This summer, the Bureau of Labor monthly jobs report stated that the U.S. added only 18,000 jobs in the month of June 2011 and ZERO in the month of August! With over three hundred million people in the U.S. at this time (a number that is growing every second), that statistic is quite an eye opener!
In a tight job market, dentistry is not immune; there are simply not enough jobs for the job-seekers in saturated areas such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Austin to all find opportunities.
At ETS Dental, we speak with dentists and dental staff job-seekers every day who are having a hard time finding opportunities in saturated areas.We want to provide some tips that may help you in your search for stable, long-term employment.
Don´t Get in Your Own Way:
The biggest disservice you can do yourself is to think you are the only qualified applicant for the job. In a saturated market you have to sell yourself much more than the practice has to sell itself to you. For example, this summer I posted a job opening in San Francisco, CA. I had ten applicants within two hours. By the end of that week, I had at least 50 to 75 applicants. Your resume, cover letter, attitude, and the things you say have to express what you bring to the table. What skills and experience do you have that will benefit the practice? What sets you apart? Can you speak Spanish? Do you love working with kids? Can you place implants? Can you bring new patients into the practice? Don´t move the conversation straight to how much they will pay you. You don´t even have the job offer yet, and this approach can cost you the job.
Expand Your Options:
Most job-seekers we speak with would much rather work for a private practice or small group practice. Corporate dentistry is a last resort or often not something they even want to consider. However, large group and corporate dentistry is growing and here to stay. These practices can offer you stable employment, great training, a guaranteed minimum salary, and benefits. If private and small group practices are not hiring in your area, don´t limit your options.
Use an Independent Recruiter:
A few dental recruiters, like ETS Dental, have contact with practices throughout the U.S. Most often we are working on openings that are not advertised in any other channels. Our clients entrust us to locate the right talent to grow their practices. We speak with job-seekers in order to understand their goals and experience. We have the ability to market strong candidates to practices with whom we have built relationships over the years. Sometimes it´s all about who you know, and recruiters are good to know.
Many new graduates can benefit from this in difficult areas. Volunteering can help build or maintain skills, like chair-side communication and building patient rapport. It can even help you connect with other practitioners, and possibly lead to an employment opportunity. Look for volunteer opportunities in free dental clinics, or give your time by participating in free dental care days that may be offered in your community.
Shake Some Hands:
Go to dental society meetings. Get online and join discussion groups like Dental Town. Get on LinkedIn. Hand out business cards to every dentist you meet. Drop in and say hello to offices and leave a resume/CV. You can´t be shy in a saturated market. Let people know who you are, and let them know you are looking for an opportunity.
Multiple Part-Time Jobs:
Most saturated markets have more part-time openings available than full-time. You should definitely consider trying to get 2 or 3 part-time jobs if you need a full-time income.
It´s an extreme measure for many, but for some it can mean the difference in having a career or several short-term, part-time positions or even having nothing at all. Relocating expands your options exponentially. Just make sure you are not expanding your options of relocation to another heavily saturated area.