The demand for midwives is high in most Canadian cities. However, the Canadian job market is very competitive, so be prepared and understand each of the steps needed to practice or gain employment. As well, finding a job in Canada may be very different than in your home country.
There are many ways through which you can search for opportunities to practice as a midwife.
- Seek out a mentor in the midwifery sector – for example, a retired midwife – who would give you valuable insights and advice and probably introduce you to their professional network.
- Join health care related job-finding or networking clubs through immigrant-serving agencies.
- Attend industry job fairs and regularly check the employment sections of your local newspapers.
- Some colleges or associations maintain a job bank or suggest a commercial job site.
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, understanding what Canadian employers are looking for, and educating about self-employment.
To find immigrant services in your area, click here.
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As the Canadian job market is competitive, you need to stand out from other midwifery applicants with your right resume and be able to launch your career in Canada.
Your midwife resume is the most important part of your job search; it is the document that markets you and your credentials to a potential employer. It is an invitation for potential employers to learn regarding your nursing and midwifery skills and qualifications.
Submitting a well-written resume along with an attractive cover letter is the primary step in your job application process. Your goal in writing an effective resume is to explain your key experiences and accomplishments in a technique that vibrate the interest of a prospective employer. Midwifes who best write their past experiences, education, and skills linked to the functions of the midwifery tasks have good chances of further consideration. As you begin to construct your resume, work on the content and composition, then decide on a format that highlights your strengths and career goals. Expect to go through several drafts in this process.
Your application for your midwifery post has been successful and you’ve been invited to interview – well done! Having reached this stage of the selection process, you need to ensure that you prepare well for your interview. Your interview is your chance to demonstrate to your potential employer that you have the right personality, qualifications, experience and relevant proven track record for the role.
You will be asked many different questions at your interview. Some will be standard questions you can easily predict – but other questions may be more unexpected. However, the better you prepare, the better your position, and the greater your confidence. So focus your preparation around what you believe to be the key competencies and skills of the job for which you are applying.
Without preparation you are unlikely to succeed so below are some tips for what you can do before, during and after your midwifery interview.
Research your prospective employer before the interview. Go to their web site for clues on what is important to the practice, the size of the business, the technical sophistication of the practice, specializations and other details. Ask other midwives or healthcare professionals in the community about the reputation, strengths and weaknesses of the practice:
What do you know about the organization/trust, clinical area and post?
Revisit the information you read while preparing your application.
Re-read the job description and person specification and do some web research. Demonstrating knowledge of the employing organization/post and topical midwifery issues shows interest, motivation and research skills.
Before your interview, if you can, arrange an informal visit to look around the maternity unit, birth centre or clinic so that you can meet the manager and staff on the ward or unit (especially if you have not had a job shadowing or informational interview there). This shows that you are keen and gives you the chance to see where you may potentially be working.
Different employers will adopt different interview formats and questions. Below are just a few sample questions you may be asked during an interview. Use them as a starting point for your own preparation.
- What makes you a good midwife?
- What do you consider your strengths to be as a midwife?
- What qualities make you an effective member of the maternity team?
- What do you see as being the main challenges in this post?
- Give us some examples of good practice seen during your placements, and tell us why you
- have chosen them.
- Think of when you had to deal with a difficult situation/problem, how did you deal with it?
- What do you understand by accountability?
- What do you have to offer as a midwife?
- Identify a piece of midwifery research you have read recently and tell us about it.
- Give an example of when you had to use your communication skills on a ward.
- How would you interpret the tracing of a fetal heart?
- Tell us about the current policies that are driving the maternity services.
- Do you have any favourite areas in the midwifery unit and why?
You may be asked a few hypothetical or scenario questions, where your interviewer will try to gain insight into your approach to work situations and people. Here are some examples:
- A woman requests a home birth for her second child. The first delivery was an emergency caesarean section. How would you deal with this?
- What would you do if you disagree with the decision of a doctor about the pattern of treatment for one of your clients?
- What would you do if a woman was in the second stage of labour and contractions stopped?
- What would you do if a woman at term was admitted with a slight vaginal blood loss and was discharged by a junior doctor?
- If a woman had a post-partum haemorrhage immediately following the delivery of a baby, what would you do?
A good format to follow for many scenarios questions is a follows:
- Assessment of the situation
- Taking appropriate action
- Following procedures and guidelines
- Appropriate communication
- Record keeping
- Evaluating and learning from the situation
Be prepared to ask a number of questions, when you are given an opportunity for this at the end of your interview. Asking informed questions at this point shows you have a genuine interest in the position. Some questions you may ask:
- What do you offer in terms of continuing professional development? What arrangements are there for induction and preceptorship?
This will show your commitment to learning and professional development. The answer you receive will also help you decide if you this is the right job role and employer for you.
- How would you describe the work culture?
This can help you to find out whether the employer is committed to issues such as work life balance. You may also glean information about the team dynamics and whether you will be working in a positive environment. This question indicates your keenness to work in a positive environment. Hopefully you will be seen as someone who would contribute in a positive way.
- What are the most significant issues that the ward/unit/organization will face over the coming months?
This shows your ability to see your role in the context of the bigger picture. You can also find out how your role may be affected by forthcoming changes or projects.
An informational interview is a brief (20–30-minute) meeting that you schedule with a person who is currently working in your target field and geographic location to learn more about that particular sector.
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 an organization’s website), it also offers you the benefit of a professional’s first-hand experiences and impressions.
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 midwives and others in your field.
Good places to network are gatherings such as conferences, association luncheons, and industry 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 join some related professional groups where you can learn more about the profession in Canada, make contacts, and access important resources and job listings. 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.