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Do you have any recommendations on how to network and make connections for finding a job after I’m done with school?

I am currently in school but do not intend on staying in the same area when I graduate. I hope to move back home, where my family is, at least to start out my career. What recommendations would you have for me going about making connections back home? My dentist is my cousin and she said she would help me out by writing recommendation letters but I feel like there’s so much more to do!



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4 Answers

I think you are on the right track by starting with your dentist cousin. Beyond having her write letters of recommendation ask her if she knows any other dentists who are hiring. You can also ask her if there are any dental networking groups she belongs to. She is already involved in her local area, so for networking she is your best place to start.

 

Beyond utilizing your cousin for networking, I recommend contacting the Illinois Dental Hygienists Association via e-mail or Facebook and explain that you are currently a student looking to move back home to Illinois and ask if they have any volunteer work you can do. You can make these connections digitally before you move back and then once you are back home you can physically meet with people from the IDHA to further the networking. Find out any events they are holding and attend those. Furthermore, you can also contact the Illinois chapter of the American Dental Association and do the same thing.

 

Another outside the box way to network is to look for dental instrument and equipment sales reps and call them up. You can do a Google search for the companies and many times find contact information for the sales reps directly on the company website. These people are in sales so most of their job revolves around networking. Explain to them that you are a student who is looking to move to Illinois and wanted to introduce yourself. Once you are back in Illinois set up a time to sit down and meet with them. You can also let them know that your cousin is a dentist and that you would be willing to reciprocate any help they can provide you by introducing them to your cousin. The best way to get somebody to help you is to offer to help them in any way you can first. This is the basis of networking. While it may not feel like you have much to offer as a student, a smart dental sales rep will understand the power of being in good with a hygienist once you finally land a job.

 

I hope this gives you some ideas on where to start. The important thing to remember is that you can start networking digitally before you are physically back in Illinois. I wish you the very best of luck in your remaining time of school and finding a job upon graduation!

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See if there is a local dental hygiene study group in the area you are interested in, they usually have a sub list.

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There are also dental agencies for temping or a permanent position. When I first moved to CA from MI I found the ADHA component for the area I was in was very helpful. I temped until I found a permanent job. Also go to dental offices and drop off your resumes. If they aren’t hiring now they may keep your resume for future. Not all resumes go to the trash.

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I would constantly check DentalPost.net and apply to every job you can. The more people in the industry you meet the better. Set up a LinkedIn profile and connect with everyone you can in the dental industry, including reps.
It is a good idea to ask if you can shadow in an office and be as helpful as you can while you are there.
I know several hygienist who had a difficult time getting jobs in hygiene right out of school so they took an assisting position and worked their way into a hygiene position.
Make sure on your resume you especially the one you do on DentalPost & LinkedIn that you tell what you liked about and how you grew from each job you have had previously.

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