Welcome 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.
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!