Well, it’s here – today is Valentine’s Day and hopefully you’ve got a valentine or two in your life to express your love to.
Some of you know, I love running and had knee surgery on January 2 (meniscus tear). Well, yesterday, I was re-united with that love as I was able to limp through three miles. Thank goodness – let’s just say I have some work ahead of me as I became unfaithful to my diet with some wonderfully-tasting pastries I met up with here and there.
But enough about me, what do YOU love? Hopefully, you can include “dental hygiene” on your list because it’s so important that prospective employers feel that when they talk to you – they want someone who’s passionate about it because it translates into success for everyone (them, the patients, and you).
So today, I’m going to share the five best ways to communicate your love for dental hygiene without even saying it.
1. Social Media Participation
I’ve talked in the past about making sure you take advantage of all the great technology to help you create connections with potential employers. So once you’ve got yourself set up with a professional blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook account start using them to post, comment, share and like.
Like or following the social media pages of some of the dental offices in your geographic area you might consider working for and follow their activity. When they post an interesting dental article, make a comment or “like” it, or even share it on your own page. They will get a notification you did that and may (hopefully) get curious as to who you are and go to your page and will hopefully find and see that you are a serious/passionate RDH.
2. Community Volunteering
Find a way to volunteer either at a clinic for low-income people or maybe teaching school kids dental hygiene. Then include that information on your resume – it sends a message that you really do care about people and your profession. To take it a step further, talk about it in your job interviews when they ask questions that allow you to draw upon that experience.
3. Conference & Chapter Participation
To maintain your license, you have to have a certain number of continuing education. So it’s not a shocker to see lots of hygienists at conferences. So with this tip I am suggesting you do a little more. Go to monthly meetings and get involved in your chapter’s leadership circles. Volunteer to be on committees and things. This not only gives you some incredible networking opportunities but when you put that kind of thing on your resume it stands out and sends a message that you take your profession seriously.
4. Become an Expert
Find an area of dental hygiene that really fascinates you and dive in deeper. Read everything you can about it and become a mini-expert on that topic. Once you do that, write about it in a blog you create or in an article you submit to professional publications – they love getting outside content. Sometimes these can lead to being invited to speak on the topic. This is all great stuff you can put on your resume or to talk about in interviews.
5. The Little Things
Compared to the previous four, this might sound really dumb to some of you, and it is subtle but really helps complete the picture of you being a passionate dental hygienist so promise not to laugh – okay?
Find and use trinkets and symbols that show you are proud to be a dental hygienist. Here’s some examples off the top of my head:
- Get a vanity license plate for your car that says ILUVRDH or RDHPRO;
- Put your keys on a keychain that includes a trinket about loving dental hygiene;
- Post a picture of yourself wearing a dental hygiene t-shirt on your Facebook page or blog.
You don’t have to do any of these, but think about what you could do in small simple ways to give your next potential employer that clear indication you love what you do.
Let me give you one example from my own experience. I applied for a job more than 10 years ago where I knew the person interviewing me was sort of an intellectual-type personality. I decided I needed to look smart in my interview so rather than wearing contacts that day, I busted out my glasses and had those on for the interview. That’s the kind of thing that on its own isn’t going to land you a job, but as part of a bigger picture will make a difference.