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What To Highlight In A Dentist Resume

Becoming a dentist takes many years of study and specialization before working on your own with patients. The best resume will highlight that you have the right dental knowledge and training to conduct oral surgery or apply for specialized dental fields such as endodontics and periodontics. The perfect resume will show a hiring manager that you can successfully fulfill a dentist's job by showcasing the right combination of healthcare and dental surgery knowledge.

Dentist Resume Example

Structure Of A Dentist Resume

The structure of your resume is likely to be dependent on the type of resume you choose. There are three you can choose from. Here is a guide:

  • Chronological: the most popular type of resume places primary focus on your work experience.
  • Functional: focuses on skills instead of experience. This is a good option for candidates with little industry experience.
  • Combination: combines both skills and experience-based resumes for experienced professionals who need to show off both for senior roles.

Regardless of the type of resume you choose, your document will contain similar sections. Here is a guide:

  • Header
  • Resume summary or objective
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education


The resume header is the first part of your resume and contains your key contact details. You should include the following information in this section:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Location (Not exact address)

If you’re an experienced professional in dental services, then you can also provide a link to professional networking sites. This is a great way to provide the hiring manager with more information about your experience and key accomplishments without overcrowding your resume.

Resume Summary Or Objective

Your resume summary section is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the recruiter or hiring manager. This section contains two to three sentences that highlight your most impressive skills and experience. Essentially, this is designed to hook the recruiter and encourage them to continue reading your resume.

You should include the skills and experience that you think will be the most beneficial to the hiring manager.

If you don’t have a lot of experience and you’re looking for an entry-level role in a dental clinic, then you can choose a resume objective. This is a similar paragraph but it instead focuses on the skills and knowledge you have that compensate for lack of experience. You should explain your intentions for the role as well as your overall career objectives in dental hygiene.

Work History

The amount of work experience that dentists require might be different depending on the role. For example, a senior oral surgeon will most likely require many years of experience. On the other hand, other dentist roles may only need their recent certifications to prove they’re right for the job.

You should try to include relevant information for each role, sticking to the last ten years of experience. Consider including your previous employer’s details, such as the name and the date you started and finished. You should list your experience in reverse chronological order, starting from the most recent example.

Below each job title in this resume section, you should include brief bullet points that summarize your key responsibilities while working in this role.


Depending on the amount of experience you have and the resulting resume format, your skills section might be the most important part of your resume. If you’re a recent graduate, then you might choose a functional resume format to focus on your skills instead of work experience.

Regardless of your resume format, your resume skills section is a very important part that should contain a good combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are role-specific and usually required for dentistry candidates, whereas soft skills are personality type traits that are transferable across multiple industries.

  • Knowledge of exemplary dental care and oral hygiene
  • Oral surgery
  • X-ray operation
  • Examination and diagnosis
  • Creating dental treatment plans
  • Conducting fillings
  • General dentistry knowledge
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Charting
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Communication skills
  • Root canals
  • Veneers
  • Extractions
  • Pediatric dental care and oral health
  • Emergency dental procedures
  • Collaboration with dental hygienists, associate dentists, nurses and assistants
  • Corrective orthodontics
  • Time management
  • Patient care and comfort


To get a dentist job, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a four-year postgraduate degree to earn a DMD or DDS in specialist dental schools.

If you choose to specialize in dental disease, for example, then you’ll need to complete an additional dentist residency.

In your education section, you should name the title of your degree, college GPA and any special achievements such as assessments, graduating with honors or making the dean’s list.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Use a resume template or resume builder to help provide structure and add efficiency to your resume.
  • Take advice and inspiration from a dentist resume sample to understand which skills and experience you should highlight.
  • Study the job description to ensure you use the right keywords and skills in your resume to show your qualifications are a match.
  • Make your sentences too long or over-explain. This might bore the hiring manager who reads many resumes for each job posting.
  • Include your high school GPA.
  • Use overly complex or irrelevant terms that might make your resume difficult to read.

FAQ: Dentist Resumes

Yes! A cover letter is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and give the hiring manager or recruiter more information about your experience and skills. You can include specific anecdotes from working in dental practices if you believe this will support your application. This is also a good opportunity to go into greater depth about specialties and explain why you believe this is beneficial to the employer. You can also request a job interview in the closing of the cover letter.

The type of dentist you become and where you practice can have a big impact on your national average salary. Location, experience and education level can also impact how much money you make. The national average salary for a general dentist in May 2021 was $167,160 per year

To create a successful resume, you’ll need to change your resume for each application. To do this, you should tailor your objective and skills section to match keywords from the specific job posting. This will help you provide the correct keywords to help your resume get scanned successfully by applicant tracking systems (ATS) and show that your qualifications are a match for the job role.