At Best Dental Jobs we work with a wide variety of dental nurses, dental recruiters, dental practice managers and many other people in the industry. Through these relationships and our considerable experience, we've developed and refined our best practice advice on how to find your next dental nurse job - and we're ready to share it with you now.
In many instances, we see dental nurses joining the profession with a wide variety of prior roles. In some cases these are relevant for the roles they're applying for, but in others, an abundance of non-dental roles is just filler content on your CV. It distracts recruiters and potential employers from understanding who you are and why they should be interested in you. So any prior hospitality, retail or other non-dental roles should have a bare minimum of explanation against them, other than to explain your career timeline.
Behind buying a house, getting married, or having children, your career is one of the most important decisions you'll likely make. Yet the number of people who just 'wing it' and leave their career choices to chance, is truly staggering. We recommend taking the time to think about what you're doing, what you aspire to be doing and by when, and then work backwards, filling in the milestones you need to hit to achieve your dreams. It might be that additional training or personal development is required, or that you need to consider a secondment in a practice that allows you to specialise in a particular niche… all we're saying is that you should plan for these moves and develop a plan, document it and review it periodically. It genuinely will work wonders for your future career opportunities.
You know what you're good at, but does a recruiter, employer or interviewer know this too? That's why we suggest thinking about what strengths you want to emphasise, both on your CV and when you get to interview stage. The strengths you put front and centre are what you'll be associated with, so think about those skills or experiences that are in demand, that are aligned with the role you're targeting and make sure you emphasise them at every opportunity.
We know that there are lots of job boards out there. Some are generic platforms that advertise for every conceivable role, whereas others are really specialist. Our advice is to focus on the niche job boards, as this is where you'll find recruiters and employers that understand the specifics of working in dental practices. BestDentalJobs is naturally a great example of a very focused job board that we clearly strongly recommend! You can easily Create a Jobseeker Profile or browse all the relevant jobs.
It's actually counterintuitive to register with every agency you come across. From a recruiter's perspective, they want exclusivity and with that, they'll typically go the extra mile in representing you to the practices you want to be considered by. Register with lots of agencies and recruiters may well put your CV to the bottom of the pile behind those that have given them exclusivity. So see which agencies are active in your specific sector and location, and use your gut when speaking to recruiters to determine which ones you should focus your efforts on. Not all recruiters are the same!
This is a broad statement, but what we mean is not to be afraid of picking up the phone and calling your agency or recruiter. Or don't be afraid of applying for a job you see on your relevant job board. Being afraid or procrastinating can be really limiting in any job search. And taking that first step, picking up the phone, sending that email or approaching an agency or employer, is often the hardest. Practically everyone else goes through this process when finding their next job, so don't be afraid.
Job boards, recruiters and recruitment agencies are fantastic aides when looking for a new dental nurse job, but don't neglect your personal and professional network. Various articles will refer to the 'dark job market' and that just means those roles that typically don't get advertised or passed to recruiters. In many ways, this relates back to the old adage of "it's not what you know, it's who you know". So speak to trusted friends and colleagues and see if they're aware of any practices recruiting, or considering recruiting, or if they know of anyone else moving on from their existing role which could create an opening for you.
Your social media presence can give recruiters and employers an insight into who you are and what you do in your personal life. Whatever you get up to, we'd suggest that you review your security settings and ensure you're only sharing what you want others to see. Each social media platform is different, so log in to your accounts and see what you're sharing and with whom. Here's the Facebook Privacy Settings & Tools page, to get you started.
It's tempting when you want a new job to apply for everything you see that you like or think you're suitable for. But just as we recommend being selective over the agency or recruiter you work with, so you should be selective over the jobs you apply for. Don't necessarily apply for every job you see. Think about the cover letter you're sending, or the accompanying email message and make sure what you're saying is relevant to the role you're applying for and specifically addresses the recruiter or employer you're contacting. If possible, you should even consider tweaking your CV to highlight or emphasise the specific aspects of your skills and experience that match the requirements of the role.
And finally, be persistent. It's natural to receive rejections for some of your applications, but don't be disheartened. The job market is a competitive arena and in many cases, there'll potentially be others going for the same role you are, that have more or better experience, live closer, have carried out additional training, etc. But be persistent. If the interview or job offer doesn't materialise, revisit your plan, pick up the phone again to your recruiter or agency and continue your job search and selective application process.