BY Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, MS
Word on the street (and social media) is that there are no clinical jobs for dental hygienists. I do not dispute this claim as my phone rings daily with panicked colleagues asking if I know of any opportunities I can share. In my small realm of consulting, the only jobs in my inbox are temporary or fill-in situations, and these are limited to my geographical area.
My suggestion? Take your search to the web. Start in the obvious places such as LinkedIn and myeFolio. Get your resume updated and uploaded. LinkedIn is a great place for networking, job seeking, and building a web presence.1
After creating a profile on the site, it's vital to keep it updated and relevant. You can access the site on a free or premium level. If you pay for premium access, you will receive greater exposure of your resume, which will enable you to stand out to recruiters and companies that are hiring. You will also see how you compare to other candidates, and receive targeted job opportunities in your area.
Another way to get your qualifications and job desires on the web is through a portfolio site.2 MyeFolio is easy to use and guides you through the process of creating and posting your portfolio. There is a News and Events tab on the site that not only lets you read the news from eportfolios, but if you browse the content carefully you can extract tips for your own portfolio submission. If you're currently a student, most universities and colleges offer free access to an eportfolio site. It's important to remember to transfer your information and content to another site, or to start a paying account before you graduate to avoid losing all your content.
Website addresses suggested by this column
I met a representative from DentalPost.net last year at a convention. I had tucked away the business card and almost forgotten about it until a friend reminded me about this excellent resource.3 DentalPost is not only a website, but also an app for your smartphone. As a job seeker on the website, you can post your resume, search and apply for jobs, and receive job notifications via email and assessments for no fee. The assessments cover personality, values, and work cultures in an attempt to better match you with potential employers.
You can share DentalPost.net with all your dental colleagues as they have postings for assistants, hygienists, front desk, and even dental techs and dental reps. The site also lists dental events and CE from all over the U.S., and a blog that covers topics relevant to dental employment and careers.
The DentalPost mobile app puts all the content of the website right at your fingertips on your smartphone. I registered myself on the app and within minutes received an email with a job posting in my area. This posting also showed up on the home screen of the app. From the app you can set up how you prefer to receive notifications and updates to blogs and events.
Tonya Lanthier, RDH, developed DentalPost based on what she learned from clinical practice and the needs of dental hygienists. The goal of DentalPost is to "help dental professionals connect and build teams that excel," the website states. By offering free personality testing, DentalPost helps dental professionals better understand themselves and the environment best suited to success and happiness of employees and employers alike. Tonya believes that values drive our culture, and this is a belief that's evident on the DentalPost website and app. Job seekers on the site are allowed to post their professional photo, DISC personality test, values assessment, skills assessment, and work culture assessment on their profile, which allows for the best possible employer/employee match.
In the current job market of more candidates than positions, a presence on the web is beneficial, not only for obtaining employment, but in finding a position best suited to your values and personality. This is not the time to be shy. Put your strengths and beliefs on display for all to see. I've given you a few good starting places to turn your web weaving sessions into productive time spent on personal and professional development. May you have good luck and prosper. RDH
Lory Laughter, RDH, BS, MS practices clinically in Napa, Calif. She is owner of Dental IQ, a business responsible for the Annual Napa Dental Experience. Lory combines her love for travel with speaking nationally on a variety of topics. She is also a part-time educator or consultant for American Eagle, Interleukin Genetics, Livionex, and Nuvora. She can be contacted at [email protected].