From childhood through adulthood, people rely on dentists to help them maintain the health of their teeth, gums and mouth, as well as diagnose and address any dental problems which may arise. This means a dentist is one of those careers you can count on to be in high demand for a long time to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of dentists in the United States is expected to grow at a much higher rate (around 18 percent between 2014 and 2024) than the average for all occupations.
So, whether you are right out of dental school, looking to join a new practice, planning to relocate, or simply wanting to shift the focus of your career into a particular specialty area, it is important you know how to define your objectives so you can properly conduct a job search. If you don't, you could end up selling yourself short or settling for a less-than-ideal job.
These basic tips can dramatically improve your chances of getting the dental job you deserve:
Make Sure Your Resume Highlights Your Strengths
The first action you should take before beginning your job search is to update your resume, taking care to highlight your strengths. Focus on your education, clinical skills and expertise. If you have obtained particular certifications, make it known. Do not be afraid to flaunt your abilities. You need to stand out from other applicants and your resume is one of the key ways to accomplish that.
Many resources exist to simplify creating a powerful resume to help you get your foot in the door. You can also seek assistance from a professional resume writing service. The key is to make sure your resume is professional and showcases you and your abilities.
NOTE: You may want to tweak your resume according to the specific job you are pursuing. For example, if you are planning to apply for a position as a Pediatric Dentist, your resume should focus on your pediatric dentistry experience and accomplishments.
Dental Associates: Salaried Compensation or Percentage of Production?
Another point you will want to consider before applying for a dental job is whether the practice is interested in hiring you as an associate and paying you a flat salary, a salary with potential production bonuses, or a percentage of the collections. While benefits do exist for each of these, you need to figure out which situation is most suited for your needs and future. Don't be afraid to ask:
Will you be earning a salary or percentage of the practice's income?
Is a guaranteed salary being offered, with an additional percentage of collections? How much can you expect to receive overall?
If a salaried compensation is being offered, is it at least commensurate to the average salary for a dentist? Payscale lists the median salary for a dentist in the U.S. at $123,942, however salary will depend greatly on where the practice is located, your certifications and other key factors. Many dentists can make between $120,000 and $200,000 or more per year.
If you are being offered a percentage, what is the percentage? Will your percentage be for production or collections? How much does the practice make on average? Will earning a percentage put you in the range of income you require?
If a flat minimum daily, weekly or monthly rate is being offered, can you also earn bonuses? What are the bonus tiers?
You should also be sure to find out whether the dental practice is interested in hiring new graduates, or only individuals with a minimum amount of experience. This too can affect income and hiring success.
Professional References Can Make All the Difference
While your resume will do a lot to help you stand out above other potential job applicants, professional references can make all the difference. Take time and care when adding references to your resume. Don't list just anyone as a reference. List individuals who have an in-depth familiarity with your skills, abilities, education, and strengths.
In instances where you are applying for a specialty position, or applying to a practice which focuses on a particular area (such as a pediatric dental office), be sure to list references of previous employers, dentist and co-workers who have knowledge on your expertise in this area. Employers often depend heavily on references and listing individuals who sing your praise is always beneficial.
Don't Sell Yourself Short
Although you may not want to tout your own horn too loudly, it is equally as key to not sell yourself short. Obtaining a degree as a dentist is quite an accomplishment, and if you have furthered your career by becoming a cosmetic dentist, endodontist, pediatric dentist, periodontist or orthodontist, you can be a valuable asset to any dental practice. Even in cases where a practice may only be looking for a general dentist, you being a dental specialist in another area could have career benefits later on.
By following these simple tips, you can hone your job search and increase your chances of finding the position right for you.
The People Link is a professional recruitment service specializing in finding and placing qualified healthcare candidates around the U.S. If you are a seasoned dentist or new dental graduate who is actively looking for work, please feel free to check out our current job listings, visit our website or call 888-773-0014 for a free, no-obligation consultation.