It’s been fun coming up with great ways for dental hygienists to market themselves for a job over the years. Whether it’s postcards, video resumes, digital resumes (websites), or testimonial sheets – it’s all about making YOU stand out and look professional.
Today, I’m pleased to announce a new idea for you to consider. Actually, it’s not new at all, but very effective none-the-less. I call it a CAR Sheet – now before you double check to make sure we’re talking dental hygiene let me assure you CAR is an acronym.
CAR stands for Challenge Action Resolution, but it will definitely add some varoom to your job search engine.
Typically, dental employers will assume because you have a license in dental hygiene that you know how to do dental hygiene – which is fine. The bigger question is how well you do it.
Accompanied with a dental hygiene resume, cover letter, and testimonial sheet, a CAR Sheet helps employers see it before you get to the interview stage. Like a Testimonial Sheet, it provides an element of third party validation that you are legit – a great hygienist.
So let’s create your CAR Sheet. This is a one-page document designed with the same font and overall look of your resume. But for the content, you will share 3-5 experiences you’ve had as a hygienist in very simple, succinct writing. We’re talking something like five sentences in one paragraph.
Here’s an example:
At All Smiles Dental, I serviced a patient that had an intense fear of dental offices. She had been to several different practices in the last five years and kept changing because she didn’t feel comfortable. I could sense her apprehension and decided to give her a little extra attention – more empathy, compassion, and tried to connect with her on things we had in common to help distract her. It worked! She became one of my best, most consistent patients (and a great friend). She thanked me profusely when we were done and would only reschedule on days when I was working.
Did you catch the Challenge – Action – Resolution formula in the example? I color coded it so you can see it better.
Again, you need to really work to keep it short. I know it’s hard to do that sometimes because there’s always more to the story – and some of the detail can be quite compelling. But save it for the interview. If you can keep it short and sweet, you will greatly increase the odds that an employer won’t skip over it thinking it will take them too long to read. And I also wouldn’t recommend filling up more than one page for the same reason.
These are your top experiences – your best examples of how you shine as a professional dental hygienist. And you should continue to add to them over your career so that you can choose the best of the best when it comes time to seek a new job.
Remember, this all about standing out and being different than other applicants and a CAR Sheet will make you look that much more professional, that much more impressive, bringing you a step closer to landing a great dental hygiene job.