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The Number One Way to Find RDH Jobs

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I need to be careful not to give you all the wrong idea.

Job boards are extremely important – lots and lots of hygienists find jobs that way. They are easy to use, convenient and often packed with features. You can’t ignore them.

networking_1But there is another way to find RDH jobs too many seekers ignore or haven’t cracked yet.

It’s called networking and referrals.

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 70 percent of all jobs filled are done so without even advertising the job. That means people are talking and referring – are you getting in on this channel?

If you’re not, you are missing out on possibly your greatest career tool. Consider some additional research by, in that referred employees get hired faster (about 1-2 weeks faster) and report higher satisfaction and tend to stay longer.

So get in on the action…

  • Find out when your local component meets each month and join them
  • Amp-up your participation with the group to include volunteering with them
  • If there isn’t a group close by consider starting one
  • Re-acquaint yourself with previous employers and co-workers
  • Use social media to foster and create new local relationships (ie LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, even Pinterest!)
  • Focus extra attention on the network closest to you (within the radius you are willing to work)
  • Don’t think of this as a quick strategy, rather a career mindset. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. You won’t likely land a job quickly doing this, but it will pay off eventually (possibly when you need it most).

Give Your RDH Resume a Design that Grabs Eyeballs

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Attention-Grabbing-Dental-Hygiene-Resume-Design-TipsThere are lots of things you learn in dental hygiene school – techniques, instrumentation, treatments, oral anatomy, to name just a few categories.

By and large, I think schools do a good job of teaching the trade of dental hygiene. But in my experience and informal research, they don’t teach much a lot about putting that education to work (once you are licensed).

Which is both ironic and unfortunate, when you think about it.

One of the specific things they don’t teach in dental hygiene school is the anatomy of resume design (nor would you expect it). So here’s 10 things that make up a great resume design:

One Page
Most employers don’t read through entire resumes. They would tell you the real value is in meeting with a candidate, hearing what others say about them, or seeing them in action.

Furthermore, everyone knows the length of one’s resume does not equate to the quality of a candidate – not even how long they’ve been a hygienist. I’ve seen two-pagers from hygienists with no experience and one-pagers from those with 30+ years.

Keep it simple and less intimidating – give employers at least a chance to get through it all. There are exceptions, but usually for those that have decades of experience in non-clinical settings.

Overall Chemistry
Create elements (graphics, columns, color, bullets, font treatments, sections, white space) that compliment one another, grab attention, are consistent and allow an employer to easily navigate the resume and find the key things they are searching for.

Bullets play an important role in resumes, allowing you to present large blocks of information in short succinct lines. A person can quickly read a line, skip another, or pick up where they left off. Plus, the bullet itself is a graphic of sorts, almost like an arrow that indicates a starting point.

Columns of Text
Instead of creating long single columns of text for bullet points, you can often create a more read-able feel by putting sections of text into columns. I find that this can sometimes save you space and create a more balanced, interesting look.

Think of graphics as a visual tour guide to your resume, accentuating key sections and places of emphasis. But also as a way to show creativity and flare, while at the same time drawing in attention. People are attracted to visuals and can absorb them hundreds of times faster than actual text.

I advise my clients to add a professional picture of themselves (sorry, selfies don’t work as well) to help strengthen the visual affect and help create a visual connection with your employer before you even meet them.

Similar to graphics (and often as part of the graphics) add some color highlights to your resume. I’m not talking lots of colors – in fact, no more than one (maybe two). And choose a color that has a look of professionalism and strength, and that maybe compliments your personal brand (ie your personality).

Increased Font Sizes
The most important text on your resume is your name. It needs to stand out in a large and/or bold font that is clear and readable – something strong. How big? I would say in the 24-36 point size range – depending on spacing you have available.

The only other place I would suggest using a larger font is your section headers. For those I would keep them in the 14-18 point range (or roughly half the size of your name).

Use bold sparingly, but do use it. I typically bold text that is either sub-header in nature or that needs specific emphasis. Often that means bold for the names of the offices you worked for or maybe the schools you graduated from.

White Space
Add some white space to your resume. Don’t settle for the sometimes-stuffy single spacing between lines of text. Open things up where possible to (from 1.15 to 1.5). This gives you a more clean look and feel, that looks sharp and is less intimidating to read.

Thicker Paper
Finally, invest in a nice stock of paper that has a weight somewhere between standard copy paper and card stock. This, too, adds a touch of professionalism conveys an air of strength. Avoid stocks with lots of texture as they tend to no re-produce photos and other graphics very well.

And one final note, never send your resume in Microsoft Word format. Create a PDF file of your resume and send that. The problem with sending a Word document is that it can look all messed up if the receiver doesn’t have the same fonts installed on their computer as you do.

A PDF file, on the other hand, is simply a snap-shot of your resume and fonts don’t matter – what you see is what you get when you create a PDF file.

Punctuating Your RDH Resume with Clarity


The other day, while assembling a ping pong table, I was reminded of one of life’s great lessons – don’t overlook the small stuff. As I was following the instructions, there was a section where I read the first sentence, looked at the diagram, and charged ahead with the next two or three assembly steps […]

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What’s Your Unfair Advantage?


The other day I was at the store picking out some fruit (apples). There were several varieties on display and dozens to choose from of each variety. My family likes the Gala variety and they are inexpensive, so I often go for those when I’m the one shopping (Tracie and I trade off). At first […]

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7 Things to Dump From Your Dental Hygiene Resume


I confess, I hate house cleaning! My wife, Tracie, actually kinda likes it – guess that’s partly why she likes practicing dental hygiene so much. If I had to pick a favorite “I’ll-do-that” house cleaning task it would be emptying the trash. When I gather it up and take it outside it feels like a […]

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Answering 10 Tough Interview Questions

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Wouldn’t it be great if you knew the exact questions you were going to get at your next job interview? There’s no way to predict that, of course, and so you just need to stay on your toes., a career development site, tracks job interview questions as reported by its users. It’s interesting to […]

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How to Create the Perfect Dental Hygiene Resume


Nobody is perfect, but given the tight job market, your resume should be close to it. To begin, let’s talk about your first decision when creating a resume – the format  (how it’s organized). There are two basic types of resumes and a third that is really just a hybrid of the first two. They […]

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Get Hired RDH #32: The Great Picture-On-Your-Resume Debate


One of the most frequently asked questions I get from hygienists has to do with putting their picture on their resume. It makes sense on a lot of levels – many feel a measure of vulnerability by doing so. Let me be clear – putting a picture on a resume is a personal decision. I […]

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Get Hired RDH #31: Are Your References Any Good?


We’ve written and talked in the past about the value of having someone besides you talk about how great you are. Third-party validation can be done in a couple different ways – the traditional list of references you provide on your resume or “upon request” and what we’ve dubbed a Testimonial Sheet you add to […]

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Get Hired RDH #30: 5 Extreme Job Hunting Tactics that Work


I’m always on the lookout for things that will help you land a job interview – which of course greatly improves your odds of getting a job! If more than half of all job openings never get advertised and offices are getting between 40 and a 100 hygienists applying for openings they do advertise – […]

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