Getting a potential employer to decide to hire you may seem daunting. But it’s really just a matter of helping them begin to know, like and trust you.
Credibility is one of the key forces behind the know-like-trust factor so it’s worth doing a few extra things in your job search to strengthen your credibility.
Here’s five suggestions, above and beyond your resume and job interviews, to create and build credibility with potential employers (as well as peers).
If you only do one of these five things, let it be this. Over the course of your career gather letters of reference and testimonials from employers, co-workers and patients. You don’t have to ask everyone, but as you receive pats on the back, be they verbal or in writing, save them!
Keep a file of them and add them to a testimonial sheet that can accompany your resume whenever you apply for a job. Also, very seriously consider launching a website for yourself (a real .com address you can keep updated and ready for a new job hunt). We provide this service pretty inexpensively and can even show you how to keep it updated, including adding testimonials as the occur.
2. CAR Information
I’ve written previously about also keeping a CAR (Challenge Action Result) Sheet. This is documentation that you have experienced real-life, challenging situations, knew what action to take, and ended up with a positive result. Stories are powerful persuasion tools and the cool thing is you can use them in writing (on a CAR Sheet or website) or during a job interview – both are great platforms for establishing credibility.
3. Social Media (your own site and others)
There are several social media platforms you can use to build professional credibility.
Two great ones are Facebook and LinkedIn, but there are also ways to do it on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and others. I’ll suggest the former two as they are the ones I am most familiar and comfortable with.
Both platforms allow you to create a professional profile for yourself (basically your resume information). Even if you prefer not to expose the world to your personal Facebook page you can a professional page that is separate and only shows your dental hygiene self. LinkedIn is well established as the career social media site.
And both platforms allow you to join professional groups where you can co-mingle with other hygienists, dentists, assistants, front office personnel, and others in the dental field. But don’t just create a profile and abandon it, participate – share articles, share opinions, share your expertise. This is how you build your reputation, by simply showing up and participating.
When people see who you are behind the comments (your profile), that’s when the credibility-building (and networking) becomes magical. If you approach your networking with genuine-ness and helpfulness, and avoid complaining or gossiping, your credibility will soar.
I had a client tell me today she used LinkedIn to reach out and contact dentists in her area and actually landed an interview that way.
4. Association or Component Participation
A great way to get to know people is by serving them, and serving with them. Your local chapter of ADHA or CDHA, or even ADA are an incredible way to do this. Don’t just join the organization, get involved. If you only have an hour a week to put into it, that’s okay – offer it up to chapter leadership and see where that takes you.
Most associations would love to have someone come forward offering a little bit of their time. And in that process you will meet peers and other professionals that will see you as more than the average hygienist.
5. Written Contributions
There are numerous dental hygiene trade publications and blogs you may already be a subscriber to. Not only should you consume their information/articles you should participate in their comment section (assuming their publication is offered online). This too can offer you some big-time professional exposure.
And if you have an interest in research and writing, request an opportunity to submit an article of your work. Not only will you gain some exposure with your peers, you will also have some great content to share on your resume, profile page, or professional website that will make you shine like the tip of a new 11/12 scaler (okay, lame metaphor, but you get the point :-).