|Posted on April 20, 2016 at 11:50 AM|
Your resume has one job: To convince the reader that you're a candidate worth interviewing.
Here are five rules to help you write a resume that does its job:
Summarize Your Unique Value
Communicate with Confidence
Watch Your Language
Key in on Keywords
Keep it Concise
What do these really mean?
Summarize Your Unique Value
A resume should begin with a Summary (or, if you're a student, new grad, or career changer, an Objective). Use this space to tell employers who you are and how your skills and qualifications meet their needs.
Although your real objective may be to get away from your micro-managing boss or shorten your commute, don't say that on your resume! Your Summary or Objective is where you explain how and why you are uniquely qualified to contribute to the company.
Bonus: Once you've crafted a solid message that summarizes your value, you can use it as the basis for your response to every hiring manager's favorite line: "Tell me about yourself."
Communicate with Confidence
Tell the potential employer what you've accomplished in your current and previous roles to show how you made a difference. This is not the time to be humble or modest, or to assume the employer will read between the lines.
For instance, if your resume just states the facts, without context (e.g., "Sold 50,000 widgets between January and June"), the reader won't know if that's better, worse, or the same as what the company had achieved in the past. But a confident statement like "Boosted widget sales 35% in the first six months" or "Increased widget sales from 40K to 50K within six months" is bound to jump off the page.
Watch Your Language
Don't start your sentences with I or We or Our.
In fact, don't even use full sentences. Bulleted statements that begin with strong action verbs typically have the most impact.
Here are two ways to say the same thing. The first is a bad example; the second is much better:
Too Chatty and Long
I was assigned to lead a safety project team that was supposed to reduce our accident rates. Our efforts were successful, because my boss told me the company's workers' compensation costs were improving. My coworkers were happy, and we got more work done.
Concise and Businesslike
Spearheaded team safety project that eliminated accident hazards, reduced workers' compensation costs, improved employee morale, and increased productivity.
That kind of statement is even better if you can quantify the improvements (e.g., "…reduced workers' compensation costs by 27%").
Key in on Keywords
Here's an awful truth: Resumes, in many cases, are not even read. Rather, they're scanned (either by a machine or by someone who is not the hiring manager). What they're scanning for is keywords or phrases that match their hiring criteria.
Not sure what keywords to put in your resume? Read the job description for a position that interests you, as well as descriptions for similar jobs. Then read your target companies' web sites. Certain words and phrases will come up again and again – those are keywords. Work them into your resume to make it easy for the scanner to spot what's important.
Keep it Concise
The old rule about resumes never exceeding one page is not necessarily true anymore. If you can fit it all comfortably on one page, that's ideal. But after you've been in the working world for awhile, your resume will probably need a second page. A third page (or more) is almost never a good thing. A front & back option is great!
The new "rule" is that two pages is fine, as long as everything on the resume is relevant to the job you're seeking, and recent enough to add value. Leave out jobs from more than about 10 or 15 years ago, unless they still have direct relevance to your current career path.
With these rules, you're on your way to crafting an effective, interview-worthy resume!
|Posted on February 4, 2016 at 12:50 AM|
Our friends at Tenney's Pizza lost their darling girl Brighton last week. She was already an angel to those who knew her beautiful little personality. We want to spread her example and support the Tenney's!
So here's what we want you to do: show a random act of kindness to someone you do or don't know, and post your name in the comments to show you did it. We'll pick a winner by Friday and be sending them a $25 gift card to Tenney's Pizza. If lot's of people comment, we just might have to pick multiple winners.
|Posted on August 5, 2015 at 11:25 AM|
As humans, we tend to believe things that may not necessarily be true because they fit our view of the world. These “lies,” or innocent self-deceptions, may seem harmless, but can in fact be very costly to a professional practice in terms of time, money, and satisfaction. As advisors to dentists, we have found the following to be the most common “lies” dentists tell themselves:
1. I am a doctor, not a business owner. Success is guaranteed.
Many dentists struggle with the challenges of owning a business. Some will proudly tell you that they didn’t become a dentist to make a profit, but rather to help people by treating dental diseases. Being a financially successful dentist and being a good doctor are not mutually exclusive. In fact, in order to be there to treat your patients, you or your employer must make a profit. In today’s world you must devote time to the business side of your practice.
2. Budgets are a waste of time. I just check whether I’m doing better than last year.
Just the sound of the word “budget” sounds confining and restrictive. We all want the freedom to spend as we please. Ironically, when budgeting is proactive, the process “frees
up” money that tends to get wasted. Budgets provide the dentist three significant benefits:
Budgets set revenue and expense goals. Studies have shown that people are more likely to accomplish goals that are written compared to those that are not.
Budgets ensure the efficient use of resources. Setting and reaching revenue goals ensures that cash is available to meet all obligations. Expenditure goals ensure that resources are directed toward those activities that will move the practice forward toward a well-defined goal. Finally, a dentist is less likely to impulse buy because expenditures have been determined in advance.
The budgeting process helps the dentist internalize the practice goals, resulting in better practice management decisions.
Simply depending upon last year’s numbers to manage one’s practice is like driving a car by looking in the rearview mirror. Start budgeting and experience the freedom.
3. Scheduling for production is all about money.
One of the most dramatic improvements you can bring to your practice is to learn to schedule for productivity. Often, practices confuse being busy with being productive. Scheduling for productivity is about time management. A good scheduling system maximizes the efficient use of both doctor and staff time. Done well, scheduling can reduce stress of patients and staff, improve patient satisfaction and reduce the time a patient will need to spend in your chair. A few dollars spent with a qualified consultant can pay big dividends.
“One of the important lessons doctors must learn is that each and every one of their staff contributes to their success or failure. […] Being appreciated is one of the top reasons employees continue to work for a particular employer.”
4. I have more important things to do than plan my equipment purchases. I can wait until it wears out and then buy what’s currently “hot” at the dental convention.
Planning equipment purchases seems like a mundane task. However, the money saved by doing this planning can be pretty exciting. Most practitioners finance the purchase of dental equipment if the amounts are significant. However, by planning ahead and saving rather than borrowing, the results are positive and dramatic. If a dentist expects to acquire $50,000 of dental equipment in three years, simply setting aside the funds in an equipment reserve account can save $8,200 (assumptions are 5% rate of return, 40% tax bracket, 7.5% interest rate, 60-month repayment term for equipment loan). Money-saving ideas occur when the dentist develops and works a good business plan in partnership with an accountant that understands the dental industry.
5. Staff are all overpaid and don’t appreciate their job – or me.
One of the most important lessons doctors must learn is that each and every one of their staff contributes to their success or failure. Studies have shown that 68% of patients that leave your practice do so because of something your staff has done. You need to create a culture where everyone works towards the practice success. Being appreciated is one of the top reasons employees continue to work for a particular employer.
6. Leadership training doesn’t apply to our practice. We’re all professionals and know what we’re doing.
How would you feel if you were boarding a flight to London and overheard the pilot say, “We don’t need a flight plan today; we can just ‘wing’ it?” Most people would feel nervous and uncomfortable because they want the pilot to know the best course, be aware of bad weather, and anticipate air traffic conflicts so they arrive at their destination safely and on time. Likewise, patients and staff want the dentist to have a clear idea of where the practice is going and to assume a leadership role. When everyone is pulling in the same direction, astounding results occur. If each person on your dental team cannot clearly articulate and enthusiastically support the practice goals, then the practice has a leadership vacuum. You are the person responsible to fill that vacuum. Improve your leadership skills and your practice performance will soar.
“Waiting even five years [to plan for your retirement] can cost you a large amount of money, and putting off funding retirement indefinitely will most assuredly put your ability to retire at all in jeopardy.”
7. Staff meetings are a waste of time and money.
One of the symptoms we see when a practice is struggling is the lack of communication between the doctor and staff. Well-run practices understand the value of staff meetings. Staff meetings take several forms. Each day should start with a morning huddle to review the day about to take place. At least monthly, the practice should set aside a couple of hours for a full staff meeting. The staff meeting is a great opportunity for training, problem solving, review of systems, and holding team members accountable.
8. Our practice is not experiencing any problems. We can afford to coast.
After working hard to build a practice, a dentist must guard against complacency. Little thoughts creep into one’s mind, “Everything is going well. I think I’ll coast for a while. I deserve it.” In times past, people manufactured horse drawn carriages, steam locomotives, slide rules, and typewriters. Today all of those once-useful products are obsolete. We sometimes forget that the world is constantly changing, and if we are not constantly changing, our dental practices become obsolete. If your practice looks the same as it did three years ago, is likely a red flag warning you to innovate, upgrade, and improve. A dynamic business plan will include innovation and improvements. Create or update your plan, and use it as a daily guide.
9. Our practice will never be embezzled. My bookkeeper has worked in our office for 20 years and is totally trustworthy.
Of course we trust our employees; we would never hire a person that we don’t trust. Trust is crucial to running a successful business. As prudent business owners, we always insist on honesty and ethical behavior. Despite the best of intentions, a substantial number of dental practices (15% to 20% by most estimates) unfortunately experience fraud or embezzlement. In order to protect business assets while simultaneously maintaining high employee morale through mutual trust and support, a dentist must implement and maintain “internal controls.” Internal controls are simply self-checking systems that constantly alert the owner whether business assets are being handled in a responsible manner. Internal controls can include a record like a day sheet, a procedure such as checking daily production totals against the schedule, or a policy such as “checks must always be signed by the dentist.” If you are unsure whether your internal controls are protecting you, contact your dental CPA.
10. I can wait until later to start funding my retirement.
We believe the first day a dentist should begin planning for his or her retirement is the first day of practice. Developing the discipline to save for retirement early is the best way to meet your retirement goals. Consider five different dentists who each contribute $25,000 per year towards retirement but started at different ages (35, 40, 45, 50 and 55) and earn a rate of return of 6%. The dentist who starts at age 35 contributes a total of $750,000 and accumulates $1,976,455. The dentist who waits until age 40 only accumulates $1,371,613. Waiting to start at age 45 only allows the dentist to accumulate $919,640. Waiting until age 50 results in accumulating only $581,899, and $329,520 if you wait until age 55. Waiting even five years can cost you a large amount of money, and putting off funding retirement indefinitely will most assuredly put your ability to retire at all in jeopardy. There are many qualified plan choices for dentists today that provide flexibility and tax advantages. Your dental CPA can help you choose the best plan for you to meet your retirement planning goals.
|Posted on February 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM|
1. They have daily dedicated planning time.
Usually 5-10 minutes in the morning or the evening is set aside to think through that day’s (or the next day’s) tasks and to outline a game plan for getting them accomplished.
2. They take care of quick tasks immediately.
If a task pops into their mind and it requires less than 5 minutes of their time, productive people will attend to it right away, eliminating the need to write it down or try to remember it later.
3. They prioritize their to-do list.
When the day’s list is too long to realistically complete in 24 hours (which for some of us is a daily occurrence), that list is then rearranged to reflect the absolute essentials.
4. They identify and utilize their productivity window.
No one is at his/her best all day long. People who are on top of things know their most productive times—usually a 2-3 hour window that occurs once or twice a day—and intentionally use that time to tackle the most important tasks or the ones that require the most focus. For me it’s 9-11:30am, so I save my menial responsibilities for the late afternoon, when I tend to drag.
5. They know when (and when not to) multitask.
Multitasking gets a bad rap, but highly productive people understand that sometimes it does work—like when you’re listening to a career-related podcast while wiping down your kitchen counters, or when you’re brainstorming project ideas while going for your morning walk. They also know, however, to differentiate between multitasking and just being distracted. Hopping on Facebook every 10 minutes at work? That’s the latter.
6. They use a planning/scheduling tool that works for their lifestyle.
A diehard pen-and-paper person probably won’t be successful with an app-based system, while a true techie would likely lose that day planner within an hour. Similarly, someone whose schedule is closely tied to other family members’ responsibilities needs a system—be it a giant wall calendar for the kitchen or a family-organizing app like Cozi—that accommodates that lifestyle.
7. They take breaks.
It may sound counterintuitive, but working from sunrise to sunset does not a productive person make. Regular breaks for things like food, water, and movement actually make people more effective and efficient.
8. They’re realistic about how much time things take.
If you underestimate how long it takes to, say, write that report or clean your house, you’re inevitably going to get behind. On the other hand, if you always overestimate how long tasks take, you’ll never be as efficient as you could be. Highly productive people find that sweet spot where they can accurately estimate how much time something will take, taking into account occasional breaks and inevitable interruptions.
9. They have someone hold them accountable.
Highly productive people are open about what they want to accomplish that day, week, month, or year—and then don’t want to disappoint when others follow up.
10. They’re perfectionists, but only when it counts.
If every single task, no matter how small, has to be completed without flaw or error, you will probably never finish anything. Striving for perfection can be a help or a hindrance, depending on the stakes, so save the nit-picky attitude for when they’re especially high. (Cover letter for a job application? Be a perfectionist. Email to your Aunt Suzy? A missed typo is OK.)
11. They delegate the right way.
That is, they delegate a reasonable number of tasks that are appropriate to the skill level of the delegatee, and they always say please and thank you.
12. They appreciate what did get done instead of stressing over what didn’t.
Like most things in life, being productive requires a good attitude. At the end of the day, looking at the bright side and choosing to see the accomplishments rather than the missteps means that you’ll feel better, sleep better, and be better prepared to be productive again tomorrow.