Dental hygiene jobs can be pretty elusive at times, but new openings do exist and I’m going to share here the top five places they can be found.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of our jobs that get filled go unadvertised. So how does an office hire someone without letting everyone know they need someone? And what about all the dental job boards – do they not have dental hygiene job openings posted? Are temporary staffing agencies a good resource?
Let’s take a look at each of these five options.
1. Internet Job Boards
Job boards are the obvious place and where most people start, but have you reviewed all of them? It’s worth your time to register for all of them that make the most sense for you. You will find that some are better than others for your area.
Go through each of the sites listed below and write down the listings for your area from the last two or three weeks. You should see some overlap in that some jobs are posted on more than one of these boards. But more importantly you will see which sites offer the most listings and you can rank which ones you need to pay the closest attention to on a daily or weekly basis. That doesn’t mean you completely ignore the sites that offer fewer, it just gives you focal point.
- General National/Local – these are job boards that post jobs from all different fields, including dental hygiene: craigslist.com; monster.com; indeed.com; careerbuilder.com; simplyhired.com
- Industry National/Local – these are job boards that only post dental related jobs: ihiredental.com; dentaljobs.net; dentalpost.net; dentaljobs.com; dentuit.com.
- General Local Searches – your local newspaper and TV stations often have community job boards; other community-based websites sometimes have job boards.
- Government – CareerOneStop.com has a link to all the state job board websites; your local city may offer one as well so look into that, too.
- Corporate or chain dental office websites will often have their own job board. SmileBrands.com or Patterson (if you are wanting to move into sales).
- Local office social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) sometimes will post openings. It’s worth your time to find and follow all the local dental offices in your area on social media. Not only will you occasionally learn about job openings, you’ll also learn more about these offices should you interview with them at some point.
- Social media group pages: Dental Hygienists Talk is the largest Facebook social media group, but there are countless others that are more regional. Hygiene Subs in Central Florida is just one example of that. LinkedIn, though less active than Facebook, also offers some very large dental hygiene groups you can join such as Dental Hygienists.
- National and Local association websites will also often have job boards. For example ADA and ADHA both offer listings, as do many of their state/local affiliates and components.
2. Job Alerts
Most of the aforementioned sites give job seekers the ability to create alerts which are where you sign up for a free e-mail alert whenever a job opening is posted that matches your criteria (such as location). Those are very hand and will save you lots of time going to these sites each day and doing searches.
You can also set up search alerts through Google Alerts and Mention.com. Both are free services that allow you to specify keywords like “dental hygienist” and “job opening” and set them to send you an e-mail daily or weekly. They search the entire internet and even include searches for posts on social media sites so they can be very effective.
3. In-Person and Digital Networking
It used to be that networking meant meeting and talking to people at monthly or yearly meetings, or the occasional chat over coffee. That’s still a very important way to do it, so be sure to include attendance at those functions and other informal gatherings with your peers.
But you can also do some very effective networking electronically. That’s where you occupy a professional presence online and use that space to reach out and create connections. This can include online social media sites, forums, and blogs. As was mentioned earlier, many of these are found on Facebook and LinkedIn. Use them for both short- and long-term strategies by actively participating and making connections with other hygienists. And don’t be afraid to move your networking from online to offline (to grab lunch or coffee together) as you get to know some of these connections better over time.
Another way you can network online is by creating your own professional Facebook or Twitter page specifically for the purpose of networking and career building activities. This allows you to have your separate personal account while being able to target your career networking on a professional account. You can post content related to work, make connections with other dental professionals only, and establish yourself as a credible resource for all things dental hygiene.
4. Pro-active Searching
If you have read anything about our story, you know that postcards were one of the signature ideas that helped Tracie land a great dental hygiene job. In fact, it was one of the singular reasons we launched GetHiredRDH.com and continues to be a powerful job hunting tool.
Postcards really are helping our clients and others find great dental hygiene jobs. Often, finding job openings is all about timing and if your postcard strikes a doctor or an office at the right time you could be like Tracie and get one of those unadvertised job openings.
But postcards do even more – they show you are the type of employee who is pro-active (a highly-sought-for-skill among employers). They also tend to be pinned to a bulletin board and kept some where handy, as opposed to a resume that gets filed or thrown away.
5. Temporary Staffing
Finally, it would be a huge oversight to not mention the importance of temporary staffing agencies (we have a link to most of them here). Stay very well-connected with your local agencies as they can not only help you find temporary and permanent work, but also provide some valuable local information about the job market (including salary trends). They often have really good, established relationships with many of the local offices and can help introduce you even when an office isn’t currently looking.
Again, it can be very challenging to find dental hygiene job openings. But they are out there in different places and by using both traditional and non-traditional methods, you will be ready to find and land a great dental hygiene job.