How to Write a Dental Assistant Resume

FT Contributor  | 

While the dental profession is often seen as a lofty career path that requires ample time and resources, there’s one dental occupation that is much easier to access: dental assistant. A dental assistant can often gain experience simply through on-the-job training, and the $38,660 median pay is certainly nothing to scoff at.

In addition, the dental assistant occupation is set to skyrocket in the next decade at a growth rate of 11%, much higher than average. If you’re looking for viable career options, especially without a degree, you may want to pursue a position as a dental assistant.

If you choose to do so, one of the most challenging tasks is actually getting a job. This is a highly competitive field. If you want to land a job as a dental assistant, you must be able to craft a high-quality resume that can simultaneously pass any applicant tracking systems and catch the eye of an employer.

How to Organize a Dental Assistant Resume

There are no official formatting guidelines for resumes. However, there are several best practices that should be carefully attended to if you want to stand out from the competition.

Header

Start your resume with a header that contains the following information:

  • Name.
  • Physical address.
  • Phone number and email address.
  • Any important contact links, such as your LinkedIn or Facebook URLs.

Make sure to have your header either centered or left-aligned at the top of your resume.

Introduction

Most resumes begin with an introduction. While this can take a variety of forms, it should always be concise — no more than a few sentences — and should focus on one or two things.

First, highlight any highly applicable achievements, experiences, or skills within the field or industry, such as previous time spent as a dental assistant, on the job training, or time spent interning with a dentist.

Second, you can include personal career goals and ambitions, as long as they reinforce your value as an applicant.

Skills

Next up, take some time to create your skills section by listing out your relevant skills as they relate to the position itself. Focus on soft skills and hard skills — including technical skills — that directly reinforce why you’re the best candidate for the job. Some examples include:

Hard skills:

  • Knowledge of dental care.
  • Sanitation techniques.
  • Quickbooks.
  • Scheduling.
  • Dexterity.

Soft skills:

  • Detail-oriented.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Active listening.
  • Collaboration.

As you list your skills, carefully think about which ones are the most essential and then prioritize those higher on your list.

Experience

If you have any previous experience as a dental assistant, make sure to include it here. Format each item in your experience section with the following information:

  • The company or organization’s name.
  • Your job or position’s title.
  • When you worked in the position.
  • A few applicable achievements from the experience.

If you don’t have previous experience as a dental assistant, you can focus on nonprofessional yet relevant experiences such as volunteering at a dental clinic. If you’re truly stuck, include less applicable experiences, but consider putting this section below your education section if that is the case.

Education

In your education segment make sure to list all relevant educational achievements using the following formatting:

  • The name of the institution you attended.
  • The name of the degree you received.
  • The school’s location.
  • The years you attended the school.

In addition to formal education, make sure to include any applicable programs, training or courses you may have gone through outside of a formal classroom. If the section feels light, you can add your high school diploma to the list.

In addition, make sure to mention any dental certifications you may have, specifically if you’re applying in a state where a certification is required in order to do dental assistant work.

References

References are a critical part of the application process — but they don’t belong on your resume. Instead of shoehorning in a bunch of names and dates, take the time to create a separate document that lists the following information for each reference:

  • The reference’s name.
  • Their job title.
  • The company they work for.
  • Their phone number.
  • Their email address and physical address.

As you select your references, make sure to prioritize professional references, such as past employers, coworkers, or professors. Try to avoid referencing friends and family who can’t speak to your professional record or skills.

Dental Assistant Resume Writing Tips

Here are a few other hard-hitting resume-writing tips to help make sure your resume shines above the rest:

  • Start by looking for keywords in the job description and then incorporate them into your resume as you go.
  • Use strong action verbs to help bring your resume to life.
  • Always scrutinize your document for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  • Strive to be organized, concise, and consistent with your voice and tone.
  • If you need it, try using a template or sample resume (like the one provided below) in order to help you get started — just don’t copy anything verbatim.

If you can follow these suggestions, your resume will be of a quality that can pass any applicant tracking system and impress a recruiter.

Dental Assistant Resume Example

Below is a sample dental assistant resume with each section started for you. If you’re not sure where to start, you can copy and paste this into a document and then begin filling it out with your own information.

George Bailey.
123 Wonderful Drive
Bedford Falls, NJ, 07830.
555-781-4587.
gbailey@gmail.com.
linkedin.com/george-bailey.

ABOUT ME

An organized individual with four years of experience working as a dental assistant at Califon Orthodontics.

SKILLS

Hard skills:

  • Dexterity.
  • Sanitation techniques.

Soft skills:

  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Active listening.

EXPERIENCE

Califon Orthodontics, Califon, NJ, Dental Assistant, March 2015 – October 2019.

  • Accurately answered questions about dental care.
  • Meticulously set appointments.
  • Sent patient billing and processed payments.
  • Sterilized dental equipment.

EDUCATION

  • Potsdam High School, high school diploma, Potsdam, NY, 2011.
  • Fresh Smiles Dental Assistant School, Dental assistant associate, Miami, FL, 2012.

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