If you’re searching for your first doctor career, you’ve likely heard your fair share of tips about what (and what not) to do during your job search. By now, you probably know that your physician cover letter should be succinct and to the point and your resume should be clean and free of errors. Of course.

But what else?

Sometimes searching for a job can lead to “professional tunnel vision.” You get so caught up in trying to make major things perfect (your resume, cover letter and personal statement) that you completely forget about little things. And those little things can cause potential employers to have a less-than-favorable impression of you.

Below are three unexpected tips that will help you brush up on professionalism during your doctor career search. They may seem small and insignificant, but they make a bigger impact than you’d think.

Mind Your Voicemail Manners

You’ve double-checked the phone number listed on your resume. But do you know what your outgoing voicemail sounds like?

If you can’t remember what it says, give it a check. When you’re searching for a job, your voicemail should be professional, short and to the point. “Hey, it’s Me! Leave a message at the beep!” won’t work when you’ve got potential employers calling. They can only hope that they’ve reached the right “Me.”

Nix any jokey voicemails, too. You can re-record them after you’ve snagged the doctor career of your dreams.

When recording a voice message, say your full name and include a cursory greeting like, “I’m sorry I missed you” or “I can’t come to the phone right now; please leave a message and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.”

This might seem like a dumb tip, but if you’ve listened to any number of voice messages in your life, you know how ridiculous they can be.

That’s all you need. Be sure to record it in a quiet place devoid of barking dogs, mewing cats and crying babies.

Ditch Your High School E-Mail Address

You probably don’t think much about your e-mail address. But if it’s anything other than a professional e-mail address that contains your first or last name (and no more than four numbers), it’s a sure bet that everyone else is thinking about your e-mail address.

It’s a fact: People have weird e-mail addresses, and they’re not fit for doctor career search purposes. Your e-mail address should not give potential employers any insight into your pets, hobbies or quirks.

Who’s a more favorable candidate: “drdragondude1979@email.com” or “Jkrantz@myemail.com”?

“Jkrantz@myemail.com,” obviously. He has a collection of dragon figurines in his basement, too, but made sure to keep it a secret from potential employers.

If you don’t already have a professional e-mail address, spend 10 minutes setting up an account. It’s a wise investment of time, no matter how inconsequential it seems.

On a similar note, don’t treat professional e-mails like text messages. Take care when writing professional e-mails, and proofread them just as you would a cover letter. Though e-mail is widely used as a form of “casual” correspondence, “casual” never applies when you’re writing to a potential employer.

Match Your Paper Resume to Your Virtual One

So much attention is placed on paper resumes that it’s easy to forget about online resumes. But the Internet is usually the first place employers look when they want more information about you, so your online image needs to be sparkling.

You already know to clean up your Facebook and Twitter accounts. But have you ever considered how your paper resume matches up with your LinkedIn profile?

Take a few minutes to compare the two. If there are any differences or inconsistencies, potential employers could see these as red flags. Be sure to double-check dates and the trajectory of your experience.

If your LinkedIn profile provides a longer history of your budding doctor career, that’s fine. Just make sure what’s currently listed on your paper resume isn’t any different than what you have on your LinkedIn profile.

Do you have any unexpected tips for physician job seekers embarking on a doctor career?     

Doctor Career: Sponsors

Though the views expressed above are solely the writer’s, Bothwell Regional Health Center supports “The Dose with Dr. Goodhook” and is partnering with Adventures in Medicine to create an open, inspiring and insightful community for residents and physicians. Click here to learn more about ways that Bothwell Regional Health Center is making practice purposeful.