I’m always on the lookout for creative things you can do to help advance your career and lead to a great job. Here’s six of them that have worked for others.
These strategies aren’t really for mass duplication (like some of the other things I write about). These are targeted things you can do when there’s an office you really want to work for – whether they have a current opening or not.
Sweeten the Deal
Hand-deliver your resume or (better yet) postcard with a dozen (or maybe just a few) cupcakes or cookies. Dental sales reps do this. Why? Because it’s hard to refuse a gift and it makes you memorable – especially if it’s wrapped up or delivered creatively.
The law of reciprocity is in full affect – when you do something nice for someone else they are compelled to return the favor. Does that mean they will immediately fire their hygienist and hire you? Of course not, but maybe they hygienist will be moving in the next six months or perhaps they all know of an office that is hiring that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise. These little things can often turn to big things.
Create a Personal Message
I know many of you are terrified of the thoughts of creating a video resume – either because you don’t like the way you look/sound on camera or because it’s too much work. I totally get that. But here’s something really quick and simple you can do that will help an office create a better connection. Most modern cell phones have video cameras that are good to excellent quality. Just have someone in your family shoot a quick (30 second) video clip of you saying something like:
“Hello All Smiles Dental! Michelle Jones here. I know you may not have a dental hygiene opening right now. But when you do, I hope you’ll remember me. I love dental hygiene and have two years of experience. And, I’m really good at relating to and creating trust with patients. Give me a call at 503-895-4340 – I’d love to talk with you more.”
Again, it’s very important to keep it brief – don’t ramble and prepare your remarks (don’t memorize) so they hit on just a few quick points. Sit down on a couch in living room or some other room where there’s less of an echo (a kitchen, bathroom, garage, or some other empty room will be more of an echo/hollow sound).
Almost all doctors listen to their patients, right? If they are a good doctor, they want to know that their patients are happy (patients that pay their bills anyway). And, most are happy to do them a favor even.
Find out from all of your local friends where they go to the dentist. Make a list and either decide to cash-in on those relationships now or hold on to them for the future (maybe when an opening comes up). Either way, I would find that information out and see if they would be willing to go to bat for you in the form of letter or note of support to the doctor (or maybe even a phone call).
This is one of the big reasons most jobs go unadvertised – people who know people.
Okay, so you only want to do this if you sorta know the dentist or front office manager. But you could send or drop off a birthday card with just a quick note in it – “Wishing you a happy birthday – Jessica Smiles, RDH.” Lots of dental offices do the exact same thing when they send a birthday card or e-mail to their patients. Everyone likes to be remembered on their birthday!
It’s a small gesture but it does tend to get remembered. I would not include your business card, so that it’s more genuine and, again, I would definitely not give one to a doc you haven’t ever met as that might appear kinda creepy.
People love to help people – because most believe what goes around comes around.
I would suggest you send a personalized e-mail to some offices. Tell them you know they are not hiring now, but would love it if you could meet with them for even just five minutes (or maybe over coffee or lunch) to know what it is they look for in a great job candidate. And then also ask them to share your information with other offices they hear might be looking.
Meet the Reps
This is somewhat related, but even easier to pull off than meeting with targeted offices.
There are lots of dental sales reps out there and they often are very dialed in to what’s going on at various offices – including employees starting and leaving jobs. So, contact and ask to meet with them over lunch to pick their brain about area job openings. Things change every day for them so even if at that moment they don’t know of anything, you will be making an impression on them that may very well lead to a job opportunity.