Tight job markets, like dental hygiene, often mean going many months and even years before you land a job. No one really loves looking for a job so it only makes sense that when it drags on and on – rejection after rejection – the whole process wears you down and any enthusiasm you were able to muster early on is long gone.
Unfortunately, it shows.
It often shows in your voice, the language you use, facial expressions and your posture, too. It even shows in your resume and other materials.
If you’ve been looking for a job for more than three months and plan to continue in the same patterns, it’s time for a change.
A few years ago I lost 60 pounds over the course of two years, in preparation for two marathons I ran. While you might consider that a success (I certainly do), it wasn’t without lots of failures in between. I would go along great for a couple months (lose 1-2 lbs a week) then I would hit a wall.
The problem wasn’t because I wasn’t doing the right things, but rather because I was doing the SAME things as a routine. My body got used to them and adapted (our bodies resist losing weight – it’s a natural survival instinct built within us).
Searching for a dental hygiene job can be the same way. You may have some good routines in the beginning and a decent set of materials, but over time the experience becomes stale and old and you’ve lost the motivation and excitement. That’s when it’s time to hit pause and shake things up a bit with a fresh or different approach.
Here are five ways you can shake things up in your dental hygiene job search:
Instead of checking the same old job boards you do every day (yes, you should continue that). Be proactive and send out some postcards. Remember 75% of all job openings are unadvertised. That means there are huge numbers of employers looking for employees you will never even hear about because your job search is restricted to just checking for the latest openings on job boards.
Temp Agency Feedback
Meet in person with your local staffing agency and ask for their opinion on your approach. Let them coach you and give you some honest feedback and critique. There may be something you are or are not doing that could make a big difference. Moreover, if they have a client like you who is genuinely seeking their guidance they will go to bat for you and help you.
Resume & Cover Letter
Look at your resume and cover letter. Do they look and read like everyone else’s? Add some color, a design, maybe your picture, or re-write and organize the text differently. Play around with it and ask for feedback from professionals (including us at GetHiredRDH.com).
Take 15-30 minutes out of each day and make it a goal to drop in on three offices (ones that are close to each other). Introduce yourself and that you are seeking temporary or permanent work. Leave them with a business card or postcard. Heck, leave them with a plate of cookies – that’s memorable!
Connect with other hygienists in your area virtually through a number of different social media sites that exist. If there isn’t one that exists then start one! As a more physical approach, contact some offices and ask the hygienist if you can come in and observe how they interact with patients.
Just do this in one-hour chunks with several offices per month. Compliment them (genuinely) if they do a great job and thank them – boom! You just made a valuable contact and you will likely even get the chance to meet the staff and dentist(s). If they don’t have an opening, maybe they will know someone who does.
In summary, just do things different than you have in the past. This alone will help increase your enthusiasm and your new approach(es) will give you confidence and show up on your face, in your voice, and overall attitude.