Learn how to write a dental assistant resume for any experience level. Get results by using guides and examples for your career from ResumeNerd.
Guide to Writing a Dental Assistant Resume
How to Write a Dental Assistant Resume That Gets Results
As a certified dental assistant, you will have plenty of options for work since dentistry is always in demand. However, there can be a lot of competition for positions at the best dental practices. During your job search, your resume will be the key to beating the competition and getting the job you want.
In this resume guide, you will learn:
- The most important tips for your dental assistant job search
- What to include on the perfect resume with four examples you can use
- Frequently asked questions about resumes for a registered dental assistant
Dental Assistant Key Job Search Tips
Adjust your resume and cover letter to the job you want.
In your job search, think about what area of dentistry suits your skill set the best. Some dental practices may be tailored towards children, orthodontics, dental surgery patients, or special needs patients. Adjust your resume and cover letter accordingly for each position you apply to.
Search for alternate job titles for your qualifications.
When searching for a dental assistant position, you may see the following job titles:
- Dental nurse
- Dental technician
- Orthodontic assistant
- Dental hygienist
As a dental assistant, your experience and education may prepare you for one or all of these jobs. As long as you read the job description closely and ensure you have the right qualifications, you can use these resume tips to apply for these kinds of jobs.
Use keywords to make sure your resume gets seen by the right people.
Pinpoint key phrases from each job description that underline the major skills and duties of the job, and then address them in your resume. This gets the attention of the hiring manager or recruiters, especially if they use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for keywords and phrases. If your resume doesn’t pass the ATS, then it may never be seen by the hiring manager at all.
You can also update your LinkedIn or online resume to include more keywords for the position you desire. This way, proactive hiring managers are more likely to come across your profile.
Structure of a Dental Assistant Resume
- Include a resume summary or resume objective to highlight your dental experience or skills.
If you are an experienced dental assistant:
Write a resume summary.
- Introduce yourself and your job title
- Discuss your relevant past experience
- State your desired position
If you are an entry-level dental assistant:
Write a resume objective.
- Introduce yourself and your job title or education level
- Discuss your relevant skills or qualities
- State your goals for the desired position
Example of a dental assistant resume summary:
Experienced dental assistant with five years of experience in a busy dental office. Instructed patients on infection control and oral hygiene, assisted with fillings and dental x-rays, and conducted sterilization of dental instruments. Passionate about patient care and eager to expand my skill set in an orthodontic assistant position.
- Make a stand-out skills section tailored to each job description.
A dental assistant job may have varying required skills depending on the type of practice you are assisting in. Aim for around 8-12 skills in this section. Feature skills most relevant to the job posting and try to use the same keywords. Use bullet points to organize your skills; you can list them in columns to save space on your resume. Include a mix of hard skills, like dental procedures, and soft skills, like interpersonal skills. For example:
- Knowledge of sealant application
- Dental x-rays
- Fluoride administration
- Communication skills
- Time management
- Use the resume format that best displays your level of work experience.
Healthcare is an industry where you want your resume to be straightforward and to the point. You will have a higher chance of getting an interview if your resume has a format that presents your information in a direct way. The most common professional resume format used is the chronological resume. This is a format that highlights your work history over other qualifications. Recruiters like resumes that are written in this format because they are easy to read quickly.
However, there are other resume formats you can use that may display your information better, depending on your circumstances. A functional resume format highlights your skills over your experience. A resume builder can be a helpful tool to see your resume in different formats and decide which one shows your information in the best light.
- If you are new to the job market, then make the most of your education section.
You may not have many years of experience, but if you have a dental assistant certification and qualified training, then there are many hiring managers who will be happy to hire you as an entry-level dental assistant.
The education section of your resume should include:
- The name of your college or training program
- Degree or level of education
- Relevant dental coursework (optional)
Example of a dental assistant education section:
Dental Assistant Certification, XYZ College, Billings, Montana
- Completed a 12-week internship with a practicing dentist
- Dental Assisting National Board certified
FAQ: Dental Assistant Resume
Yes, when applying for a job, you should always create a professional resume for your application. Job applications without a resume and cover letter will not be read by hiring managers. For an entry-level dental assistant position, you can feature:
Education like college or additional training courses
Technical skills like knowledge of dental equipment
Important interpersonal skills like chairside manner
Languages you are fluent in
Sometimes the job description may list an email address and name to which you can follow up. If there is no timeline given, then you can follow up within a week of submitting your resume.
If you have not yet received your dental assistant certification, then you can list the expected date of completion. When applying to internships, use a resume format that highlights your skills and training. Be sure to emphasize interpersonal skills like teamwork, patient care, and conflict management.