Finding dental hygiene jobs in the area you live in can be pretty challenging, right? How about trying to find a dental hygiene job from a distance – as in hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Sounds impossible!
So let’s talk about some ideas on how you can do this.
It’s really important you get a handle on the situation where you want to move to. What’s an average salary there? Are there any jobs?
In talking with hygienists across the United States and Canada (I think I’ve now had at least one client in every state and province now), the problem of finding a dental hygiene job is shared. Some areas seem to be a little worse than others. A hygienist in Florida was telling me the other day that there are something like 19 dental hygiene schools there and that the average salary is well below the national average.
I haven’t verified that so if it’s incorrect I apologize, but that’s the kind of thing you would want to find out beforehand because it may impact your decision to even begin a search from a distance.
The next thing you will need to consider, and hopefully this is obvious, is RDH licensure. How do you get it, what’s legal there and what’s not. Some states allow for anesthesia licensing and others don’t.
And you may want to consider, too, that if anesthesia licensing is new to the area you considering that many doctors may still not be comfortable with hygienists getting their patients numb – I hear lots of reports about that!
Once you’ve researched the area and have the licensing figured out. You have to decide how to conduct your job search. Will you do it completely from a distance? Will you visit there once or twice for a few days or even weeks? Or will you simply roll the dice and move there?
If you have family there it makes the whole process easier, but even then can be risky if you leaving a paying job behind.
It impacts some of the advice I give below so think that through carefully.
The absolute best and most important thing you can do is begin networking with other hygienists in the new area. You can find them on LinkedIn or Facebook in many cases. Or perhaps you have friends in the new area that have contacts. There are lots of dental hygiene Facebook discussion groups that are tied to specific cities or regions and I believe most will be happy to help you.
If you plan an actual field trip to the new area, consider contacting a few working dental hygienists in the area you want to work in and offer to take them out to lunch. Just tell them you are looking for mentors and contacts to help you find work. I would also have some postcards designed and hand deliver as many as you can while there.
I would also get in touch with the local component leadership and maybe even do the same – offer to take them to lunch or for a cup of coffee.
Finally, contact the local temp agency. They can get you up to speed on the area’s job scene.
I mentioned getting some postcards printed to hand out. That’s a great strategy but try and concentrate it on a smaller radius of where you might want to live, then mail them out to the broader area.
I would also recommend that on your resume you remove your mailing address. Employers look for the least path of resistance an also for any small thing they can to eliminate you as a potential candidate – where you live could be an automatic dis-qualifier for them. You could even consider getting a Google Voice phone number (free) with a prefix that is more common to the area you want to move to.