Dental Hygienist Resume Example

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Written by Marc Cenedella
Leading expert on resumes
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Marc Cenedella

Marc Cenedella is a nationally recognized thought leader on careers, resume writing, job search, career management and recruiting, Marc is frequently sought out by national media organizations for his expert commentary on employment, resumes, the job search and the job market.

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Last updated on September 1, 2022
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How to write a compelling Dental Hygienist resume

You’ve never met a pair of molars you didn’t leave looking spotless, but maybe you’re not as confident when it comes to writing a new Dental Hygienist resume.

Similar to how so many of your patients procrastinate flossing their teeth, you’ve been putting off updating your resume.

Just like matters of oral health, resume issues are best addressed quickly. You don’t want (career) decay to set in.

At the end of the day you know a strong Dental Hygienist resume is as essential to a successful dental career as daily flossing is to gum health.

If you’re keen on exploring new opportunities, a great new resume is a must-have. You’re just not sure how to write one.

Here’s the thing: Crafting a compelling new resume that will land you more Dental Hygienist job interviews doesn’t have to be as hard as enamel.

Just follow our simple guide to formatting and writing your very own resume.

Below you’ll find a step by step breakdown of how to structure your new Dental Hygienist resume.

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Why you need a great Dental Hygienist resume

You would never use an unsterilized sickle probe on a patient, or operate an outdated and unreliable x-ray machine. Your Dental Hygienist resume should hold itself to the same high standard.

A great resume is direct, concise, and compelling all at once.

Recruiters and hiring managers sort through dozens if not hundreds of resumes on a daily basis. Yours will have a few seconds, at most, to make a good impression.

You know how you can take one look at a patient’s mouth and recognize the signs of periodontitis almost immediately?

After looking over your resume, decision makers should recognize your status as a top job candidate just as quickly.

How to format your Dental Hygienist resume

The notion of putting together a resume that accomplishes all of that may seem intimidating, but that’s why we’re here to share our resume wisdom!

We’ve spent the past five decades scouring the globe for the best resume writing formula. OK, not really, but our format is still ideal for quick and easy resume writing.

Ready to get going? Here’s the basic structure you should use:

  • Name + Contact
  • Professional Headline
  • Professional Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Keywords

The rest of this guide will dive into the specifics of each section listed above, but first, let’s take a beat and touch on some general recommendations.

Countless people think that by adding extra colors, graphics, or columns to their resumes they’re helping it stand out. While that is somewhat true; documents that look more like an abstract painting than a resume do stand out, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

You should avoid unnecessary cosmetic additions like the examples cited above. Only use black text, and don’t even think about adding unneeded text boxes, columns, or patterns. On a related note, only use professional fonts like Times New Roman or Arial.

As touched on earlier, your Dental Hygienist resume needs to cut to the chase quickly. Visual distractions only make it harder for readers to browse your accomplishments. Also, no paragraphs! No one has time to read paragraphs.

Name + Contact

First things first. At the very top of the document place your professional name and title (RDH), in a slightly larger sized font. No nicknames or aliases, please.

Under your name write down how readers can reach you: Your phone number and email address.

This particular piece of advice may be getting redundant, but it bears repeating: Keep all of this information totally professional! That means no personal/hobby-related or silly email addresses.

Make no mistake, recruiters will throw away your resume if they see a strange email address.

Wondering about LinkedIn? Feel free to add your profile if you log on every day.

Professional Headline

Now it’s time to start attracting the reader’s attention. Your professional headline should function like a “status update” for your dental career so far.

Using just a handful of words this section should tell the reader who you are, what you do, and just a little bit about your work style.

An easy way to get this done: Start with a positive, describe adjective then add your current job title or expertise.

Here’s what we mean: “Compassionate Dental Hygienist” or “Diligent Pediatric Dental Hygienist”

Professional Summary

Maybe your current dental practice has a TV or YouTube commercial advertising its services.

Ask yourself, what would a commercial for your own career as a Dental Hygienist say? That’s what your professional summary section should be all about!

This area will touch on virtually everything readers need to know about you: Your most important Dental Hygienist skills, biggest accomplishments, and aspirations for the future.

Consisting of two to four lines, each portion will describe a different aspect of your dental journey. The first two lines are absolutely mandatory, but the third and fourth are optional depending on your experience level. Each line will feature just three to five words or phrases. In other words, no sentences!

Let’s break it down:

Line One: Write down some job titles or positions you would like to accept as your next role. Examples include “Registered Dental Hygienist” or “Senior Dental Hygienist”.

Line Two: List some of your most advantageous or sought after dental skills. Some general examples include oral surgery, x-rays, dental cleanings, soft tissue management, etc.

Line Three: If you have enough experience, list some of your biggest dental accomplishments or achievements.

Line Four: Also optional, this space can be used for any awards or promotions earned during your time as a Dental Hygienist.

You don’t have to write your resume alone.

Leet Resumes is always available to write you a personalized resume - free of charge!

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Work Experience

Don’t make the mistake of constructing your resume’s work experience section like a boring dental history chart. This area is the main course of your resume, and your biggest opportunity to attract job interviews and interests.

How can you do that? There’s a proven formula for success, and it goes like this:

Let your wins do the work

Each and every sentence within your work experience section should emphasize a dental win, achievement, or success. Recruiters don’t care what you were expected to do on the job, they want to know how you actually performed!

The quickest and easiest way to show your value in the dental field is by showing off your biggest accomplishments. Patients cared for, surgeries assisted, patient satisfaction rates increased, etc.

Numbers matter

Vagueness can be a big turn off for hiring managers, which is why you want to provide as much detail and context about your successes as possible.

Taking advantage of numbers, statistics, and any other metrics is a great way to do that. Numbers tell a success story much more efficiently than words alone.

“Reduced patient cavities by 43%” reads much better and tells a more complete story than just writing “Helped improve patients’ oral health”.

Here’s what to do

Here’s a quick formula you can follow for each bullet point in your work experience section:

Start with a positive action verb (trained, assisted, ensured, etc), add an accomplishment (or two), and sprinkle in at least one number.

Here’s an example: “Improved patient satisfaction rates 17% by providing patients with personalized dental care and advice.”

Always maintain accuracy

One final thought on this section: It can be tempting to exaggerate old positions or try to cover up gaps in work history, but this is a major mistake.

Hiring managers can and will confirm that what you put on your resume is true. You don’t want to be caught with your pants on fire.

Keep in mind that this isn’t your parents’ job market anymore. Times have changed and people are far more understanding about career breaks than they may have been a few decades ago.

Always tell the truth, you just may be surprised by how far it takes you.

Education

This space is for your educational background. List degrees earned (Associate/Bachelor) and schools attended. Only include degrees you’ve completed!

You can also include your dental state licensure here as well.

Keywords

The final section of your resume is for any extra hard skills, soft skills, or awards you haven’t mentioned already. Readers and recruiters will be looking out for these keywords, so you want to have as many as possible.

Some examples:

  • Oral prophylaxis
  • Multitasking
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Equipment sterilization
  • Teeth cleaning

What if I don’t have time to write my resume?

You have a lot on your plate. Leet Resumes is happy to write your Dental Hygienist resume for you.

We’re resume experts, and we’ll craft a personalized resume for free! (tips appreciated)

Learn more.

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