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Thursday, February 17, 2011

THE JOB SHOP PART 3: Preparing for the Interview

Hopefully THE HUNT is almost over...
With each new interview you are one step closer to securing a job!

I look at interviews two ways:

1. It's a challenge: Most of the time you aren't the only person that will be interviewed- you are competing against others- set yourself apart from the competition
    • Dress to impress
    • Arrive a little early
    • Be confident- even if you don't feel confident
    • Know the office- almost every office has a website or some kind of internet trail- research the office, know the team members- see what patients are saying about the Dr and their experience- try searching
2. It's a learning experience: Even if this isn't the job for you, take advantage of the  interview process
    • Work on becoming more comfortable with the interview process
    • Take note of questions that throw you for a loop- next time you will have a better answer
    • Get a feel for what different offices are looking for
    • You never know if this Dr may have a friend DDS who will ask if they know of anyone looking for a job- the dental community is small

Obviously each interview and dental office is different- what may impress one may totally turn off another- this is where researching the office prior to the interview may help. Most of the time you have to tailor your comments around the mood of the interview.

If appropriate, mention how you would like to better the office:
  • increase new patients
  • increase patient retention
  • focus on recall
  • reduce ordering costs
    • give a few ideas/ past experience
If you are at a loss for any ideas on the above mentioned,  future blog posts will address these topics

Things to avoid saying during the interview:
  • You will be asked about previous dental offices you have worked for- DO NOT TALK POORLY of previous employers- you don't have to lie if it was horrible try "it wasn't a good fit for me..."
  • Don't say that your are looking for employment for the following reasons:
    • make more money
    • lessen your commute to work


Saturday, February 12, 2011


The resume is ready to go- now where to send it? The hunt is on...

For the time being, this is your job.
  • Dedicate time each day to searching for new postings, sending out resumes and networking.
  • Keep a log of your daily accomplishments
  • Try to minimize feeling overwhelmed or defeated, if you are doing a little each day you are making progress!

My favorite place to find job postings is in my local paper, after that I search the bigger papers followed by online searches.
More and more companies are taking to the Internet for ad placement.
The site that has produced the most results for me is - sign up to receive daily emails for new jobs in your area

Other websites to check:

Its also a good idea to post your info on -  Some offices are trying to contact hygienists that are already employed to see if they would be interested in a new position

Cold Call
  • Print out a  list of all the dental practices in your area
  • Set a goal for contacts a week- lets say five
  • Try to hand deliver these five resumes to different offices each week Although this method is often not the most enjoyable you never know if your resume may  arrive just as they are starting their search

Network, network, network
  • stay in contact with fellow hygienists- get word out that you are available
  • stay in contact with instructors from school
  • join local hygiene groups; study clubs, ADHA
  • form relationships with sales reps for dental companies- often times this is the first place an office looking for an employee will check
  • Sign up with a temp agency- this can keep a paycheck coming in for you as well as get your foot in the door at numerous offices and think of the networking possibilities

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Resumes can get your foot in the door, its important that your resume screams
"you want me!"

Its a tough job market out there, at least in Michigan- maybe in other states you have the pick of the litter but right now for Michigan hygienists its a battle and you really have to sell yourself.

Even when I am not actively seeking employment I keep my resume up to date. You never know when you may need it, and having it ready to go will make your life much easier should you or your employer decide it it time for a change. I also worry that if I don't add my new training or certifications to the resume I will forget to add them later.

Cover Letter: Make it good!
Tell a little bit about yourself, your philosophy on dentistry and your excitement about the possibility of introducing yourself in person

Delivery: If at all possible drop the resume off in person, make sure you look professional when you go to the office.
If you must fax or email the resume then I think a follow up call to make sure they received it is appropriate if they give a phone number.

This is a copy of my resume (click on "read more" below to see the resume)- I would be interested in any comments or suggestions that you have.
If you need some one to proof read your resume email it to and I will let take a look.

The Resume:  Sell yourself - you are great!!!


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