How I Used My Connections to Land an Optometry Job

On September 18th 2014, the NewGradOptometry.com Executive Team held a round table discussion live at Vision Expo West. It was sponsored by Allergan OPTOMETRY JUMPSTART and the Vision Expo Young Professionals Club. Specifically, I talked about bringing medical optometry to a practice and how to land your dream optometry job. Landing your dream optometry job isn’t always easy. One of the steps is to always keep a list of your “network connections” in optometry. Personally, I stayed extremely close with my connections in school because as they say, “it’s who you know, not what you know.” [Tweet “It’s who you know not what you know!”] Here is the step-by-step process to keep track of your connections, both in and out of optometry school. This is a common tactic used in any sales position. You must keep track of all your potential clients in order to make sure you push them to make a purchasing decision. Without proper tracking, you can say goodbye to organization, professionalism and closing the deal. logo-blue-lgI used Trello to track my optometry job leads and it helped me land a position at Complete Family Vision Care in San Diego!

If you’re a new graduate, check out CovalentCareers.com. They help new graduates find practices that fit their lifestyle and coach them through salary negotiations etc. This is a must if you’re a student or new grad!

How to Network and Land Your Optometry Job

I began looking for a position at the beginning of optometry school, literally on day one. I had many opportunities, but one in particular I knew that I wanted. The position was back in my home town of Long Island, New York with a great guy, Dr. Joel Kestenbaum of Optix Family Eyecare. I nurtured the relationship and made sure it stayed strong. Dr. Matthew Geller and Dr. Eric White PhotoDuring the 6 months leading up to graduation, I realized I wanted to move to San Diego, California. This meant I needed to look for a new career opportunity and I only had 6 months to do it! I did not use any job board or job search engines. I used my network of friends and business partners to find my optometry job. However, if you do want to use a traditional job board, read this article. I spent an entire day gathering every single e-mail address of every friend and connection I made along the way. I put them all into Trello, an online organization platform. I then created a stock e-mail and sent it to every single connection I had. If they didn’t respond, I called. I waited for responses and then followed up with every single lead, making sure I left no stone unturned. Slowly but surely I found hiring ODs and called them all to make my pitch.  In the end, only one was a match. The moral of the story is you can use your network connections to help find your next optometry job, but you will have at least 15 – 20 leads and people you are talking with. You do not want to lose track of who is who and you must keep organized or risk losing the optometry career of a lifetime.

By the way, whether you are an optometry student, new graduate optometrist, or senior optometrist, you should see which optometry practices are looking to network and hire on CovalentCareers!

How to Organize Your Optometry Job Leads with Trello

  1. Use Trello to track your optometry jobs so things run more smoothly
  2. Log in to Trello & create a FREE account
  3. Create your lists to organize leads
  4. Enter your leads
  5. Start e-mailing your leads
  6. Call leads if necessary
  7. Send leads your CV / Resume
  8. Visit Practices
  9. Sign a Contract
  10. Start working

Video Tutorial of How I Use Trello

Here is The Stock E-mail to Send to Your Connections

You should modify your stock e-mail that fits your personality, but here is what I used.

Hi [insert name here],

How are you doing? [insert personal comment here to jog their memory, make it funny, fun and upbeat]

I am reaching out to you because I need some help finding a part time position in a [insert your ideal position type here (i.e.) private practice setting] in San Diego, California. [Insert why you want to practice there, add some emotion and passion to it – here is what I did]. Yup, even though I am a New York native and California is a saturated environment to practice optometry, I am 100% set on practicing there. I fell in love with the area when I did my rotation at Dr. Albert Chun’s practice during the winter. After being there for 3 months I knew I had to live there.

I was wondering if you personally knew, or had a connection with any ODs out in San Diego and perhaps through [insert relationship /company here]? I would be beyond grateful if you could introduce me to anyone in the area, whether they are hiring or not. I am confident that if I can just meet some ODs, then I can make the rest happen. I have so much to offer, not only clinically, but also in the area of practice development. I know that there must be at least one OD out there who is ready to take his or her practice to the next level. I just want the chance to share my story, my passion for optometry and more about how I can bring unique value to the table.

Looking forward to catching up. Thanks so much for helping me with this. Any advice or connections would be great.

All the best,

[your name]

p.s – [insert another personal comment]

Continue to next post – The Business Plan I Made to Land My First Optometry Job

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About Matt Geller

Matthew Geller
Dr. Matt Geller is a technology entrepreneur with a track record of developing successful online platforms to solve problems in the healthcare space. Matt is an optometrist in San Diego and is the founder of OptometryStudents.com, NewGradOptometry.com and the co-founder of CovalentCareers.com!

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