How to Find a Job in a Seemingly Saturated Job Market

During the Summer of 2016, the Bureau of Labor released their monthly jobs report that stated the U.S. added only 18,000 jobs in the month of June and ZERO in the month of August! With over three hundred million people in the U.S. that statistic is quite an eye opener!

In a tight job market, dentistry is not immune; there are simply not enough jobs for the jobseekers in saturated areas such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Atlanta to find opportunities.  But at the same time, year after year the U.S. News and World Report encourages more persons to enter dentistry as a profession.

How can this be?  Well, first of all when an office finds a great staff member they tend to hold on to them, decreasing the total number of available positions.  They will pay more salary and give more benefits to keep them happy. Secondly, and all offices are guilty of this, sometimes we just accept the “no too bad, not too good” staff member because the search for a better one can be a difficult task.  This complacency also reduces the overall number of available jobs on the market.

Don´t Get in Your Own Way:

The biggest disservice you can do is to consider yourself the only qualified or most qualified applicant for the job. In a saturated market you have to sell yourself much more than the practice has to sell itself to you. For example, because has more registered staff members than it does offices looking for staff, every position that becomes available will have dozens of applicants.  Your resume, cover letter, attitude, and the things you say have to express what you can contribute to their office. What skills and experience do you have that will benefit the practice? What sets you apart? Can you speak Spanish? Do you love working with kids? Can you place implants? Can you bring new patients into the practice? Don´t move the conversation straight to how much they will pay you. You don´t even have the job offer yet, and this approach can cost you the job.

Expand Your Options:

Most job-seekers we speak with would much rather work for a private practice or small group practice. Corporate dentistry is a last resort or often not something they even want to consider. However, large group and corporate dentistry is growing and here to stay. These practices can offer you stable employment, great training, a guaranteed minimum salary, and benefits. If private and small group practices are not hiring in your area, don´t limit your options.


Many new graduates can benefit from this in difficult areas. Volunteering can help build or maintain skills, like chair-side communication and building patient rapport. It can even help you connect with other practitioners, and possibly lead to an employment opportunity. Look for volunteer opportunities in free dental clinics, or give your time by participating in free dental care days that may be offered in your community.  This is called networking!

Shake Some Hands:

Go to Dental Society meetings. Get online and join discussion groups like DentalTown and get on LinkedIn. Hand out business cards to every dentist you meet. Drop in and say hello to offices in your area, introduce yourself and leave a resume. I have personally hired several staff members from a “cold-call” such as this and they have turned out to be my best employees! You can´t be shy in a saturated market. Let people know who you are, and let them know you are looking for an opportunity.


It´s an extreme measure for many, but for some it can mean the difference in having a career or several short-term, part-time positions or even having nothing at all. Relocating expands your options exponentially. Just make sure you are not expanding your options of relocation to another heavily saturated area.

In Conclusion

There are a LOT of dental offices and many are looking for great staff.  Many offices become complacent and only place ads to reach out to find new staff members if there is an open position or they really want to replace an existing staff member.  If you are looking for a great job you need to get out there, introduce yourself, cold-call, and respond to all the ads that seem like they may be a good fit for you on!


How to Build a Successful Dental Career
How to Stand Above the Rest in the Dental Job Market

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *