Elevator Speech

When you have an interesting elevator speech, your listener is hooked and wants to know more about you. This can quickly elevate you from the 100’s of other job seekers.

Imagine yourself in the elevator, and the only other person with you is the decision maker for your dream office. You have 20-30 seconds to sell yourself.  Don’t waste a moment! What do you say?  How do you say it?  Don’t become tongue tied or miss leaving out any great details.  Go……

Most people stumble before they get started, or worse yet cannot even begin.  Take the time right now to write out your 30 second speech. A polished, relevant and well delivered elevator speech is a powerful tool in your job search!  There are 4 easy steps to success!

Let’s get started

#1   This is the  BIG critical part…..you need to tell them about you, but don’t bore them by listing your qualities:  “I am a great hygienist and I know how to relate well with people” or “I’m prompt, easy to get along with, a hard worker, you won’t be sorry if you hire me”.  I can tell you right now, the conversation is about over.  You need to show them the results of what they get if they hire you! For example, a dentist could lead off with, “I keep teeth and the people attached to them healthy”.  Start by writing down what you do, but not your title (RDA, RDH etc)-what is the BENEFIT of what you deliver? “I keep teeth and the people attached to them healthy”  (Healthy teeth)

#2  Keep it to 30 seconds or less.  Anything more, and you loose their attention. Remember, this is SUPPOSED to be short and concise. This is your single WOW moment!  Not where you overload them with your career or educational history.  One or two significant benefits is enough.

#3  You need a visual or an antidote. Hopefully, you know what is important to this employer. Keep it relevant to your listener.  A quick antidote on how you  meet their need will be invaluable.  This is also a great way to tell about yourself. Why are you passionate about dentistry and your job?

#4 Next -practice!  become confident and solid in your presentation.  Practice in front of a mirror, or record your speech and listen to it.  Make revisions and adjustments, then ask a friend to listen and provide honest feed back.

You never know when the perfect opportunity will present itself.  If you are actively interviewing, you most likely will use segments of your elevator speech during the interview process.

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Encouragement for New Graduates

graduationWelcome to your new career in dentistry!  Whether you are a DA, RDA or Hygienist, there are some consistent trends to be mindful of in that initial search for your first career position!

#1  Know you experience!

Think of your externship or clinicals as experience. Be confident in discussing this experience! Be prepared to discuss specific procedures and products. For example, what x-ray programs have you worked with? Have you assisted with implants? Do you have experience with laser? What is the variety of patients you have seen? Have you worked in fast-paced, or cosmetic practices?….Create your own list of everything you have done, and then be prepared to articulate your roll and how you can contribute these skills.

#2  Confidence

Self-confidence can be defined as essentially an attitude which allows us to have a positive and realistic perception of ourselves and our abilities. This is not a suggestion to over represent yourself or experience, but to be secure with where you are in your career at the moment!  Look your interviewer in the eyes and smile! Have a firm handshake! Sit up straight, lean slightly forward when you speak or listen and always have a positive answer!

#3  Clean up your “Student Resume”

If you resume reads like a text book or looks just like everyone else’s in your class, you are labeling yourself as a student or inexperienced. I have seen many new graduate assistants successfully represent themselves with a chronological resume, whereas hygienists usually are more successful (initially) with a functional resume.

#4  Time off is not your friend

Keep working and gaining additional experience! Even if you only have 1 or 2 days a week you are making headway with your career!

#5  Identify and be able to articulate your strengths

If you aren’t certain of your strengths, think about what you enjoy most about your job.  Be able to articulate why you can excel in that area.

#6  Don’t create a cycle of “I don’t have any experience”

If you have had a strong externship or clinicals, you have experience!  See #1!

#7 Be ready for any opportunity

Smile and keep at it!

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5 Quick Tips For Successful People in a New Job


Now that you have a new job, you want to guarantee success for yourself!

Employees who have worked temporary assignments are generally skilled at adjusting and adapting to new positions quickly and successfully!  Whether you are working a single day assignment, a working interview, or are starting a new permanent position, there are a few tips to help you be successful!

#1  A positive attitude – no matter what!  A recent survey was conducted that showed most employers will accept a candidate with less skill – if he/she had a positive attitude. Avoid negative and comparative comments and leave the drama, at the door!

#2  Listen!  Follow their established protocol.  This is not the time to suggest new or better ways to do something. If you don’t understand, or are inexperienced in a procedure, ask!

#3  Pay close attention to the “unwritten” rules.   This involves interpersonal relationships among staff, and how you are expected to relate to patients.

#4  Be certain you have a clear understanding of what the dentist, coworkers and office manager see as your progress.  It is important not to focus on what you think is expected, but on what they think is expected.  Success cannot be attained without clear expectations.

#5  Show them you belong in their office! The first few weeks, your new employer and staff will be assessing your long term partnership with them. Begin by building professional relationships with those you work most closely with. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Always listen.  Show that you can adjust to their ways!

Settling into a new office can be stressful.  Take time to build new relationships, learn a different way to do something and enjoy your new success!

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Registering with a Dental Staffing Service

business-peopleWEBThere are many benefits to working with a professional recruiting or staffing service.  Primarily, an exceptional agency will be able to represent you and your experience to the highest level to a potential employer.  An experienced agency knows their market and trends and can help guide you through the employment process. In addition, temporary assignments are a great way to gain a variety of experience to build your resume!  An experienced and reputable agency will be working with clients that expect the highest standard of referrals.  If you are considering working with a staffing company look for the following:

1.  They take a personal interest in you and your career goals Will they meet with you in person? If they just want a resume, they will never be able to represent you to your unique and highest standards.

2.  They offer ideas and suggestions to help you present yourself in the most positive way This could be simple changes to your resume, topics to discuss or stay away from during the interview, or coaching on how to handle a difficult or sensitive situation.

3.  They protect your private information  A reputable staffing firm will NEVER send your resume out with out your permission.  Confidentiality need to be respected.

4.  They know their clients  An established and well respected agency knows their clients.  It is in our best interest to make the best referral possible.  When the client is happy, the applicant is successful and we have done our job!

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Yes, you probably need to update your old resume

Does Your Resume (Unintentionally & Undeservedly) Say You Are Outdated?


Changing jobs after several years in the same office?  The first order of business is to give your resume a contemporary look.  That resume you used in 2000 will date you as much as walking into an office with big hair, bright red lips and shoulder pads!  Your  resume make over can be the difference between getting an interview and having your resume trashed.

A resume that is not visually pleasing, easy to read or does not state specific skills or experience with specific products or procedures will be instantly overlooked. There are some key ideas to be incorporated into a resume specific to our local dental offices!

  1.  Spend time looking at resume templates on line.  Is yours, clean, professional, easy to read, and reflect current trends? Or does it look like you sat down to a typewriter and listed your experience?  If you just keep adding skills to an outdated resume, you are dating yourself, and your experience will begin to work against you.   A polished, clean, current & relevant resume will represent your value and experience to a higher level.   
  2. It is OK to NOT  go into great detail with  skills on a resume for a position that does not require them.  For example: If you are applying for an office manager position, you will want to highlight your specific management skills.  You might include that you were a RDA for 6 years, but there is no need to list out all the RDA duties for which you are skilled.
  3. Be certain your resume states the position you are applying for.  Once you know key factors the employer seeking, you can focus your resume to reflect that criteria.  Although cross training and flexibility is important, (and these skills should be included)  be certain to identify the specific  position you are applying for:  RDA in a cosmetic practice, treatment coordinator in a multi-specialty practice etc.  
  4. Include current skills and products for which you are experienced.   For example: If you have worked in a paperless office, with laser, implants, Cerec, Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or any other specific products or procedures, this needs to be stated in your resume.
  5. Be prepared to adapt your resume to specific opportunities. For example: If your current resume states you are looking for a dental assistant position and you want to apply for hygiene assistant opening, your can change resume to say “hygiene assistant” and then highlight all the duties specific to a HA position.
  6. Limit your resume to one page.  You will include a cover letter and reference page for a total of 3 pages.
  7. As a general rule, limiting employment history to 10 years is enough.  There is always an exception: If you have over 10 years experience, and it is long term, you can include that.  For example:  10 years in 1 office and 6 years experience in another, it would be perfectly acceptable to include both experiences.
  8. Include a separate reference page with 3-5 current references (Be certain to ask their permission prior to including them)
  9. New grads: Limited non dental experience.  Although you may have 10 years experience with a single employer and you are trying to show stability and reliability, do list the employer and dates of employment, but do not  make that the focus of your resume.  1-2 lines is plenty.  The focus of your resume needs to be your dental experience.

With a small investment in time, some serious editing and good clean updates, you can maximize your value and experience in this competitive employment market!


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