Preparing for a successful career in dentistry requires intentionality. Those dentists who want to accelerate their path to success are proactive and take the interview process seriously. To help navigate these challenging waters, we’ve identified the top five tips to start planning for your dream job.
Define your perfect fit.
Visualize what your perfect fit looks like. Know what you want and write it down. Make a prioritized list. What factors are most important to you when looking at an opportunity? Where do you want to practice? How do you want to practice? How much do you want to earn? Many candidates go into a job search without considering these essential factors. By narrowing your search to focus on opportunities that meet those criteria, you are much more likely to find your perfect fit.
Determine the best time to start looking.
And that time is now. Whether you are a D1 or a D4, there are things you can do today to set yourself up for that dream job. According to a 2016 study by LinkedIn, 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. Dentistry is a small world, and the best jobs often come down to who you know. By networking early and often, you can make contacts that can help you identify and secure the best and lesser known opportunities. Many practice owners will plan years in advance for the growth of their practice. Leverage your network to become a part of their plans.
Stand out in your interview.
Tell them your story. You already have many of the qualifications they are seeking. Your best chance of getting the job is by being memorable. Let them see your passion for dentistry. Tell a brief story about why you chose dentistry. Saying, “I want to help people” may be true, but it isn’t memorable. Instead, tell a 30-60 second story about an experience that showed you what it felt like to impact someone’s life. Don’t be afraid to show a little vulnerability. This is how you’ll be memorable. Remember that connection is key. Connect with the interviewer and their team, and you will stand out from the rest.
Be informed about how you want to be compensated.
Do your research and know your market. Knowing what you want and are capable of earning is half the battle. You can find average dentist salary ranges on websites of the ADA, state or county dental associations, or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Know what it will take to meet your minimum financial obligations. This will help you define a range that is both reasonable and obtainable.
It’s also important to know how you will be compensated. Is it salary, collections or production-based? If it is based on collections or production, understand precisely what it would take to meet your goals and be sure the opportunity can support that. It can be easy to get stuck on percentages while overlooking the actual production opportunity. If you are offered 30 percent of production at a practice with lower production opportunity versus 24 percent production at a practice with high production opportunity, the lower percentage may yield a higher outcome. Also, be sure to ask questions about who covers lab and supply fees, as well as availability of health benefits, 401(k), malpractice insurance, continuing education and other potential benefits.
Follow up after the interview.
Be sure to ask for the next steps before you leave. Agree upon a date that you will follow up if you haven’t heard from them first. Then, take the time to send a handwritten thank-you note to your interviewer and anyone else you interacted with during the process. Be sure to include something personal about your experience with them. Few people take the time to do this, and it will help you stand out. Hopefully you will land the job, but if not, don’t be afraid to ask for some feedback. This may help you fine-tune something that will help you land the next opportunity.
It’s never too early to prepare for your dream job. The key to feeling more confident and achieving success is intentional preparation. By using these five tips, you can start taking important steps to plan for your job search and stand out among the competition.
~Mindy Giffin, Senior Manager of University Relations for Pacific Dental Services®
This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.
About Pacific Dental Services
Founded in 1994, Pacific Dental Services® (PDS®) is one of the country’s leading dental support organizations, providing supported autonomy that enables dentists to concentrate on clinical excellence and the highest levels of cost-effective comprehensive patient care.