Job search advice: 6 tips from new dentists

Kool Smiles

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Your first job out of dental school is one of the most important career decisions you’ll make – but when it comes to the job search and interview process, it can be difficult to know where to start!

We asked two of our newly hired dentists, Dr. Courtny Patterson and Dr. Candace Murphy, to share advice for dentist job seekers based on their recent experiences with the process. Here’s what they had to say:

What career sites, information or resources did you find most helpful when you started your job search? 

Dr. Murphy: Indeed.com was a great resource – it lists all of the jobs in one place.  In addition, I made sure my LinkedIn profile was active and up to date.  I was contacted by a lot of recruiters via LinkedIn, which gave me helpful information about what jobs were out there.

Dr. Patterson: Indeed.com, dental school faculty and recent graduates’ word of mouth were my most helpful resources during my job search.

What interview advice did you receive that you found most helpful? 

Dr. Patterson:  Be prepared with questions to ask the potential employer!

Dr. Murphy: Yes, ask a lot of questions and be very specific – how you are paid?  Benefits?  Paid time off?  Think of the things that are important to you in a job and make sure you get the details you need.  Don’t be afraid to let them know what your expectations are.

What kinds of questions do you recommend candidates ask during interviews, to make sure the work environment is the right fit?

Dr. Murphy: It is very important to ask what their expectations of you would be in the job – that way there are no surprises when you get there.

Dr. Patterson:  Agreed. In terms of expectations, I would ask what types of procedures you are expected to be comfortable with performing, what the patient population is like, and how referrals, emergencies, and after-hours calls work.

What insights or advice would you give to new graduates considering a career with a DSO-supported practice?

Dr. Patterson:  Working with a DSO-supported practice is fast paced. You learn a great deal and become a lot better with time management skills.  It is a continual learning process.

Dr. Murphy: Yes, group practices are great in that there are always patients, so you will be busy!  Also, most have multi-specialty teams so you can refer internally and are not pressured to do work you are not comfortable doing. If you are interviewing with a DSO, ask questions about the role the dentist plays in the office. How are you supported?  Do you get to make decisions about patient care or how the office is run?  What is your role with the staff?

What was the most important factor in your job search?

Dr. Murphy: I was focused on 1) compensation 2) location and 3) the patient base.  I wanted to work with kids so that drew me to Kool Smiles, but the other two factors were very important as well.

Dr. Patterson: The most important factor in my job search was being able to work with children, especially in a community that has a higher need.

How did you decide Kool Smiles was the right fit for you, and how has your experience been with the company so far? 

Dr. Patterson: I decided that Kool Smiles was the company for me because of the patients population which is being served, the flexibility of the work schedule, the benefits, and the strong sense of teamwork.  Working with Kool Smiles has been an invaluable experience, one in which I grow and learn every day.

Dr. Murphy: My experience has been great.  I worked elsewhere right out of school before coming to Kool Smiles.  That company was not a dentist-oriented group – my opinion did not matter at all.  Kool Smiles is dentist-run and dentist-oriented.  I have the ability to make decisions about my office, and my opinion matters.

Thinking about a career with Kool Smiles?

Check out our online career center, where you can get more information about working with Kool Smiles, connect with recruiters, and browse available positions: http://www.koolsmilesjobs.com/

Happy job hunting!

~Kool Smiles

About Kool Smiles

At Kool Smiles, our dream is to create a world of happy, healthy smiles. At Kool Smiles, you can combine your passion with purpose and make a difference in the lives of families.


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