Article Date: 2/1/2010

How Would Your Resume Read If It Were Written By Your Staff?
o.d. to o.d.

How Would Your Resume Read If It Were Written By Your Staff?

One of the ways to view your accomplishments is to see them through the eyes of those who work for you each day.

BY WALTER D. WEST, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Chief Optometric Editor

Last week, I was completing a “Practice Manual” project to offer on my web site. After including the obligatory components regarding the office process, the process within it's component processes, and rafts of information on attendance, sick leave, vacation days, and dress code, I thought about those who might be guided by this manual, both employers and employees.

Any practice's operations depend on details best spelled out and customized for the individual office. And a system that includes a comprehensive manual works much better than those where the optometrist hopes that each employee will “just know” what's expected, appropriate and efficient, and then act accordingly. Sounds silly to even say it, but among practices in which I have consulted, many use the “just know” method — and it rarely works out well for anyone involved.

Lost along the way

I'm sure the guidelines were taught in the early days of the practice, but in many cases, somewhere along the way, the leader lost interest in teaching, and the values were sometimes passed along by the veteran employees who train those just coming aboard. Often, I see employees frustrated to the point of leaving one practice for another because of the lack of direction and leadership, lack of energy, and caring. It literally puts many a practice in the position of being successful in spite of its owner.

I then began to write the portion of the manual directed at the practitioner, the business owner. In this section of the practice manual, I included information and scripts on how to conduct an interview, how to use the resume of a potential employee to prompt you as the interviewer on what to ask, or say next.

Trading places

Then it hit me: The individuals seeking employment are considered based on their education, past and recent accomplishments, work ethic, punctuality, and resourcefulness, and attitude. I began to think about the resumes of the practice owners across the United States and Canada, and wondered what their resumes might look like.

Of course, these optometrists are educated professionals, with years of experience both clinically as well as in business. Their resumes would reflect these accomplishments. In addition, the resumes would show the lists of the associations and societies of which the optometrists are members. The good resumes would demonstrate that the optometrists have worked hard in their practices. They would tout the optometrists' leadership abilities, and point to the successes they've enjoyed.

Then, of course, they would document what an asset the optometrists would be to any organization lucky enough to have them as an employee.

What would employees say?

As I leaned back in my chair for a moment, a smile crossed may face. I began to wonder: What would their resumes look like if their staffs, being completely honest and objective, wrote it for them. Would they see the employer as a leader and innovator?

Would their appraisal of success be reported as glowingly as the practice owner might document it? And, better yet, if the employees felt the employer would be a great asset elsewhere, would it only be because it was elsewhere? OM



Optometric Management, Issue: February 2010