Monday, September 20, 2010

Why Dentists Don't Get Hired

You have sent out dozens of resumes and yet no response or you have had an interview but no further contact from the prospective employer.  Is it them? Is it you? 

Employers over interview often to ensure that they find the best fit for the position and for the business.  All too often they interview candidates, hire someone, but then never bother to follow up with those who did not get the position to simply let them know the position is filled.   Therefore, you never really get to understand what it was you did or did not do that ruled you out of contention. 

Recently, MSN Careers and CareerBuilder wrote an article "Not Getting Hired? 10 Reasons Why."  Good article, and in my experience as a dental recruiter I have seen all of these points first hand.    I have taken their list and related to some Dentistry examples.

1.  You are not honest
The dental community is relatively small, and your history as a clinician will come to light if you are not honest.  In a 2008 CareerBuilder survey, 49 percent of hiring managers reported they caught a candidate lying on their resume; of those 57 percent said they automatically dismissed the applicant.  Inventing details or inflating facts will not help you in the long run.  You will be found out eventually. 

2.  You use foul language or speak ill of past employers
Dentistry, while a relatively tight knit community, is still very diverse.  There are doctors of all backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, etc.  If you are one that feels very at ease and comfortable with new people that is great, but don't let your guard down and just say anything.  Foul language is not appreciated by all, and you can quickly turn a great interview bad with this. 

This same point applies to speaking about your most recent employer.  While tempting to tell how awful the past employer was.  Don't say it.  44% of employers said that talking negatively about other employers was one of the most detrimental mistakes a candidate can make.  Instead of speaking ill of past employers, simply state that you are looking for an opportunity where you will feel like more of the team.

3.  You do not demonstrate the ability to stay long-term
Too many dentists start positions with practices without a strong, long-term commitment.  They just want to "test drive" the practice to see if it will be a good fit.  This is a view that will be detrimental to your job search.  Employers want to see that you have the drive and desire to join them for a long-term future.  When asked, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years," you should answer that question with something regarding that position or the company you're interviewing with.

4.  Google and Facebook reveals too much about you
Nearly 45% of employers use social networking sites to research candidates.  35% of them reported dismissing candidates because of something they found.  If you are on social networking sites, be sure to check your privacy settings, and search for your name on Google, Bing, and Yahoo to see what comes up.  Make sure your Profile Pictures are not risqué or demonstrate poor character to potential employers.

5.  You know nothing about the employer
Learn about the company or practice you are interviewing with.  Check the website, Google them and read articles, reviews, or anything else you can find.  You should then write down some questions and notes for the interview.  It is better to go in with prepared notes rather than shoot from the hip.

6.  You were bored or arrogant
Be enthusiastic, and try to learn and understand as much as possible about the practice.  Point out the things that appeal to you.  Ask questions.  42% of the time arrogance cost applicants the job.

7.  Too much personal information
Stick to the professional points.  It is not necessary to bring up a lot of details regarding race, age, religion, etc.  It can open you up to bias. 

8.  You jump straight to money
Money is important, but it is not the only point of discussion.  You as the applicant should not bring up compensation before the employer.  All too often I have seen doctors hired because the money was right, but the fit was not.  Make sure that there is a strong mutual interest and comfort level.  That goes a lot farther than money.

9.  You can’t prove what you say about your experience
Prove what you say.  If your monthly production is $50,000 per month bring in printouts from you last position proving such.  Also, be able to present cases that back up what you have stated you are competent at clinically. 

10.  You lack experience
Be able to explain and demonstrate, with examples, experience in a given job position.  This goes a long way in showing why you should be considered.  Refer back to #9.

Carl Guthrie is the Western U.S. Account Executive and Recruiter for ETS Dental.  He can be reached at or 540-491-9104.   ETS Dental is a Denatl Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing General Dentists, Dental Specialists, and Dental Staff throughout the United States.