The Canadian job market is very competitive, so be prepared and understand each of the steps needed to gain employment. As well, finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country.
You have to be registered to practice as a dentist in the province or territory where you intend to work. You must look for jobs in the region where you will be registered. Take your time to research job requirements in that region and develop a plan for finding work.
There are many ways through which you can search for jobs in dentistry.
- Broaden your search and include alternative careers.
- Seek out a mentor in the dental sector – for example, a retired dentist – who would give you valuable insight and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
- Join dentistry related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
- Attend healthcare or dentistry related career/job fairs and regularly check the employment sections of your local newspapers.
- Some dental colleges or associations may maintain a job bank or suggest a commercial job site. As well, hospitals and other health institutions generally post vacancies on their websites.
For more information on job finding techniques, click here.
Immigrant settlement agencies
Most settlement agencies and other immigrant-serving organizations offer help with finding job vacancies, updating your resume, writing cover letters, preparing for interviews and understanding what Canadian employers are looking for.
Click the link to find immigrant services in your area.
All dentists have degrees, but where they separate themselves is in their experience, their expertise and their special training. You can stand out and create an effective resume by highlighting your special skills and making your experience match the needs of your goals.
A few things to consider when preparing your resume.
- If you’re applying to a large general dental practice, stress your clinical skills and education. If you’re looking to be the No. 2 dentist in a small private practice, highlight any experience you have with the business-administration side of the profession.
- List any certification or proficiency in specific dental skills (oral surgery, anesthesia, pediatric dentistry, etc.). You may also wish to include any social or communicative skills you have, such as knowledge of sign language or fluency in a foreign language.
- List your professional organizations and publishing experience, if any. Even if it’s just been writing little advice columns for your community newspaper, an employer may look favorably on a dentist who keeps a good public profile.
- Though it is generally accepted that a professional resume should be no more than two pages long, should your achievements and experience require you to exceed this “limit” do not lose sleep over it.
Interviewing is a skill that luckily can be learned. Here are some guidelines to help you answer common interview questions for dentists.
- How would you describe your educational experience?
- What type of personality types do you work best with?
- What type of people do you like? Or dislike?
- Do you consider yourself creative?
- What would you say is your dental philosophy?
- Once you knew you were interested in healthcare, why did you choose dental and not medical or veterinarian?
- What do you like most about dentistry? Least?
- Experience: What experience do you have in a dental office?
- How would you describe your knowledge of current technology and procedures?
- What have you done in the last year to improve your knowledge?
- How would you handle an unhappy or uncomfortable patient?
- What experience do you have with the business and administrative side of running a dental practice?
- Would you be interested in buying-in to this practice or owning your own practice in the future?
- What are your ambitions outside the field of dentistry?
Questions you may want to ask:
- What is this practice’s dental philosophy?
- What types of patients do you treat?
- What are the most common types of treatments you administer?
- What kind of technology do you use?
- How is your practice changing? Is it growing?
- Do you actively market or depend on referrals?
- What are your goals for the practice?
- What role would I play in this practice?
- What would your goals be for me?
It is helpful that you prepare a portfolio of your work. Obviously respect the anonymity and privacy of your patients, but a prospective employer will be impressed if you can show the quality of your work (before and after photos, case histories, etc.).
Regardless of the type of dental practice you’re working for, make sure that you are conveying value to your next boss. How much did you produce? Yes, you are highly trained, qualified and skilled, but at the end of the day, this is about operating a profitable small business. A dental practice wants to know that you are going to contribute as least as much and hopefully more to your next practice than you have for your current employer.
While the job outlook looks good for dentists, landing that next opportunity – especially for newcomers like you – requires extra effort and outreach. Informational interviewing can be viewed as a way to put your wonderful empathetic yet professional communication abilities, research skills and time management talents to work for your own benefit.
An informational interview is a brief (20–30-minute) meeting that you schedule with a person who is currently working in an industry to learn more about that particular industry.
You should not try to get a job during an informational interview but rather find out whether or not a particular position or industry might be a good fit for your interests and your personality. An informational interview with a contact from your network can be an excellent source of career information because, in addition to basic information about a particular type of industry (such as you might find on a company website), it also offers you the benefit of a professional’s first-hand experiences and impressions.
- Make a list of the hospitals, dental clinics, public health agencies, private dentists, and others, as desired, that operate in your area.
- Use your resources including professional organizations and LinkedIn and other networking tools to identify organization insiders, such as dental recruiters, health unit coordinators,
- Create 15-20 or so open-ended questions that will yield full and immediately usable information.
For more information on informational interviews, click here.
Networking is an essential tool that may give you job leads, offer you advice and information about a particular firm or industry, and introduce you to others so that you can expand your network. As many job vacancies are not advertised, you must make connections with practicing lawyers and others in your field.
Good places to network are gatherings such as conferences, association luncheons, and Chamber of Commerce get-togethers for the convenience in meeting people, building relationships, and sharing information.
LinkedIn is another important professional tool for networking. It is great for reconnecting with your ex-colleagues and employers, search by company or jobs, and get introductions and recommendations.
You can also mingle with people in the dental sector and join some related professional groups.
But remember, that you have to allow time to cultivate and grow the ties you establish through networking. Nothing will happen overnight and you need to be patient.
For more information on networking, click here.