Many elements are involved in preparing and marketing yourself for employment. This section will provide tips for creating an effective curriculum vitae (CV), writing a compelling cover letter, understanding your social media profile and how to use it to market yourself, networking, budgeting and planning for your projected associate salary and narrowing down the locations where you want to live and work.
A good CV cannot be generalized like an application. It is written to get a specific job, so it should be job specific, written with the practice and position in mind with you matching skills and qualifications to the job’s requirements. In other words, the CV should make it obvious to the employer that you are the right candidate. Remember that your CV is actually a key to the interview. It should generate interest and excitement to compel the reader to pick up the phone for an interview.
Here are a few tips:
The following information is generally included in a CV:
Many potential employers scan Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media sites to gather information about a job candidate. What they discover can help them decide whether or not to hire you.
Create a social media profile that demonstrates the type of employee you will be and that conveys your professional strengths. CDA’s Career Center offers resources to help members develop a professional social media image, including:
Why You Should Google Yourself to Monitor Your Online Brand
How Job Searchers Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage
Networking as a future dentist should ideally begin in dental school. Take advantage of the networking opportunities offered through your dental school, such as alumni events, job fairs, student volunteer organizations and faculty programs. Even if you are unsure where you plan to live and work after dental school, the networking opportunities in dental school are great practice and can lead to unexpected opportunities.
In dental school, there are many opportunities to get involved with organized dentistry and network with local dentists. Contact the local dental society and state dental association to inquire about events the association is hosting for dental students, new dentists and general members. There are always ways to volunteer your time, which is a great path to finding dentists who are happy to be mentors and provide advice.
As a dental student, attend the professional dental association meetings and conventions. CDA Presents, offered twice a year, is an excellent way to meet colleagues, attend networking events, attend continuing education courses and visit with dental vendors from all over the country.
While not the only or often most important consideration, it is important to understand the salary you can expect to earn. This will help guide your budget as a new associate and will also influence locations you consider.
According to indeed.com, the average salary of an associate dentist in the U.S. is $212,000. However, according to ziprecruiter.com, an associate dentist in the U.S. takes home a significantly lower average of $178,000 per year. Finally, payscale.com shows $123,000 as the median salary for an associate dentist in the U.S. Based on this data, the associate salary range is wide, so it is wise to be conservative in your projections. Plan to earn and base your monthly budget on the low end. Keep in mind, most associates are offered a rate based on a percentage (typically 25% to 40%) of daily collections/adjusted production. Salary structures are more specifically outlined in this toolkit in the “Associate Agreements” section. It is important to ask what the typical dentist provider produces per day in the practice you are considering so you can project the daily salary range. The questions you should ask the practice owner regarding production and compensation are covered in more depth in the “Associate Interview” section of this toolkit.
About six to 12 months before graduation from dental school, identify your preferred location where you would like to live and work. Keep in mind, the wider you cast your net, the more job prospects you will have. Rather than choosing a specific city or town, identify the type of location you ideally want to live in and practice. Here are some questions to consider in establishing your desired location:
Once you’ve come to the answers to these questions, create a monthly budget to help you choose locations in which you want to live/work.
The budget should include:
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