How to stand out in the crowd

How to stand out in the crowd

Before you get to negotiations with a potential principal, you need to get a job offer. That means you need to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.



Producing a CV that will impress is essential. For the most part, your qualifications alone will not be enough to impress. All the other newly qualified dentists in the area will have the same credentials. It’s therefore important to consider the other things you can do to portray the right image of yourself and make you look like an attractive prospect. There are some of top tips to follow and to help you land that all-important interview.

Firstly, keep your CV within two A4 pages – any longer and you’ll likely lose the attention of a busy principal. This will help to keep your text clear and concise, so choose your words carefully. The CV should also be simply laid out so it is easy to read. Avoid any artistic fonts to keep everything professional and, of course, double check spelling and grammar.

It’s important to focus the content on relevant experience and your career goals. Be honest and humble, but don’t be afraid to show your best traits. List your most recent education and job experience first, working backwards chronologically. You also only need to provide an overview of your A-level and GCSE results alongside your dental degree – there’s no need to list each one individually. Try to be as accurate as possible with any dates recorded and include months as well as years. Any gaps in study or work should also be explained in the employment history section.


Be sure to include:

  • Personal details
  • Employment history
  • Education and qualification
  • Details of your FD training year, including any additional courses / CPD, or other accomplishments
  • Referees / references on request


Candidate screening

Principals and their teams will have a screening process for assessing the initial applications received. It’s crucial to be aware of what they are looking for and to ensure your CV demonstrates clearly how you meet their criteria. This is especially important in regions where competition is high among associates, as principals can afford to be pickier about who they interview.

Consequently, make sure you have all the qualifications and accreditations specified on the job listing easily visible. Any contenders without these will be the first to hit the ‘no’ pile. Next to be examined will likely be additional courses you have completed and/or experience you have gained. Your willingness to go the extra mile will help you stand out from the crowd. So will your enthusiasm and passion for what you do, so try to get these across both in how you write your CV and in any additional activities or experiences you include. Your cover letter and supporting references will be important to strengthen your CV for this reason.



All the basics are key for the interview. Be presentable in appropriate attire, be polite and be on time. Prepare by practising common interview questions and by researching the practice or group you are hoping to join. Such proactivity will again help you to distinguish yourself from other candidates, and make the best first impression. As an extra touch, consider sending an email or letter thanking the interviewer for their time afterwards and reiterating your interest in the position. Anything you can do to stand out will increase your chances of getting your ideal job.