How to Communicate Through your Job Search

You’re getting to the end of your training, or you’ve been in the same place for a while, and you’re ready for a change. Either way, it’s time to take the leap—you’re starting to look for jobs. You excitedly pore over the possibilities, and decide your “must-haves” and “should haves” for a new position. Finally, you’ve done it; you’ve submitted your resume/CV to a group of potential employers you can see yourself joining in the future!

And now it’s time to wait…

Do you know what will make this wait time a lot shorter and more bearable? If you know that your potential employers have a reliable way to reach you! Sounds like common sense, right? There are a few details we often forget to consider when actively applying for jobs. Run through the five-point checklist below to make sure you’re able to be reached when the perfect opportunity comes along!

  1. Make sure your voicemail is set up and sounds professional.

Remember when you got a new cell phone and were in such a hurry to use it that you figured you’d set up your voicemail later? Now’s the time! No one likes to hear an automated voice say, “I’m sorry but the person you called has a voice mailbox that has not been set up yet. Goodbye!” Make sure to record a personalized, professional message that states your name and/or number, so potential employers are confident the message will get directly to you, the applicant they are eager to speak with! This is a quick and effortless way to sound polished and professional without even speaking to a hiring authority. Side note: once you’ve set up your voicemail, make sure you actually listen to your messages—they may be important job calls!

  1. Clear your cell phone’s voice mailbox and your email address.

Do you know what else no one likes to hear after the phone stops ringing? An automated voice says, “I’m sorry, but the mailbox is full and cannot accept any voice messages at this time.” Just as bad is an email bounce back that reads, “This inbox is full and cannot hold any more content at this time.” Given your unbelievably busy schedule, chances are that a hiring authority will be getting your voicemail or sending you emails from time to time. Make sure you keep up with deleting voicemail messages and emails you no longer need. This is so easy to forget to do, but it makes an enormous difference. You don’t want to miss valuable information about a potential job just because there isn’t enough space for the message. You also don’t want to seem disorganized and overwhelmed by having a voice mailbox that is perpetually overcrowded.

  1. Check your spam/junk email folder.

Are you not seeing that email you’ve been waiting for? Often, emails from unfamiliar, especially institutional email addresses will be sent immediately to your spam or junk email folder, so make sure you check it regularly. Don’t wait until a month has passed since you were expecting to hear something to take a peek inside. Look at your spam folder weekly, if not daily, to stay on top of things. It’s easy for an incredibly important email to slip through the cracks if you aren’t keeping an eye out for it in any way it may come!

  1. Save everyone relevant to your job search in your contacts.

Every time you speak with someone about a job, save the phone number and/or email address to your contacts. Recruiters? Save them. Practice managers? Save them. Doctors at potential places of employment? Save them. This is helpful for three reasons. First, this makes their emails less likely to hide in that pesky spam folder. Second, you’ll know who is calling and be able to get in the right frame of mind before you answer the phone. It will be much easier to sound professional and prepared to discuss an opportunity if you know who to expect on the other end of the line. Third, it will be much easier for you to reach out to them. If you must return a call or want to check-in, you won’t have to go searching for their phone number or email address—it will be easily accessible and ready to go.

  1. Set up auto-replies from your email and phone.

If you’re not going to have access to your email for a few days, because you’re traveling, presenting at a conference, visiting family out of the country, etc., set up an out-of-office reply email. If potential employers email you and don’t hear back quickly, they may assume you are disinterested. If they receive an out-of-office reply, a delayed response is easily explained. In addition, most cell phones allow you to create a custom text message response for when you can’t answer a call. This is perfect for when you’re with patients in the clinic, doing rounds, or catching a few minutes of valuable sleep during your call week. You appear much more professional and communicate much more clearly when you can send an autoreply quickly stating what you’re up to (e.g., “With a patient, talk later,”) than you do when you answer in a flustered rush asking for whoever is on the other end of the line to call back later. Take the time to set up a few of those responses, so they’re ready to go when the phone rings at an inopportune moment!

Sound easy enough? I thought so! Now get out there, apply for some jobs, and keep the lines of communication open!

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