There are two questions about job seekers ALL dental employers have. It’s game-changer information for them, but they will rarely ask straight up.
Maybe they feel these questions about job seekers are too obvious or perhaps they are silently assessing you based on other information. Whatever the case, you need to respond to these two needs they have over and over again even if they aren’t asking. Very likely, they will be the deciding factors for your employment.
They are your ability to create a great relationship with the employer (and staff) and your ability to create great relationships with patients.
Relationships with Employer and Staff
No one likes office drama, and in my experience, a lot of dental employers are great at their trade of diagnosis and restoration. But they are not always the best at communication and managing employees. I believe most mean well, but it’s a common complaint of dental employees I hear almost every day.
Keep in mind, there are some absolutely outstanding dental employers out there who are very skilled leaders. I hear those stories, too.
But all dental employers, both good and bad, want to surround themselves with a great team. A team that works and plays extremely well together. This is critical to not only the performance of each person’s duties, but also the chemistry that environment creates for patients.
Running a business is stressful, even if it’s lucrative. Dental employers simply won’t take a risk on someone who doesn’t display a clear ability to build and maintain a strong relationship with co-workers. They want someone who is friendly, personable, and likable. They are searching for a dental hygiene employee that makes those around them better.
Extra points if they are charismatic and articulate, and thus able to serve as a mentor.
Relationships with Patients
This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s important to mention because employers won’t hire someone who will potentially offend any customer. Again, they have a lot invested in their business. Offended patients can damage that.
Hygienists, assistants, and front office personnel all have the opportunity to create great experiences for patients… and bad ones, too. Employees know that and are guarding against it constantly, especially with new hires.
Before you are offered the job they have to trust that you are going to always represent the office professionally and respectfully. And, above that, do everything to ensure patients have a great experience. They want to know you will deliver over-the-top service that inspires loyalty and grows the patient base.
Answering Their Questions About Job Seekers
The most important strategy is that you are fully aware of these two questions about job seekers and that you look for every opportunity to showcase your talent for them. This list below is just a starting point. Think about your own situation and how you can communicate your relationship-building skills.
Your summary or “About Me” section, at the top of your resume, should address both of these points very succinctly. Tell them you what they can expect if they hire you. Go here to read about the About Me section.
A cover letter is a great place to talk about relationship skills. It’s really just an expanded summary of the About Me section of your resume, blended with an outline of how you match their qualifications. You can read more about cover letters here.
A testimonial sheet is a document that includes quotes of comments co-workers, employers, and patients have given about you. These work well because it’s not YOU promoting you, it’s OTHERS. And that lends a higher degree of credibility with those looking to hire you. You should seek out lots of testimonials so you can use the best of the best, those that talk about relationship-building skills. Here’s some additional information about them.
CAR Sheets are basically a series of short-form case studies. These case studies are not a discussion of clinical cases, but rather cases of how you have successfully handled challenging interpersonal relationship issues. CAR stands for Challenge – Action – Response. Each one only needs to be about three to five sentences (a paragraph). If you need more details about CAR Sheets, click here.
I’ve mentioned many times over the years the importance of an online presence for your professional information – could be your own personal website or possibly a LinkedIn profile page. Video resumes are also becoming a valuable tool. Just like the others mentioned above, be sure to intentionally address your patient and co-worker relationship-building skills.
Finally, come to your interview ready to share great stories, examples, and experiences. Information employers need will be anything that demonstrates you are a complimentary co-worker to teams you have worked with in the past. Your CAR Sheet, mentioned above, is a great resource for this.
Your ability to answer the unspoken questions about job seekers, showcasing your relationship-building skills with co-workers and patients is critical. Of course, other technical and soft skills should be presented, but how well you work with co-workers and patients will likely be the deciding factor in nearly every office.
So, be intentional in your efforts to bring these things to the forefront in all your materials and interviews. This will greatly enhance your marketability greatly improve your chances of landing a great dental hygiene job.
As a bonus this week, I want to share with you some really quick but great tips on relationship building from networking expert Amanda Rose.