Office Manager Patricia Wilson is the first line of defense at Smiles by Shields. She is the one who gets the first look at resumes and determines if they are worth passing on to her dentist, Dr. Tiffany Shields. When I spoke to Wilson this week, she had a lot of insight into choosing candidates that I hadn’t thought about before.
“Something we try to decipher is if the person has qualities that can’t be taught, like heart and ethics,” she said. “We look for someone with outside community and volunteer work. That’s usually a good indicator of someone who has heart.” With a sea of applicants all touting a high GPA and good work experience, humanizing qualities such as compassion and empathy give candidates an edge at this Jacksonville dental practice.
About five months ago, Wilson received a resume when the practice wasn’t looking to hire. “I gave it a glance and was about to toss it in the garbage when I looked all the way to the bottom and saw these two little sentences,” she said. Under the candidates work experience, she listed two jobs that were not in the medical field: server and lifeguard. For the description of her 2004-2005 serving job at LongHorn Steakhouse she wrote, “Developed my interpersonal skills at a young age by interacting and caring for the needs of every guest.” For the description of her 2002-2004 lifeguard duties she wrote, “Two seasons of intense training to protect the lives under my watch.”
“I’m a people person,” Wilson said. “I think the thing that impacted me so much is she wasn’t belittling what she was doing.” Wilson said she loved how the candidate worded the description to reflect her positive learning experiences with customer service at a young age. Not only did Wilson keep the candidate’s resume for future hiring possibilities, she called her to ask if she could send her resume to other practices she knew were hiring.
Because a key component in dental work is interacting with people, Wilson continues to look for humanizing qualities on resumes she receives. “I want to know know from this piece of paper that you’re a people person and not just a 4.0 grade point average,” she said.
Here are a few more things Wilson said she likes to see in resumes:
- One page only – anything more is too time consuming. Too long, it’s out.
- Bullet points – I’m a fast-paced person. I want something I can read quick.
- No spelling, grammatical or clerical errors. If it’s got errors, I toss it.
- If the print’s too little, it’s out.
It’s always important to get the expertise from someone who aids in the hiring process at dental practices. When you’re looking for a job, it might not be a bad idea to list your volunteer work in the Special Olympics or that time you participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters.