Helpful Hints to Begin Your Associateship Search

Whether you are completing a dental residency, looking for a dental associateship in another community, or want an associate position that will lead to ownership, the following suggestions may help you prepare for your personal and professional future.

Begin this important dental practice transition by asking yourself these key questions:

  • Where do you want to live?
  • What are your goals?
  • What will your income needs be?
  • What type of practice works for

Once you have answered these questions, you are ready to begin your search.

Timing, Compatibility, & Compensation

You should start your search a minimum of six months to one year in advance. To determine the type of practice that suits your needs and goals, do your homework and research.  It is critical that the Practice Owner’s or Corporate objectives and expectations be compatible with yours.

One important aspect of any opportunity is the compensation package. Typical compensation structures are based on you earning a percentage of the dollars you generate for the practice. The percentage may be a portion of the dollars collected for any dentistry that you produce or the percentage of the actual dentistry that you produce. Some employers offer guaranteed income.

Gather your Associateship Search Tools

Now, that you are ready to locate an opportunity, prepare a cover letter and a curriculum vitae (CV). Use the cover letter to set yourself apart from other candidates and peak the
employer’s interest. Provide a brief summary of your qualifications which relates to the opportunity being offered. Customize each cover letter to the opportunity.

Use the CV to provide a summary of your education, experience, and skills which present you as the best candidate for the employer’s position. Choose a good design and layout. Keep it simple and easy to read. Remember, most employers will only briefly review your CV to determine if they want to consider you. Include your name, telephone number, and email address on each page. Double check everything for accuracy. Your voicemail greeting should be professional, and you should check it frequently.  Be sure to use an email address that is appropriate.

You should use reverse chronological order when listing your education and employment. Include the name of school, graduation year, degree, and any post-dental training. Employment should be related to dentistry, if possible, with dates and number of years included.  

Include your state license(s) held with boards taken as well as any special credentialing.

Add professional affiliations and associations along with any of your written publications and/or presentations.

Other skills should include languages that you speak other than English.

Written references may be included in your CV.  Normally three or four references are sufficient.

If you need help preparing your CV, there are many good websites you may visit.

Impact of Social Media Presence

When applying for any position you need to carefully consider your Social Media presence. Remove questionable posts, improper pictures, etc., before applying for an associate position. Many employers check candidates’ Social Media as part of their “due diligence” before hiring.

With technology today, there is little opportunity to initially apply for a position in person. Almost everything is being done online. You will need to market yourself utilizing every resource possible. Your first impression will be made before you meet  your potential employer. Make it a good one!

To learn more about applying for an associate position visit, and sign up for one of our webinars.

Following these steps will help pave the way for a compatible associateship opportunity and help pave the way for long-term success for both the practice and the associate.

Henry Schein Professional Practice Transitions, Inc. is a national leader in dental practice transitions. A subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc. they provide expert guidance for selling and buying dental practices, dental practice fees and management, assessing partnership and associate-ship opportunities, and performing dental practice appraisals and valuations.