Last year I posted an article entitled “The Perfect Dental Hygiene Resume” and got lots of great feedback. Some of that came from dentists.
One in particular made several interesting suggestions, but beware – a few were not necessarily to the advantage of the job-seeking dental hygienist. There’s a subtle game that takes place between employers and job seekers and it’s to your advantage to keep it in mind as you seek a job.
Next week I will share those things they want (and you should avoid giving them).
But this week I want to give you the two most important things dental employers want from you that you should give them.
1. How well will this hygienist get along with me and the rest of the staff?
2. How good are they at building and maintaining relationships with patients?
Everything you do to market yourself in both printed and electronic materials to the job interview should keep coming back to a response to those two things.
There are several places and ways you can do this.
I highly recommend that your About Me section, at the top of your resume, address both in a short (2-3 sentences) statement that communicates the type of person you are to work with and for patients to be around. But you can also blend some of that language into your experiences and skills section.
Your cover letter is a great place to shine a light on that type of information. The cover letter is really just an executive summary of what an employer will find on your resume, so you have a great opportunity to share how awesome you are with co-workers and patients.
A testimonial sheet is a document that includes quotes of comments co-workers, employers, and patients have given about you. The cool thing here is it’s not YOU promoting you in those two areas, it’s OTHERS. And that lends a higher degree of credibility with those looking to hire you.
Think of a CAR Sheet (Challenge – Action – Response) as your own sheet of really condensed (3-5 sentences) case studies. The situation you were faced with (challenge), how you handled it (action), and what the result was (response). This is a great tool for not just talking about how good you are with staff and patients, but actually demonstrating it with real examples.
I’ve talked in the past about having an online presence for your professional information – whether that’s your own website or possibly a LinkedIn profile page. These, too, are great places to highlight the two things dental employers are seeking from you. A video resume would be yet another.
Come prepared to talk about stories, examples, and experiences where you excelled at your ability to connect with patients and staff. Think through three or four different types of scenarios as you will get questions about your ability to build relationships of trust and the better the story or example, the more convincing you will be that you are the best person for the job. Keep them short and succinct, think about the CAR Sheet as the best format for sharing that information verbally.
Yes, this is all extra work you have to go through. But it does make a difference. If you give employers this level of information about you, they will be impressed because very few job seekers go to these lengths and, yet, this is exactly what they want.