of Veterinary Nursing Careers

In this day and age, social networking at our fingertips - does that mean your next career move is too?

Whether you’re looking for a new role in a new practice, wanting to venture into other industry related businesses, or even if you are happy in your current job, creating and maintaining an effective digital profile means you won’t let any exciting opportunities slip by!

The daunting task of job hunting used to involve flicking through newsletters or clicking through recruitment sites, preparing and updating a CV, applying for roles and then going through the interview process. But now in this progessive world, imagine an employer or recruiter reaching out to you? What if they could see your up-to-date achievements and strengths, and what if they could contact you directly to offer you a role they think you’re suitable for?

By using social media and networking, employers now have an opportunity to get a more three-dimensional view of who you are when applying for a role. So make it count - you are your own brand! Let’s take a look at how a digital profile lets you showcase your talent.

Free Online Event

The BVNA is proud to host a webinar on how to create a professional digital profile to help you take control of your career.

“The Virtual Future of Veterinary Nursing Careers” online event takes place on Wednesday, 1st of July at 7pm and you can register for free here.

It will cover:

●     How to set up a LinkedIn profile and maximise it for yourself

●     Learning how to be heard and seen in a virtual world

●     Discovering how to create opportunities for yourself

●     Exploring how to balance your own opportunities against loyalty to those who have given you chances

Our speaker, Dr Ben Sweeny, is a veterinary surgeon who is fueling a recruitment revolution through his agency “Simply Locums”. BVNA Vice President Wendy Nevins joins us too.

Linkedin

Linkedin is like a professional Facebook. There are profiles to view for both people and businesses; connections can be made, post can be shared and commented on, and there is a newsfeed to scroll through.

Your Linkedin profile is a modern-day CV and recruiters (whether they’re an agency or part of HR in a practice) will see your name, current job title and workplace, a summary about yourself, as well as your experience and where you have worked before.

Most recruiters use Linkedin to canvas CVs and stay ahead of the hiring-game by finding the best candidates for their customers.

Your profile:

●     Profile Picture - this should be a professional looking headshot. You want to look approachable too, so smile! Avoid selfies and cropped group photos. You can even have a colleague take one of you in your scrubs with your stethoscope.

●     About - this is where first impressions count, and you’re allowed to brag! Here you can briefly describe your success and progression in the industry, your career highlights, what your passions are, and what you are working towards professionally.

●     Featured - here you can share a few links and documents of things you have written or presented, or even photos of some work you have done. It's a visual showcase.

●     Background - this is similar to a CV where previous employment is listed and the tasks undertaken. You can use your previous job descriptions to help with the wording. This is also where you can list where you’ve studied and volunteered. There are often alumni pages for educational centers and it may help to open up your connections to people you previously studied with.

●     Skills and Endorsements - in this section you list the skills you have, and colleagues or those who have worked with you previously can endorse these. Think of them as your referees on your CV, they are vouching for you! Skills could include; anaesthesia, surgical nursing, customer service.

●     Accomplishments - this is similar to the featured section, but this lists everything you have achieved. It might be publications you have, projects you’ve worked on, any awards you have received, and even the languages you speak. In this section, use a lot of keywords to make your profile appear in the top of searches; veterinary, nurse, RVN, SVN, RCVS, animal, pet, vet

●     Permalink - this is changing the website link from a series of default numbers, to something tidier and memorable e.g. www.linkedin.com/yournameRVN

Many veterinary practices and businesses have a Linkedin page that you can follow. You can see their latest news and updates (new CT machine, maybe?), postings of new roles, and they may share some staff achievements or publications. It means you can start connecting by liking their posts, commenting on it, or sending a private message.

It’s not just about making contact with businesses too. Other organisations and charities use Linkedin to generate interest on what they stand for, and when you follow them it can show others what is important to you too.

Facebook and Instagram

These platforms are usually used as a private and personal platform, as well as businesses or organisations.

You can use it to join and follow veterinary groups and pages, and to make comments and share posts, which helps break the ice to start conversations - if there is a particular place you want to work, follow them on Facebook and engage them through commenting on their posts or send them a private message.

Although it is a personal platform where you can share things with your friends and family, there are some drawbacks which may include inappropriate posts on personal issues or professional information which can be seen by potential employers if the privacy settings are public. The RCVS also have social media guidance on what is appropriate to post, which can be read here.

To see what is public on your Facebook profile, go to your profile page and click the ‘eyeball’, or the ‘view as’ button and select ‘public’. If there are any posts you would like to restrict from the public setting, then click the ‘world’ icon and select ‘friends only’. If you want to make all previous posts private (friends only) then go to the Facebook Settings and Privacy tab > Privacy Shortcuts > See More Privacy Settings > Under ‘Your Activity’ selected ‘Limit Past Posts”.

On Instagram, simply go to the settings tab, click privacy and change your profile to private.

Twitter

On Twitter, you can share an informal side of your professional personality by tweeting and retweeting opinions and posts about your interests and passion within the veterinary industry.

You can also learn about an employer’s culture and values! They may share some non-veterinary posts like them making their tea-room a 100% recyclable zone, and this may align with your personal ethos too.

With Twitter, you can also follow hashtags that are important to you, which can open up new businesses or organisations to follow.

So where to start on this new modern-day adventure?

Start by doing a ‘spring clean’ and googling yourself.

The internet can be a big archive box for everything you’ve ever uploaded, commented on or liked. Click through a few search pages to see if there is any content you don’t want future employers to see (like commenting on a forum with bad language about a parking ticket issued a few years ago!). You’ll be able to see what's lurking in the background and still shows up when you are searched, and then you can work through the sites to delete or hide them.

Then secondly, register for our webinar here to get started on your digital future.

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