Writing a stellar resume is a challenge. As optometrists, we learn so much in school about how to treat eye diseases and diagnose ocular disease, but we fail to learn about the business side of optometry and how to apply for the optometry jobs for which we're training. Most schools don’t discuss proper ways of writing optometrist resumes. We are here to help you in this process.
Don’t make these mistakes:
- Don’t put a picture of yourself on the resume. When it comes to optometry, it’s not common. Pictures aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but it takes away from your accomplishments and most applicants don't do it.
- Don’t put old jobs on your resume unless they are optometry related. Most doctors don’t care if you worked at Pizza Hut, Trader Joe’s, or wherever you had a job in undergrad.
- Don’t describe yourself to be something you’re not. If you get an interview, you need to know your stuff. The doctor will see right through you if he asks something specific on your resume and you don’t remember.
- Don’t just put clinical experience down as "experience." With optometrist resumes, you can be more specific. "Experience" doesn’t detail the different clinics you have been in or show how proficient you are at that specific clinic.
Do include these items:
- Put your education and clinical experiences towards the top of the resume. Most realize you are just now graduating and haven’t had much work experience in the field other than at your externship and school.
- Put your externship sites with your clinical experience and detail what you did at each site. This gives a good idea of what the doctor expects you saw at those sites and what cases you participated in.
- Put the specific clinics that you were in and what you have done in those clinics. For example, if you had a contact lens clinic, describe the different fits you have done.
- Put the different groups that you were a part of in school and the groups you are going to be a part of upon graduation. I strongly encourage you to include state associations. Not only can state associations fight for your scope of optometry, but they can provide resources for potential job opportunities.
- Put jobs that are related to optometry on optometrist resumes! Most doctors know you are a new graduate and they know you probably didn’t work while going to optometry school. If you worked part-time make sure that it is on the top of the list on work history.
- Put an updated address, phone number and your personal email address (not your school email address). Having a personal email address makes you look more professional.
Get started with optometrist resumes
So how do you start writing a resume? There are a million different sites out there that can assist you in writing your resume and some folks even do it themselves.
One website that I have used in the past is VisualCV. This website offers free templates so that you can edit your resume and save it so you can return to it at anytime. Resume.com also offers free templates that you can edit and save at your leisure. Resumonk is an interesting website that uses your LinkedIn profile to compile the resume.
There are many options when it comes to building optometrist resumes—you just have to find the right fit for you!
Next, check out our guide on how to write an optometry cover letter!