Get Hire Ready in 2021 by starting today

Today we’re going to look at how you can get hire ready in 2021.

This episode is for you if:

  1. you think it’s about time you had a pay rise and you’re planning on asking for one; or
  2. you think it’s about time you changed employers – it doesn’t matter why – what’s important is the thought is going through your mind; or
  3. you think it’s about time you had some more work life balance, so you’re going to become a locum veterinarian; or
  4. you’re after work-life balance and are going to start looking for part time jobs.

So stay tuned, because we’re going to look at xx things you can start putting into place so put you in a far stronger prospective candidate position than you are right now.

In today’s show we’re going to look at your CV and Linkedin. 

One is the online & public version of your career to date and the other is the private version.

Both are, I believe, important and critical to getting you promoted and/or your next job and/or helping you move from a permanent employee to that of contractor or casual employee.

If you’re listening to this and thinking you don’t “do” LI, I’m asking you to have an open mind.  I can understand people who don’t “do” FB, but professionally, LI is different.

The only similarity between LI & FB is they’re both digital platforms … digital spaces … after that they go off at different angles.

First up – a CV is obvious – I hope!

It’s a summary of your professional experience.  Something you give to a prospective employer which you hope will help you stand head and shoulders above all other job applicants.

Now, let’s look at LI and why you’d want to either spend time updating your LI profile or creating one in the first place.

The primary one I’d like you to keep in mind is that a prospective employer – or recruitment consultant like me – will Google you.  As soon as you show up on our radar – perhaps you’ve applied for a position we’re recruiting for – OR your name has been provided as someone’s referee – we’re checking you out.

We want to know that you’re for real. 

Which I know doesn’t really “prove” anything – what with the preponderance of fake accounts and fake news, but ….

So.  Just like you Google and check out a prospective clinic to see what they’re like before you apply to work for them, so too do prospective employers check YOU out online.

And LI is one of the places they go because it’s one of the first results that show up when you type someone’s name into Google.

Even if you don’t consider LI relevant to you, it is VERY relevant when a prospective employer Googles you.

Now, if or because, you’re going to be in the market for a job, it makes sense to me – well, I think it does – to take advantage of the opportunity LI gives you to look great professionally, online.

If your career is important to you – and I’m presuming it is given you’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in your education and training – then taking just a few hours over the next few weeks to polish your own halo, will be time very well worth spent.

I’ll tell you why LI is important to me and other recruitment agencies – it’s pretty much the first place we go to, to check out a new candidate.   

Another reason to have an up to date LI profile is because it’ll help you stand head and shoulders above your veterinary colleagues, who could be your “competition” when you’re job hunting. 

This is Julie South and in this episode of Paws Claws & Wet Noses I’m going to share some tips, pointers, and LI nuggets to help you polish your own halo without breaking out into a sweat.

Let’s start – here are XX different bits of your LI profile to make sure are correct, current and relevant to where you’re at in your career right now:

#1 – your profile photo

Please make sure it’s professional.  It’s okay for it to be of you in scrubs working, but it must be relatively close up.  The object of the game is to show your face.  So long distance photos are out.  

Please, if you have a current LI profile and it’s you at your capping ceremony, or even, heaven forbid, your wedding ceremony – swap it for a head and shoulders more relaxed but still professional photo.  

And while we’re talking of personal photos – please – make sure the photo you’re using hasn’t had anyone cropped out of it.  It’s meant to be PROFESSIONAL – beheading someone isn’t exactly professional.

#2 – make sure all your contact details are correct

If you still have a varsity email address, it’s probably time to drop that and get your own one.  The best email professional email addresses are variations of your proper name:  for example, firstname.lastname or firstname underscore lastname. 

If you’ve already got a personal email address, but it’s one you’re still using from when you and your besties had fun creating crazy email addresses for each other, maybe that’s not the best address either – babemagnet@gmail or alwayslate@outlook probably doesn’t give the professional first impression you want to create.

On your LI profile name your email address and phone number easy for people to find if they’re prepared, and know where, to look.  You can include your contact details on LI without getting bombarded by all and sundry wanting you to join their multi level marketing business.

Make sure all the personal contact details used are your personal details, not those of your clinic. 

#3 – create a personalised Linkedin URL

Believe it or not you can personalise your LI URL.  This means your LI link can have your name in it – or a variation of it – rather than the alphanumeric squillion character long generic URL.

It’s a bit buried and not as easy to find as it used to be – so here’s how you find it as at December 2020:

Make sure you’re looking at your LI profile – to double check you’re in the right place, in the browser, the URL will read something like: combi that is uniquely you.

To the right of how many connections you have, will be “Contact Info” – click on that – it’ll be in blue and is a hot link.

A new little pop up window will open.

The first line under CONTACT INFO is Your Profile – click the little pencil icon on the right hand side – a new pop up window will open.

The first line is PROFILE URL with a little blue square with an arrow through it – click on that – it’s another hotlink and will open in a new window.

Now you’ve got a full screen window with lots of information on it.

On the right hand side is a box EDIT YOUR CUSTOM URL with a little pencil icon next to your current URL.

Click on that pencil.  The suffix of your LI URL will open.  There are rules about what your custom URL can contain.  For example, it must be between 3-100 letters or numbers and exclude symbols, spaces or special characters.

When I created my custom URL there were already 32 Julie Souths on LI so LI suggested “julie south 32”.  I opted to use my company name in my URL. 

My Linkedin URL is

If you have an unusual name – where there won’t be 32 others with the same name, I recommend you claim your name. 

If there’s already someone who’s claimed your name, then try putting in your middle initial. 

Or your name + occupation – eg, veterinarian or veterinary nurse or vet nurse – you want it to be easy to remember without being “smart” or naff.

This is just another way to position yourself as being a bit more tech-savvy than your peers.

#4 – your professional title or label

It’s tempting to have a smart title or label.  But please, call yourself what you would expect your prospective employer to call you.  If you’re a veterinarian then use veterinarian.  Most of your colleagues probably wouldn’t call you an animal doctor. 

It’s okay to add in your veterinary discipline or specialisation – for example, companion animal, equine, exotic or wildlife. 

#5 – make sure all the info on your Linkedin profile matches that of your CV

A recruiter will check that everything lines up.

An HR or Practice Manager who’s ontoit will also check that the dates, positions, experience all line up and are in synch.

Eyebrows will be raised if there are any discrepancies. 

We’ve just looked at 5 different things to check out on your LI profile.

Now we’re going to look at your CV – some of these things apply to your LI profile – like some of the LI profile updates are relevant to your CV, but let’s drill down a bit more than the generic.

First up – please make sure that your contact details are actually on your CV and that they’re OBVIOUS.  You’d be surprised at how many CVs have the look of being scribbled onto a piece of A4 and adding in contact details is an afterthought.

My recommendation is that your name + email address + cellphone number are in the footer of each page. 


#6 – correct grammar and punctuation

Even if English wasn’t your favourite subject at school, and you can never remember what the rules are with apostrophes, there’s no excuse for bad grammar with all the English apps available on the market today. 

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by having a LI profile (or CV) that looks like it’s been written by a 10 year old. 

If you don’t want to pay for a grammar app, then ask someone to proof read it you know is anal about English grammar.  It’ll be worth it.

#7 – highlight & emphasise the impact you’ve made in your current position

For example, have you mentored new grads?  If so, how many over what period? 

Do you run your clinic’s social media campaigns?  What results have you got?

This could include in-house events / progs you’ve implemented and/or managed.  Eg, puppy classes.

#8 – list your SKILLS separately

It’s best to match the skills you list on your CV and LI match those of the specific position you’re applying for.

Here’s an insider piece of info – some agencies use what’s called ATS – “Applicant Tracking System” software.  It’s a recruitment prog that allows bots to weave their way through your CV looking for “key words”. 

These key words will usually be the skills and qualifications the clinic is specifically looking for.

Here at VetStaff, the CRM prog we use has that functionality, but I don’t use it.  I prefer to personally read each CV from front to back that comes across my desk. 

However, if the clinic you’re applying to uses an ATS making sure your skills match the job advertisement is critical to getting shortlisted.  This is because it’s unlikely a real live person will have any say-so over your CV being short listed if it hasn’t had a beady-eyed bot scan it first.

#9 – customise your CV and cover letter to each application you make

Because you want your CV to stand out, it’s important the recipient knows you’ve taken some effort to tailor make your application to suit their clinic.

Avoid the dear sir/madam salutation – there’s no excuse in today’s digital world where you can’t find out the name of the person who’s likely reading your CV.  Even if you have to make a phone call to find out, do it!  They’ll be impressed – especially if the email address was something very generic like apply@