A couple Summers ago, me and a few other dads in our neighborhood took our sons on a 50-mile hike up into the High Uintah Wilderness area, located in northeast Utah – about 45 minutes east of Park City.
It’s a popular place to camp and hike, but very large and easy to get lost in. And we can count ourselves among those who were lost for a short time. On our second day hiking we had planned a 20-mile day hike from our base camp. Unfortunately, due to some miscalculations it ended up being more like 30 miles!
During those 10 extra miles I felt very similar to how I had felt just two weeks earlier during the final six miles of my first marathon. It was agony! And when we finally stumbled into our campsite, I literally fell into my tent. Even though I was starving (only had eaten about 900 calories all day) I slept and then after an hour continued to lay in my tent as I cooked dinner just outside the front entrance.
It got me to thinking about being lost and how sometimes when you are searching for a job it can feel much the same way. There may be a wilderness full of dental offices but none or very few of them know you, and you don’t know of any that need you.
You may recall in the classic German fairy tale, Hansel and Gretel, that the young boy Hansel uses the tactic of leaving a trail of small white pebbles (and later bread crumbs) to lead he and his sister back home.
Flipping the story around, this weeks tip is 4 simple “bread crumb” strategies that will lead employers to YOU. In other words, creating a path or a way for people to know you exist in your local dental industry.
1. Business Cards
This first one is really pretty old-school, but still important. Wherever you go, take with you a few of your business cards. Hand them out freely – to people you meet and talk to in all different settings (professional, casual or chance meeting).
2. Post Cards
I’ve talked lots about post cards and the difference they make for folks. Some of their success is due to timing – they get them on or about the same day they need a temp or to hire someone new. But the hidden secret to their success is that they have a long life.
In the Hansel and Gretel story, one problem Hansel discovered was that birds had come along and eaten the bread crumbs and they were lost. While it’s true some of those post cards will end up in the trash right away, a large number of them will hang around and employers will eventually find their way to you.
3. Online Profiles
92% of all employers Google the name of the person they are considering for an interview. Two of the top sites that often come up when you Google someone’s name are LinkedIn and Facebook. These are great virtual bread crumbs to get back to you. Take advantage of that by creating a LinkedIn profile (make sure you fill it out completely – shouldn’t take longer than 10 min.).
But also consider creating a Facebook business page – different than your personal page. It’s set up much the same way and you can control both your personal and business pages very easily without even logging out. With your Facebook business page you can like the business pages of offices you would potentially work for. Once you do that, you can (sincerely – not just because) watch their feeds of information they post and comment, like and share it. Let’s say you name your business page, Mary Clean, RDH. Well, when they get notice that Mary Clean, RDH liked their post or made an interesting comment that will get them curious and lead them to more information about you (again, virtual bread crumbs).
Nothing can replace an in-person chat in the hallway at a conference, or sitting at a table with a dentist or office manager during the lunch of a conference. Those unplanned encounters are why 72% of all job openings that get filled are unadvertised (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
This bread crumb may not lead someone to you for years and years, but the repetition of leaving them over and over again (year after year) will eventually lead someone to you.
I was invited to play golf at a tournament where I happened to meet someone from an accounting firm. I wasn’t really planning to do ANY business that day, it was just an excuse to get out of the office. That one meeting and exchange of business cards has led to tens of thousands of dollars in revenue (to the company I work for and ultimately me).
Hopefully after reading this you will be moved to do two things: 1. Leave lots of bread crumb trails back to the professional you; and 2. Make sure you have a good map and plan before you go for a hike in the High Uintah Wilderness range.