Tips for the Optician Job Seeker By Trudi Charest

Looking for a new job in today’s interesting economy and changing eye care industry can be challenging.  Employers and job seekers alike are still unsure where to post and search for job openings in the various channels available.  Be prepared to do your homework in order to maximize your job searching efforts.  Eye care job seekers tell us the most frustrating part of the job search is looking for all the eye care jobs.

Top Ten Tips for the Optician Job Seeker

Network Some of the best jobs are the ones that are never advertised.  So how do you find out about those jobs?  You network!  You talk to people you know in the industry.  If you currently unemployed and can talk about your job search then let everyone in eye care know you’re looking for a new opportunity.  This includes colleagues, teachers and sales representatives.

Take advantage of networking opportunities like Optician conferences and continuing education events.  Give out business cards to everyone you meet.  Sit next to people you don’t know at lunch and strike up conversations to find out where they work.  Ask people if they know of any openings in your area of interest.  Go to the trade show and visit every supplier booth.  Suppliers often know of job openings as they happen.

Get SocialThe job search is going social.  If you are not already on social media, this is your chance to jump in.  Getting social is similar to networking – your just doing it on the internet and social channels versus face to face.  It allows you to follow conversations, start conversations and respond quickly to opportunities that arise in your network.  It is also another way to let others know you are looking.  Check out these channels for social job seeking in eyecare:

Facebook–  Join Facebook. Set up a good cover photo timeline of yourself as employers may search your page to find out about you.  Then join industry groups on Facebook pages:

Twitter  Employers are starting to “Tweet” out a job posting.  Twitter is the number two social channel after Facebook and gaining ground as a business networking site.  Starting your own twitter following is a great way to build a network of industry friends and to follow eye care companies you might be interested in working for.  Twitter is open-ended – you can follow anyone and they can follow you back.  TwitJobSearch.com is a job search engine. Type in ‘Optician’ and see all the current results for job posted with that keyword.

LinkedIn LinkedIn has been called the “professional Facebook” forum and it is job search heaven.  Employers can search profiles by typing in keywords like “Optician” and the city and find profiles of active Opticians to whom they can message about job openings.  And you can type in your keywords – i.e. Optician – Toronto and current job postings on the internet will be listed.

Start SearchingStart your Optician job search by searching in the top niche eyecare job boards in Canada first:

Then search the internet by entering keywords into Google – www.google.ca.  Be specific – Optician – Markham or Eye care Jobs – Ontario.  Do a generic job search on, Simply Hired, Career Jet, Kijiji, Craigslist and more.  If you are not specific you may end up with US and UK job boards showing up in the top feed when searching. Search job postings on forums like OptiBoard at www.optiboard.com and some of the optical publications that still have job postings as well like Vision Magazine and Optical Prism.

Update your resumeA resume can make or break your chances to impress the employer enough to make the cut for an interview.  Old, outdated, unprofessional and sloppy resumes says something about what you will be like in person.  An updated resume says you are modern, articulate and prepared.  Use a modern template found online by searching resume templates or resume examples.  Check your grammar and spelling.  Look over your resume like an employer and say to yourself – would I want to interview this person based on this resume?  Make it stand out – list your strengths and your job objective.

Cover Letter-Cover letter’s are important….they are your introduction to the employer.  They offer information that highlights your main skills that make you relevant to the employer and job search.  Some employers only read the cover letter.  There are three things you want in your cover letter:

  • Introduce yourself
  1. State what position you are applying for and how you found the position
  2. Why you are qualified for the position and why you would be a good fit 

Interview Prep-Understand that the more you can be prepared the less nervous you will be.  Look up the most popular interview questions on the internet and practice answering them.  There will often be the standard questions:

  • Why did you apply for this job?
  • Why are you looking for a new opportunity?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What skills do you bring to this job?

Then get ready for the behaviour questions:

  • Tell us about a time when you…

Or situational questions:

  • What would you do in this situation?

This way you have a couple of examples related to the job on the top of your mind.

ResearchAlways be prepared…take the time to research the company and the position.  Know the history and mission of the organization if possible.  Always look up their website and review each page for insights into the office and its staff. 

Show Up On Time- Don’t under estimate the importance of being on time.  In fact be early – make an impression.  If someone is late for an interview it immediately says they are going to be late for work on a regular basis.  Current and past behaviour predicts future behavior.  Look up the address – Google map the location – use a GPS – drive by early and know exactly where the office or optical is.  Don’t leave it to chance and ensure you take traffic into consideration.  Just don’t be late!

Email Follow Up- Send the employer a short email thanking them for the interview and why you are the right choice for the job.  Here is an example:

“Thank you for the informative interview today.  After speaking with you today, I believe I would be a perfect candidate for this position given my experience and related skills.  In addition to my enthusiasm I would bring the technical and sales abilities you described to get the job done.  I am very interested in working for your organization and look forward to hearing from you soon.  Please feel free to contact me at any time if further information is needed.” 

References-You need a list of references who will speak to their previous work experience, skills and abilities.  Choose carefully from colleagues who will be articulate and available when called upon by an employer.  Call your references ahead of time so you are prepared and ready when an employer requests the references and their contact information.  Always inform your reference when a potential employer is about to contact them.  It gives them time to free up their schedule and to consider responses to the basic questions.

While the eye care job market is competitive there are lots of opportunities in every province.  Landing the eye care job you’ve been dreaming of might take a bit of effort and perseverance to ensure you are finding and applying for the right position.  Following the steps above will assist you in searching smarter and being a more effective job seeker.  Good luck and happy searching!

(Editor’s Note) Trudi Charest is the President of JOBS4ECP’s – Canada’s Eyecare Jobsite a Canadian job board dedicated to the eyecare industry.  Trudi is a Licensed Optician and a speaks extensively on HR, Practice Management and Motivation – Sales in eyecare across North America.  She can be reached at tcharest@jobs4ecps.ca

 

 




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