Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Your Dental Brand: Social Media and Your Job Search as a Dentist


Branding” is one of those constantly used buzzwords regarding marketing a product, a service, or a person. It is an important part of making your presence known to others and making sure they know something about you. Social media has brought personal branding to the masses. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, or countless other mediums, you now have tools easily and freely at your immediate disposal.

Personal branding is especially important when you are trying to stand out in this ever competitive job market. Dentistry has focused mostly on utilizing social media for marketing practices in local communities. There are very few in the dentistry field utilizing the power of social media for their careers.

Keys to using Social Media effectively in your job search

  • Be personable, but professional.
  • Don't make everything public. Make private anything you would not want a potential employer to see. As a recruiter I am looking for your social media presence online, and employers are doing it, too.
  • Completely fill out your profile information if you want others to find and communicate with you.
  • Showcase your skills, abilities, experience, and personality.
  • Utilize customized URLs such as www.linkedin.com/in/cguthrie or www.facebook.com/ETSdental.
  • Ask others to add recommendations to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Be an Active Participant in order to be noticed and recognized! 

Helpful links to check out on this subject:


Brief Overview of the Most Widely Used Networks:

LinkedIn.com

LinkedIn is this best site for putting your professional brand on display for potential employers. LinkedIn's sole purpose is for professional networking. If you are in the market for a new opportunity or you simply want your name to stand out there be sure to make your profile page public. Completely fill out your profile. You can hide contact info, but make sure you allow others to send you InMail and Connection Requests.  
LinkedIn is also going to serve you well in your research about a practice. You can look up companies and groups where you can gain valuable insights into an organization and the people who work there. Check out the ETS Dental Group and the ETS Dental Company Page. Join in on discussions by answering questions others have or ask your own questions to start a discussion.
Facebook.com
Facebook is the most well-known, most widely used, but the least productive when branding yourself. It's a better site for keeping up with personal and/or private relationships. You could create a Facebook page for yourself, but unless you are very famous you should not go this route.
Twitter.com
Twitter is a quick and easy way to share knowledge, ask questions, and build your online presence in short snippets. 160 characters is all you get. Engage others by replying, re-tweeting, and direct messaging. Beware that Twitter is full of others who are constantly posting and it can get very noisy. Engagement is key to successfully utilizing Twitter.
Blogging
Blogs are the base where you can share the most information about yourself. Use your blog to speak on subjects related to dental practice management, dental procedures, dental tech, etc. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great ways to broadcast your blog posts. Sites to try: WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com
DentalTown.com
DentalTown.com is a premier source of dental news, discussion groups, classified ads, and more. It is an excellent resource in getting answers to key dental question and where you can share much of your dental knowledge with doctors and other individuals solely focused on dentistry.


Written by Carl Guthrie, Western Region Recruiter for ETS Dental.  
Contact Carl at cguthrie@etsdental.com | 540-491-9104 | http://www.etsdental.com/














Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking For a Short Cut Where None Exists

In January 2012, the unemployment rate was down year-over-year in 345 of the 372 U.S. metropolitan areas the Labor Department tracks. The number of metropolitan areas with unemployment over 10 percent nearly halved from 150 in January 2011 to just 86 in 2012. 

A consensus of economists surveyed by Blue Chip Economic Indicators last month projected the unemployment rate will be below 8 percent by the end of 2013. A recent report by a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, however, showed a series of scenarios in which unemployment could actually fall to 6 percent as soon as early next year. Either way, we are in a period of recovery, and unless outside factors such as instability in Asia or Europe slow the U.S. economy, the improvement is set to continue. 

Hiring activity continues to increase as the economy gains speed. However, employers are finding fewer qualified applicants for their top positions. Even when multiple qualified candidates materialize, selecting among them is feeling more like gambling than science. Hiring managers today are hungry for ways to confidently screen out candidates. 

In fact, while most job seekers spend hours crafting a perfect resume, professional recruiters often don’t even look beyond the contact information. Instead, they opt to take a professional history through an interview. 

“Resume and cover letter advice has become so ubiquitous that candidates are following the same unwritten rules. Rejecting resumes that fail to fit the mold exactly becomes an easy way for hiring managers to trim a stack of resumes,” says Rob Romaine, president of MRINetwork. “By the end, there is a small pool of candidates who simply put the right polish on their job search. But it’s a filtering process that doesn’t take into account the qualities that actually cause someone to positively contribute to an organization.” 

The recent trend of interviewers requesting to see private social media profiles of candidates doesn’t stem from an interest in violating a candidate’s privacy. It’s the fallout of a talent market that has been coached and homogenized to a point where employers are desperate to find not just what makes one qualified candidate better than the other, but even just what makes them different. 

“Today, a social media profile that is clear of content that gives an interviewer pause is as likely to mean the profile has been sanitized as anything else, which makes looking at them virtually meaningless,” says Romaine. “While even the most detailed profile is going to provide little insight into how a candidate solves problems, overcomes challenges, or would interact with a team, these are the qualities that make A-players and they are qualities that are infinitely harder to screen for.” 

One important role outside recruiters can serve in the search process is their ability to interact with candidates outside the normal candidate-employer relationship. Agency recruiters will often interact with a candidate for months or sometimes years before sending them on an interview and will know many of their colleagues in a similar way. It gives the recruiter a much broader understanding of the candidate from which to evaluate how they will fit with an organization. 

“Going online for 15 minutes can help to eliminate a candidate, but it does little to highlight the positive attributes a candidate might bring. Conversely, interview techniques, like having candidates participate in a long-form group meeting with several members of a team might be time intensive, but can help to highlight someone who would thrive in an organization,” notes Romaine. “While moving quickly once a top candidate has been identified is important, vetting a candidate using shortcuts that don’t actually connect to performance or cultural fit is counterproductive.”

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Five Things to Consider Before and After Writing a Cover Letter

BEFORE:
1. Specificity
Research the practice to which you are applying. Address the doctors, staff, or hiring authority by name. If possible, at some point in your letter you could even mention what you know about this particular practice’s environment that appeals to you professionally as a potential employee.

2. Confidence
Who are you and why are you writing a cover letter to this practice? State what you are looking for and what you can immediately bring to the table.

3. Sell your experience
Briefly touch on experiences with specialty clinics, conferences, lectures, research, externships, residencies, school organizations, professional organizations, certifications, teaching, or continued education. You may even want to mention your undergraduate degree or a previous work experience, if they are relevant to the position for which you are applying.

4. What’s in it for you?
Not only do you want to show the practice what’s in it for them, but you also want to illustrate how this practice will benefit you as a professional in your field. What do these goals say about your work ethic and personality?

5. Sell your virtues
Throughout your letter, you want to clearly explain why it would benefit the practice to hire you. Express your passion for your field by highlighting traits and skills you posses that make you an invaluable asset to the organization. For example, what skills do you have with communication, business, or management?

AFTER:
1. Consistency
In just a few short paragraphs, you are trying to convince a company that you are the best choice for a potential hire. Disperse your virtues throughout the letter as they are relevant to your experiences and future goals. Consistency in purpose will balance your letter and make it easier, more enjoyable to read, and more impressive.

2. Concise wording
Brevity is the key, as it will allow you to more easily insinuate self-confidence and purpose within your letter. Avoid clich├ęs and redundancy in your wording, and try to use fresh verbs and adjectives.

3. Contact information
In your closing paragraph, include a sentiment regarding your availability and the different methods of contact, which should include a phone number and email address. Detailing your specific times and methods of availability denotes professionalism and a sincere interest in speaking further with your potential employer.

4. Clean, simple formatting
Break up your paragraphs so that each one addresses one or two points and contains no more than five sentences. Look up proper formatting for formal letters so that you know where to put dates, names, addresses, or contact information.
5. Correct grammar and spelling
The editing process may be daunting, but proof-reading is essential for an impressive cover letter. When you’ve spent so much time writing, it can be invaluable to get a fresh perspective from a friend, peer, or family member; new eyes may be able to spot a mistake that you’ve overlooked and small technical errors could break your chances for an otherwise well-deserved interview.

Sample Cover Letter


Date

Doctor office/name
Address
City, State Zip




Dear Practice Owner:

I am a fourth year dental student at the University of Dental School seeking an associate position as a General Dentist in the Happyville, USA area upon my graduation in May 2012. I am looking to work in a friendly environment where I can contribute to practice growth while broadening my knowledge of advanced dental topics and procedures. As a hardworking and highly motivated individual, I am open to working mornings, evenings, and weekends.

Through participation in externships, research, and dental organizations, I have used my time in dental school to gain exposure to all branches of dentistry. I have volunteered, participated in many continuing education courses, and attended lectures at the Dentist Conference Meeting each year. I have received training to become a certified Invisalign provider and possess clinical and research experience with the appliance. While I am confident that my education and experiences have prepared me to diagnose and treat patients in all facets of dentistry, I am excited to start my career in the dental world where my skills will increase exponentially.

I strongly believe that my positive attitude, excellent communication skills (including an ability to speak Spanish fluently), and background in Business Administration will allow me to be a valuable asset to your practice. Before entering the field of dentistry, I earned a degree in Management Information Systems from the University and spent a year as a Quality Assurance Analyst at ABC Co., which has given me a fundamental understanding of business principles and will aid in my transition from student to practicing dentist.

I have enclosed my CV for your consideration. I welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss my qualifications and experiences in detail. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (555) 555-5555 or via e-mail at email@web.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,



Great Dentist, D.D.S.