The question of what, if anything, a dental hygiene job seeker can do to improve their chances with an employer posting a job opening anonymously is frequent.
When you know who it is you are applying to it sorta levels the playing field in some respects. After all, knowing who it is or where, may cause you to not be interested. On the hand, knowing this information is helpful so you can customize your cover letter or resume a little more or prepare better for an interview, or even make some networking connections behind the scenes.
I guarantee you, an employer wouldn’t appreciate receiving a stack of 5o resumes that didn’t include a name at the top or all said “anonymous” in place of a name. Right?
The reason some employers prefer anonymity is because they fear getting bombarded with calls about the job, including status updates. But I believe they are best served by simply requesting no calls or follow-up visits in their job announcement. I believe most will respect that and, for the one or two who don’t, it’s a red flag they don’t follow directions well or are too assertive.
Since we can’t change the way it is, let me share with you some two tips I have used over the years that will help you make the best of this situation.
Depending on how much information they put in the advertisement, you can sometimes figure out who an office is by simply Googling a fax or phone number, or e-mail address they include. They have to give you a way to contact them. Many times when I have Googled one of those pieces of information I have found out exactly who it is that is hiring.
The two biggest exceptions are when an office posts a job on Craigs List (and some other boards include this also) that allows they to create an anonymous e-mail address to respond to. And, second, when an office uses an outside recruiter (such as a staffing agency) to fine applicants.
If you figure out who it is that is hiring, and you are okay with the prospects of working there, continue to do some homework on the practice. Visit their website and social media pages to get a flavor for things – to learn the personality of that office. Maybe you have something in common with them (dental related or otherwise) you can highlight in your interview.
And, secondly, work to determine if you have any connections to that office – maybe you don’t know anyone who works there, but maybe you know a patient that goes there or used to go there. Or maybe you have a friend who works in a different office that knows someone who works there. Those connections are often times how people land jobs so don’t overlook that potential.
Work With What You Have
So you tried Googling a number or e-mail address, or they are using a recruiter – what next?
The only thing you have left is to make sure you read the job announcement carefully. While you may not know anything about the office itself, you can at least acknowledge the type of hygienist they are looking for.
There are two types of skills and experience you have, technical and soft:
- Technical skills are things like a working knowledge of Dentrix or Eaglesoft, or maybe diode lasers. Technical experience you have would be things like years of clinical experience or specific types or levels of cases you have dealt with – maybe how many perio patients you have worked with.
- Soft skills are things dealing with your ability to educate and achieve compliance with patients, or they might include things dealing with your personality and ability to get along with co-workers. Soft experiences are actual examples or stories that illustrate your ability to use your soft skills, so this might be you describing a story where you helped to defuse or relax an extra-anxious patient.
Employers will typically throw in some technical qualifiers. For example: “Seeking someone with a knowledge of Dentrix and two years of experience.” And depending on the office those can be initially important. You want to address those clearly in your cover letter and make sure they are included on your resume also.
But it’s extra-important to pay attention to the soft qualifiers because those are often the determining factors in who gets hired. For example: “Seeking a dependable hygienist, who is personable and good with kids.” That statement contained three soft qualifiers (dependable, personable, and good with kids) and you need to touch on each of them in your cover letter and, where possible, your resume.
You don’t have to use those exact same words – instead of “dependable,” you could use “stable,” “steady” and “consistent” as good synonyms or language to try and use in your cover letter. And, finally, if you can have others demonstrate your soft and technical skills and experience in the form of a testimonial sheet that goes with your resume and cover letter as a third sheet it’s all the better.
Anonymous job postings should be illegal – in my opinion – but there are some ways to deal with them that will still allow you stand out and differentiate yourself, helping you land a great dental hygiene job.