You have done it! You made it through embryology, radiography and oral pathology. You spent hours upon hours studying and training. You graduated from an accredited school for dental hygiene and have passed your written and clinical exams for licensure. But now what? It might not be as easy as you thought putting all that learning to good use.

An Important Role
Dental hygienists promote oral health and wellness. They play an important role in a dental office, cleaning patients’ teeth, looking for disease or abnormalities and applying sealants or fluoride treatments. The work is challenging, but fulfilling. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation will grow 33.3 percent by 2022. This is faster than the average growth rate for most professions, but still the competition is fierce.

Finding the Right Dental Job
The job market is tight because baby boomers are staying on in their positions into their 60s and the economy isn’t getting much better. To find a dental job, you need to stand head and shoulders above the other candidates. Here are four tips to help you do just that.

1. Give Your Resume a Makeover

If you want to get more interviews quickly, then you must have a strong resume. In medical resumes you should start with your qualifications first. This puts your technical skills and professional achievements front and center. Include your academic degree, years of experience, abilities, certifications and licensing. This information makes up about 90 percent of what hiring managers seek. Putting it right at the top it saves them time.

After qualifications you should move on to professional experience. Because you just graduated, you probably do not have direct job experience. Hiring managers understand this. However, you need to communicate how past experience in different jobs translates to working as a dental hygienist. Be concise, but also delineate where, when and for whom you worked. Also try to quantify your success where you can.

Finally, list out your technical skills focusing on keywords the hiring manager wants to know. Be sure to list skills and training you have not mentioned but are applicable. Also, do not be afraid to repeat a few important keywords—just in case the hiring manager missed them.

2. Develop Your Network

Even before you graduate, you need to start reaching out to dentists and offices where you want to work. Establishing these connections early will help you cast a wide net when it comes time to finding a job. How? Some of the most coveted positions in dentistry are not even advertised. Instead, openings are often spread and filled solely by word-of-mouth and already established networks. If you get involved in your local dental hygiene society and become a member of the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA), you will have even more opportunities for positive interaction.

One way you can connect with many dental professionals is through social media. You should establish yourself on LinkedIn and Facebook, always striving to maintain high professional standards. Also get involved. Attend events and job fairs, do a little leg work around town dropping into some dental offices and don’t be afraid to make a few phone calls.

Also don’t forget about your existing network through your alma mater. Your teachers, counselors and even fellow graduates might be some of the best connections you ever make.

3. Continue Your Education

Just because you have finished with school does not mean you have finished learning. The science and advanced technology of the dental industry continues to evolve. If you want to stay on par with or ahead of your peers in dental hygiene, you must work diligently to build upon your knowledge and expertise.

Across the nation dental hygienists are performing more expanded functions. There are a variety of programs, certifications and institutions to choose—many of them designed for those in current hygiene positions looking to further their education online or through night classes. If you have an associate’s degree, get your bachelor’s. If you have your bachelor’s, why not go for your master’s?

4. Never Give Up

Above all else, you cannot get discouraged. Even after weeks of volunteer work or temping, you still may not have found the perfect fit. Be diligent! Follow up your job applications with calls or correspondence. Use all the resources at your disposal. Keep reaching out, developing your network and interviewing. Always act with professionalism. You do not need to settle for any dental position. You can afford to be picky. If you work hard and deserve to have a job, you will find the right one. It is worth the wait!

Author's Bio: 

Always look to share best of my knowledge.