How to Write a Dental Assistant Resume
If you like working with people and knowing that you make a difference in their well-being, a career as a dental assistant might be the perfect fit. But how do you get started in this great role? More specifically, how do you write a resume that will make a great first impression?
What to Include in your Dental Assistant Resume
Once you have included the necessary information like first and last name, phone number, address, and email; then you will want to describe the intention of your resume. Stay brief, keeping to a short sentence or two.1
Focus on what contribution you can make, rather than what will you gain from the position. For instance: “Goal: to use excellent interpersonal and technical skills to make dental patients comfortable and procedures efficient.” Avoid the use of personal pronouns such as “I” and “me”.2
After stating your intention, you will want to include a list of any relevant work experience. Make sure to include the title of your position, the dates of your employment (from – to) and the contact information for the employer. Briefly summarize the duties you performed.
Unless you have never worked in the field, include only work experience that is relevant to the job of dental assistant. If you have not worked in this field before, briefly describe other jobs and emphasize skills you gained that remain relevant. For example, if you were a babysitter, you could highlight how you comforted nervous and upset children. Or if you worked at a store, emphasize people skills.
Education, Certifications, Licenses, and Computer Skills
Beginning with your most recent degree, list your educational accomplishments. Don’t forget to include: name of the dental assistant diploma earned, the dates of the coursework (from – to) and the full name, address, and phone number of the school or institution you attended. If you are in the process of completing a degree or certification, you can include it as well, along with the starting date and “in progress”.3
If you have any certificates or licenses that would apply to becoming a dental assistant, list them next, in the same format you listed your education.
Additionally, since dental assistants often use computers to help with office organization, you should list any software proficiencies (like Microsoft Office or specialty software) and any computer courses you have completed.
Achievements, Strengths, and Goals
These sections offer you a chance to showcase your best achievements, the strengths you can offer an employer, and your career objectives and goals. Maybe in your last job, you re-did the office’s filing system, using your organizational skills and saving the entire staff valuable time and frustration. (Being able to point to positive results from your work is very helpful).
Or, if you are extremely dexterous and have great attention to detail, you can list these as strengths. (Maybe you helped your dad tinker with cars growing up; emphasize your ability to put together complicated and/or small parts, to take direction, and to assist others.)
What not to Include in Your Dental Assistant Resume
Your resume should be easy to read, with clear formatting. Keep it brief: no more than a page or two. You should not use any fancy fonts that are difficult to read.
Although you’ll include a lot of personal information on your resume, such as address, you should not include your social security number, age, marital status, or other extra personal information.
Last but not least, it should go without saying that anything overstated or simply untrue has no place on your resume!4