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The dental industry includes some highly specialized fields that feature positions like dental hygienist, lab technician, maxillofacial surgeon and orthodontist, so try to find samples that match your specific specialty. This guide will help you create your resume with suggestions on sections to include, skills to highlight and mistakes to avoid.
What to Include in a Dental Resume
The main sections that should be included in your dental resume are:
- Resume Summary Statement
- Dental Work Experience
- Skills or Professional Accomplishments
As you can see from dental resume samples, the chronological format is the preferred type for this industry. This format best details your path from a dental student to a specialist. Start with your education before listing your work experience, which shows your progression in your career path. Ending the resume with your professional accomplishments helps establish you as a prime candidate.
If you are a recent graduate looking for entry-level dental assistant positions or laboratory work, the functional resume type may work better for you. You can see in some dental resume samples that the functional resume allows you to focus on your classroom experience and the skills that you have gained as a dental student. It will highlight your abilities rather than focusing on your limited work experience.
How to Write the Dental Resume Summary Statement
You will want to leave out any experience that does not pertain to the particular job application. For example, if you are aiming for dental hygienist at an orthodontic clinic, do not focus on the experience you gained in general dentistry. The best way to get inspired is to read multiple dental resume samples, paying close attention to the summary statement. Remember to include specific procedures that you have performed or assisted on throughout your career, and use actual figures if they apply.
Here are two summary statements from dental resume samples that will give you an idea of the tone and style.
Seasoned dentist with experience in all phases of four-handed dentistry. Able to work well with and train hygienists and dental assistants on procedures using the latest technology. Possesses the ability to put patients at ease while working efficiently to meet efficiency expectations and clinical responsibilities.
Sympathetic dental hygienist of 10 years with a strong record of practicing safe patient services. Empathetic with patients who are experiencing discomfort while providing clear explanations of procedures. Efficient at multitasking and communicating effectively with dentists and other dental staff members.
How to Write the Dental Education Section
Look at other dental resume samples to see the degrees, training and experience that are listed under this section. Be sure to list the names of schools, degree or certification obtained and the years you attended. Depending on the position, employers are looking for dental schools, residency programs and advanced training. If you are a recent graduate, you can include courses you took, such as radiology and local anesthesia.
The education section is also the place to list your certifications and licenses. Let the employer know that you are licensed to practice dentistry or if you are a Certified Dental Assistant. Any certification found at the Dental Assisting National Board is excellent qualifying material for your resume.
How to Write the Dental Work Experience Section
Underneath each job should be a bulleted list of your accomplishments and not just a summary of your duties. For example, state that you received the most positive feedback forms from patients at your last position as a dental assistant compared to all other staff members at that office. Also, mention any procedures that you are particularly skilled at or have the most experience in performing.
If you are a licensed dentist looking for a teaching or research position, be sure to list any presentation experience you have gained. This section is the place to quantify your accomplishments when it comes to leading or assisting on research projects. Review dental resume samples that are geared toward your desired position to see how other professionals highlight their experience.
Action Verbs to Include in Your Dental Work Experience Section
How to Write the Dental Skills Section
Awards and recognitions you have received are good indications of your skills as well. Whether you have achieved the Gold Crown Award or the Brian D. Stone Award, add it to your resume. Even recent graduates can take academic achievements and use them to boost their chance of winning a position.
Note that the skills section should be listed according to level of importance rather than chronologically. Also, include any professional associations that you belong to, such as the ADA or ASDA. Take a look at the following skills to get ideas for your resume.
- Legislative Liaison of ASDA Chapter
- Expertise in Dentrix Software
- Nitrous Oxide Sedation Training
- Proficiency in Root Canals
- Skill in Calming Pediatric Dental Patients
Should I Include References in my Dental Resume
Dental Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid using jargon or slang in your resume. Even if you picked up some industry phrases at your last position, make sure you use professional language on your resume. Jargon is not always used throughout the entire industry, and you want to be clear when representing yourself to a potential employer.
- Do not list political or religious affiliations in your resume even if they relate to dentistry. These topics may be viewed negatively or in a controversial way.
- Hobbies are not relevant to dental resumes. Stick with your dental skills and experience while leaving out irrelevant talents like skiing or boating.
- Make sure you use a readable font type that is at least 10 point. Experienced dentists may have a lot to put on their resume, but having three legible pages is better than having one page crammed with information in a tiny font size.
Job Prospects in the Dental Industry
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in the dental industry are expected to grow by 16 percent from 2012 to 2022. This projection is good news for emerging dental students since the growth of other industries averages at 11 percent. As studies emerge linking oral health to overall health, demand for dental services will increase. It is likely that this demand will outpace the employment of dentists. Private practices and dental associates will hire more hygienists and assistants to manage patient flow and help with routine services.
- The highest demand will be in areas where populations have limited access to dental services. In addition, the industry of cosmetic dentistry is expected to grow significantly with the development of new technology. Patients will demand cosmetic procedures that are faster and less invasive with reliable results.