Tips on Getting a Vet Assistant Job
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal care and service workers have better than average employment prospects through 2016 due to an increasing pet population. This prediction is supported by data from The Los Angeles Times, which shows the number of cats and dogs as pets increase by 2.4% in 2009 to reach 169 million. However, the long-term effects of the recession may temper that outlook somewhat so it’s important for a veterinary assistant to set him or herself apart from the field in order to gain employment. The following tips can help job seekers land animal careers in a competitive market.
You can obtain certification through a combination of theoretical knowledge and real work experience. There are many veterinary assistant schools that offer certifications, like Animal Behavior College, but beware that not all of them marry an academic knowledge base with practical hands-on training like ABC does. When it comes down to two certified candidates, one who claims to know how to dress a wound, but has never done it and one who can whip out the gauze and get to work, guess who’s going to get the job?
In addition to attending a veterinary assistant school, volunteering at a local animal shelter or clinic can be a great way to bulk up a resume that’s light on direct experience. Although the position may lack glamour initially, volunteers have opportunities to observe, practice their skills, learn and possibly even parlay their volunteer work into a full-time vet assistant position.
Network in Person
Network. By some career experts’ estimates, only 15% to 20% of all available jobs are publicly advertised. This means that the majority of job openings are filled by internal promotions, transfers, word-of-mouth, recommendations, etc. To tap into this market, job seekers must network with as many professionals in their field as possible. Options for networking include attending veterinary conferences or joining a professional organization, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or the Student AVMA as well as other informal venues.
Leverage social media. As with face-to-face networking, networking online can have intangible, but real benefits. With tools, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, job seekers can use their online presences to land positions. Although a social media-savvy job seeker may or may not meet his or her new employer online, it is possible to meet people who can recommend opportunities and provide advice.
If you’re serious about a career as a veterinary assistant, sign up for Animal Behavior College today.