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