A well-written resume is important when starting to look for a job. You don’t need to have a wealth of experience or a ton of awards, all you need is an appealing and informative resume to land the interview. We have included some tips on how to write a dental resume that offices hiring want to see.
Follow the Traditional Format
Dentists like to see things in an orderly manner. With a traditional format it leaves the reader with a clean and simple resume that tells them what they need to know right away. The format should be laid out in the following manner:
- Name and Contact Information
- Objective or summary
- Extra sections- Certifications- Important CE etc
Resume Summary or Objective
To create an effective resume, you have to decide whether you need to start with a summary or an objective. If you have dental experience, you should include a summary. If you don’t have any dental experience, the objective is the way to begin your resume.
Do not start with “I”. “I have 3 years experience” or “I have just graduated from dental school”. Instead, write “with extensive dental experience of 3 years” or “A fresh graduate from (name of college)”.
Your summary should only include things relevant to the position you’re applying for. Be descriptive and use examples from how you have used your skills and knowledge in the dental field at previous jobs.
Describing Your Experience
This is probably the most important section that the reader will look at. Therefore, you need to put each achievement and bit of experience you had in a simple and professional manner. Divide your work section into 3 parts:
Include the name of the practice, the position you held there, the location and the time period you worked there. Make a bulleted list of keywords related to your area of expertise, resumes organized in ways other than paragraphs are eye-catching and easier to read. Describe the type of office you worked at previously, as this will help the reader know what your experience was like. Make your resume stand out by paying close attention to what the employer is looking for and highlighting the experience you have that matches it.
List your education remembering to include your degree, month and year of graduation, the institutions you attended, their location and any licenses connected to your degree. Recent graduates may include courses they completed, such as local anesthesia or radiology. If you were a high-achieving student, then include your GPA and any honors or awards you received — these will help you stand out from the other new grad applicants.
If you are licensed, dentists are very aware of your expanded functions. This is not a place to list all of those. You want to list skills that are not specific to your degree, like software knowledge, laser training, specialty experience, etc. Bulleted keywords or sentence format are both acceptable methods.
Keep in Mind
Remember to think clean, simple and to the point. Check for spelling and grammar errors not once, not twice but three times. Have someone else read over everything before you consider your resume complete. The number one error we see on dental hygiene resumes is scaling and root planning vs planing. Spell check will not catch errors like these.
Google your name. This is one of the first things most interviewers do when they receive a resume. Scan through your social media sites and make sure everything shown is appropriate or set to private.
And last but not least, create or update your LinkedIn profile. It’s always great to see that a candidate can create and upkeep a professional profile!
Heidi Kephart, LDA, CDSO