Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dentists: Cover Letter, CV, What's Missing?

Proof Book: An Essential Tool for a Successful Interview

On a typical day our recruiting team speaks with more than thirty Dentists who are actively or passively seeking a new Associate position or potential partnership opportunity. Every Dentist and Dental Staff member we speak with understands the importance of putting together a solid cover letter and resume/C.V. Developing a great cover letter and solid CV are very important in landing an interview. But there is one more thing you need: A Proof Book.

Whether you are about to graduate from Dental school or you’ve been in practice for twenty years, it is always beneficial to put together a Proof Book for interviews. Over the years we’ve seen Proof Books tip the scales in a candidate’s favor more than fifty times.

So what is a Proof Book?

A Proof Book is simply a collection of information that encompasses your background, your professionalism, your accomplishments, and your clinical and patient relations acumen. There is certainly no magic format or combination of content, but typically a Proof Book should include some or all of the following:

a. A current CV/Resume
b. Case presentations
c. Before and After photos
d. Production numbers or equivalent
e. Accomplishments
f. Treatment plans
g. Letters of Recommendation
h. References
i. Blank paper for notes
j. Questions for the practice
k. Blank thank-you notes

How do I use it in an interview?

This depends on the interviewer. If the interviewer is taking the lead, you can use some of the sections as back up when you are answering questions about your how you’ve handled various patients and procedures. You can use it to show that you produce $55,000 a month in your current practice. You can use it to prove that you’ve successfully completed advanced training. You can even use it to show off letters of recommendation from patients, professors, or previous employers.
If you take the lead in the interview, you can use your Proof Book to illustrate the key points you want to make during your interview. It is one thing to tell an interviewer you produce $70,000 a month; it is much more impactful to be able to show the interviewer a report that backs up your claim.
A Proof Book gives you the opportunity to advertise your clinical skills when you don’t have the luxury of doing a working interview. A picture is worth a thousand words when you are trying to display the quality of your margins or the aesthetic results of a particularly complicated case. Bringing a few X-Rays can be a great way to exhibit your competency in providing endodontic treatment.
Even if you never open it during your interview, having a Proof Book demonstrates of preparedness and professionalism. I can’t guarantee that if you go to the office supply store, buy a nice binder, and take three hours to assemble a Proof Book that it will always get you the job. What I can guarantee is that creating a Proof Book will give you the advantage over another candidate with similar skills and background.

Written by Mark Kennedy, Owner/Managing Director of Executive Talent Search (ETS Dental, ETS Vision, ETS Tech-Ops). To find out more, call ETS Dental at (540) 563-1688 or visit us online at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Job Hunt Tips for New Dentist Graduates

The date is quickly approaching. Dental students will be graduating in May/June, and Dental Residents will be completing their programs in June. It is an exciting time. New jobs, possible relocation, and the beginning of a whole new life doing what you love to do.

If you are fortunate and have already found a great opportunity, then congratulations. Many future doctors, however, are still on the hunt. As an independent recruiter, who specializes solely in the dental industry (, I want to share with you some tips you may not hear often or at all.

Tips to consider:

  1. Be open minded.  Dentistry is not the same as it was just 5 or 10 years ago, and it definitely is not the same as it was 15+ years ago.  Group practices are growing at an astounding pace, and a shear minority of new graduates start or buy practices immediately after graduation.
  2. Don't base your decision only on what you hear from classmates.  It is great to bounce ideas and experiences off of each other, but here are a few points.  First, you are all in the same boat and have limited experience with what is out there in the job market.  Second, after graduation you are going in all sorts of different directions.  What doctors experience in New England are different that what you would experience in Texas.
  3. Look at areas one or more hours outside of major cities.  Go suburban or rural. You will find some great opportunities with successful private practices. I speak with a large of number practice owners in these areas who are looking for new doctors interested in future ownership. Their practices are well established and continue to grow, but they really need an associate to keep up the pace. The challenge for these practices is their ability to promote the opportunity due to doctors not actually looking in these locations.
  4. 35% of nothing is nothing!  Dentists for the most part get paid on a % of collections (or production).  High percentages are great if there is a strong patient base, great production, and a supporting owner or managing dentist.  You will be much better working for 28% of collections in a practice with a strong patient base and supporting owner over going into a practice paying 35% where you have to build your own patient base from nothing.
  5. Contracts require negotiation.  When you get an offer it will come with a contract (most likely).  I would almost guarantee that it will not be 100% what you are looking for.  Don't just turn it down.  If the practice is what you want, and you have develop a good rapport with the owner (manager) you must ask for what you want.  Negotiating however is not one sided and you will have to give a little to get a little.  Compromise!
Written by Carl Guthrie, Western Region Recruiter for ETS Dental.  Contact Carl at | 540-491-9104 | | | |

Friday, February 3, 2012

Organizations Begin to Backfill and Restart Hiring

"Everyone is hearing about continued debt concerns in Europe, but when it comes to not hiring in America, it’s used as an excuse not to hire, rather than a reason,” notes Rob Romaine, president ofMRINetwork. “Except for companies with heavy exposure to the European market, businesses are making hiring decisions based on the customers walking through their front door, not uncertainty surrounding sovereign debt an ocean away.”

A recent survey of MRINetwork recruiters noted an increase over the last six months of employers backfilling positions that had been left unfilled for two years or more. As one respondent said, “I believe [employers] cut so deeply over the past two years that productivity has suffered. Today, they are hiring out of necessity and a belief that the economy has begun to turn.”

The evidence that the economy has turned is mounting. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011, the fourth consecutive increase. Total GDP growth in 2011 measured 1.7 percent, not a rapid rate of growth, but a far cry from projections of a double-dip recession.

Such growth numbers are, compared to past periods of recovery, rather weak. Yet, most important is where the growth is coming from. In 2011, MRINetwork saw placements in the construction space grow by nearly 50 percent, industrial placements by more than 30 percent and consumer products and services by more than 20 percent.
“Increased hiring of senior-level talent in these sectors is promising for the general economy,” says Romaine. “It indicates a confidence and a willingness by employers to invest in talent across broad swaths of the economy despite headwinds that still persist.”

But just as employers seem to be ramping up their hunt for senior talent, the availability of such talent may be shrinking as well. Over the last six months, employers have continued to increase their use of counter-offers, hoping to retain top talent long enough to backfill their positions. In highly technical fields, such as chemical engineering or biotechnology, employers have been forced to sweeten counter-offers because there simply aren’t as many candidates as there are job openings.

Indeed, the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher—perhaps the broadest definition of the skilled, professional workforce—fell in December to 4.1 percent, its lowest rate in nearly three years.

“A full-blown, double-dip recession in Europe could have a chilling effect on hiring in America. But, until it does impact the U.S. directly, businesses are beginning to return to more normal hiring patterns,” notes Romaine. “Companies are backfilling vacancies and investing in new positions. We are in the midst of the slow, but seemingly stable, rebound that had been projected.”

Over the past several months, private employment in the U.S. has begun to rebound in an increasingly strong way. Through all of 2011, the private sector averaged 160,000 new positions per month, exceeding the monthly rates of population growth (about 140,000) and labor force growth (only about 20,000).