Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2018 07 Crumpled Resume Rdh Diqthumb

Help me help you: From the clinical operatory to the corporate setting

July 2, 2018
Manufacturers value dental hygienists' expertise, so if you're looking to add a new dimension to your career, don't let your résumé end up in the trash. Corporate dental industry veteran Noel Paschke, MS, RDH, shares five tips for helping you open up a new path for yourself in dental hygiene career alternatives.

Companies value the clinical expertise dental hygienists have to promote, endorse, and teach about products in schools, trade shows, and private practices. Research presented at the American Dental Education Association showed that faculty prefer dental hygienist trainers over non-RDH sales reps for in-service education. (1) Several companies have been hiring part-time educational consultants, including Acteon, WaterPik, and Young Dental/American Eagle, to name a few.

The great news is clinicians can continue with direct patient care while concurrently creating a path to the corporate setting. It is like “dating” the company before you would consider “marrying” them—that is, becoming an employee if that option were available. Documenting your experience in your résumé is critical to getting hired as a trainer and consultant.

So, how can you get noticed? Here are my top five tips on the path from the clinical operatory to the corporate setting.

1. Create a resume for the position to which you hope to be hired. Be specific in your objective. For example, do not state, “to acquire a part-time position in sales” if you are applying for an education position. I declined to interview one candidate after reading her résumé because her objective said she wanted a sales position. When she contacted me, my advice was to “customize your résumé objective for the position that is being sought.”

2. Create a résumé that highlights your technology and product proficiencies for product categories in the company’s portfolio. It could include competitive products. For example, you may have proficiency with digital sensors, but haven’t used ones from the company to which you are applying. Take the time to visit the company’s website prior to creating and sending your résumé to learn about the product portfolio. A résumé I received recently bulleted 18 proficiencies, some of which were Acteon products and some of which were competitive products. What a great way to train a customer how to use equipment if you know what is in the marketplace and can compare and contrast features and benefits. I hired the RDH in a heartbeat.

3. Include your city, state or province, and zip or postal code, as well as your email address and phone contact information on the résumé, and label your file with your last name and state (e.g., Paschke MT). This may sound crazy, but not having this information is likely to land your résumé in a “dead” file. If I need someone in Chicago, I want to be able to retrieve résumés quickly from the hundreds I have on file. A file labelled “résumé” is meaningful to you but requires the corporate manager to relabel it before storing it. Help me help you with not having to take the time to relabel it. (If you live in Maryland, instead of putting MD after your last name, write out Maryland so it doesn’t appear that you are medical doctor.)

4. Commit to learning new software and technologies. There is an increased corporate interest in RDHs becoming resources in diagnostic imaging for implants as well as implant maintenance. Learning how to position a patient for a 3-D CBCT such as Trium could make you very valuable for companies that sell CBCT machines or have equipment for implant maintenance such as subgingival air polishing.

5. Be really easy to work with. When opportunities arise, you will be among the first to be considered. Christine Errico, RDH, was a clinical trainer for Acteon. When a sales position became available, Christine was at the top of the list among talented professionals because she was not only knowledgeable, but also a delight to work with.

1. Paschke N, Parker E. Corporate educational presentations for allied dental programs. J Dent Educ. 2003;67(2):191.

Editor's note: This article first appeared in RDH eVillage. Click here to subscribe.

Noel Paschke, MS, RDH, has over 20 years of experience in the corporate dental industry, having worked for Dentsply as the North America clinical educator manger and Philips as North America professional education senior manager. She is currently creating customer delight at Acteon as North America director of clinical education.