Marketing Yourself

How to promote yourself as a new doctor of optometry

The first step in the pursuit of your first position should be taken long before graduating optometry school. Below are suggestions provided by the AOA to help you market yourself in an appropriate and professional way.

Before you can market yourself to practicing optometrists or other potential employers, identify exactly what you have to offer. A complete and accurate self-appraisal will help you develop your resume and more effectively present yourself. Think about your clinical skills, your interpersonal skills and your ability as a planner, leader, organizer and decision maker. Then apply this list to your resume, cover letter and in-person interview.

How to secure a job as a new optometrist by marketing your skills to optometry practices

Resume—Your optometric resume components should include your basic personal information, highlights of qualifications, education, work experience, activities like community or philanthropic service, professional affiliations such as AOSA/AOA, honors and awards and references. Take a second to view a sample resume.

Contacts and networking—Make a list of family members, friends, instructors, professional acquaintances and anyone else you know who might help you. Let all these people know what kind of opportunities you are seeking.

Cover letter—Your cover letter will accompany your resume when you send it to colleagues and potential employers. Keep the letter concise, simple and direct, and no longer than one page. Take a second to view a sample cover letter.

Interviewing—An interview with a potential employer is probably the most critical step. You must demonstrate in a short amount of time what kind of person you are–how you communicate and what you know. Make sure you’ve read up about the practice, are dressed appropriately and have prepared to carry the interview with questions of your own. You can also expect many open-ended questions.

Follow-up letter—Sending a follow-up letter or professional thank you note promptly after the interview demonstrates your professionalism, your attention to business etiquette and your interest in the position. If you haven’t heard from the interviewer within two weeks, you might try another follow-up. A persistent yet considerate effort on your part will demonstrate your sincerity and follow-through.

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