Yesterday I wrote about learning why dental offices are seeking a hygienist. I mentioned there are four different places you can get this – read here to find out.
Today I want to touch on what to do with this information – it’s way too valuable to do nothing with it and can even be the main reason an office hires you.
Dental offices want hygienists who can quickly blend well with staff and patients. So if you understand their problem, showing that you are the solution, it will be very difficult for them to not hire you.
Here’s five ways to show you understand the problem and how you are the solution:
If your resume never gets modified for a specific job you are probably like 95% of all hygienists so don’t despair. But for each job you should review it to ensure it reflects what the office is needs.
Pay specific attention to the “About Me” section (sometimes called “Summary” or “Objective”). Use this space to address the top two or three things the office wants in an applicant beyond the technical qualifiers such as license and years.
You could also address some of this in your skills and experience section, if you are using a Functional style resume (which is what I recommend for hygienists). Add a line that addresses how you are “experienced in working with small children,” if that’s one of the things they are seeking.
Your cover letter is probably the main document where you want to touch on some of the problem information you have gathered about a job.
I recommend a sentence that acknowledges what they are looking for, using the same words they use and then using the sentences/paragraphs beneath it to talk about how you are the solution to that and more. I wrote about cover letters here.
For example, “From your advertisement, I see you are seeking someone who is detail-oriented, flexible, and can handle stressful situations.” And then further down in something like “Co-workers have applauded me for my organizational skills and how I am able to adjust and handle all different kinds of personalities and situations.”
I’ve written a lot about my recommendation that you keep short (1-5 sentences) testimonials from patients, co-workers, and employers. These are very impressive to potential employers on a Testimonial Sheet.
Make it a routine habit to gather these throughout your career – you can’t have too many. Then, when you are seeking new employment, you can choose the ones that best fit each job opening.
I’ve also written about CAR Sheets – CAR stands for Challenge – Action – Resolution. Think of it is a micro case study, where in just 3-5 sentences you write about a problem, the action you took, and how it was resolved. You can read more about CAR Sheets here.
Similar to Testimonial Sheets you can pick and choose the best examples of your work and assemble a CAR Sheet that addresses the solutions a potential employer needs.
Finally, if you get an interview, this is your opportunity to really hammer home the key problems that office needs to address in a hygienist. First, empathize with them about it and then reinforce you as the solution.
For example, “It’s tough to lose a great hygienist as they become almost like family. It’s been hard for me to leave jobs over the years as I really miss working with my co-workers and the synergy we created, but the upside is you get the opportunity to still hire a great new hygienist and have new experiences together.”