When facing the prospect of finding work in today’s market, the tendency for job seekers is the same across all industries, including dental hygiene. Average applicants spend most of their time applying to positions on internet job boards, which is always a worthwhile activity as long as they avoid spending all their time and focus here.
Even though the unemployment rate for dental hygienists in Ontario is much lower than the provincial average across all professions, dental hygiene job postings, like most other postings, still receive countless responses and usually only the best matches get viewed.
For that reason, it’s advisable to apply to only those positions on job boards when the applicant’s qualifications meet at least 75% of the requirements.
Some job posting boards are more worthwhile to search through than others. The ODHA’s job posting section, for example, or the applicant’s school career pages are great places to start a job search.
Since both these options have restricted access for members only, the job postings should have a greater likelihood of matching the applicant’s specific qualifications and the field of applicants should be minimized.
In the digital age, networking has become a necessity. When looking for work, having an established network of industry peers and professionals to utilize is often the most efficient way of rising to the top of the applicant pile.
Applicants should start with their professors and fellow students/graduates. Reach out to people who know you and your capabilities and explore the opportunities that could arise from those relationships.
After exhausting that network, expand the search to include all local employers. Even if they have responded with no openings, it never hurts to ask potential employers if they know of any others who might be in need of someone with your drive and passion. Attend local professional opportunities such as ODHA’s ProvinciaLINK as an opportunity to network with local dental hygienists.
Social media is also an incredible resource for networking. Building professional profiles on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow applicants to engage with the dental hygiene community online and provide an online presence that can be found by potential employers.
Simply by joining and participating in industry and interest groups associated with the dental hygiene profession, applicants can increase the likelihood of potential employers finding them.
Furthermore, the now-unavoidable online footprint search that all employers perform will identify the applicant as an active and interested member of the dental hygiene community, a positive selling feature for any prospective employee.
Hidden Job Market
While the vast majority of job seekers are scouring the advertised job postings, some of the most efficient job searchers are reaching out to what is called the “hidden job market.” The hidden market simply refers to job openings that are not openly advertised.
By contacting the places job seekers want to work, they create a one-of-a-kind application and one that is more likely to be noticed by the prospective employer.
These unsolicited applications also tend to showcase a desirable personal interest in the employer as opposed to the faceless applications that come in response to a posted position.
The fear in this method is that unsolicited applications are generally a waste of time. While it’s true that most employers will have no need for your services, it is possible that the applicant’s interest and ambition inspires the employer to consider the request.
The employer may put it aside for the future and think of it if, or when, they are looking to fill a position.
This approach also allows the applicant to forge another link in an essential network, another useful technique when searching for dental hygiene positions.