Being a dental assistant is a rewarding career with lots of growth potential, but getting invited to interviews can be tricky. A well-designed dental assistnat resume that shows off your best skills is key.
Let’s explore what skills you should highlight when applying for dental assistant roles, how to best present them and what else should be on your dental assistant skills checklist.
When creating your resume, you can list skills in a dedicated Skills section, as well as highlighting them in the descriptions of your work experience and your professional summary.
Select your skills carefully. You don’t want to include so many that the list becomes overwhelming or seems meaningless. Although you might believe you’re truly skilled in 30 areas, a recruiter is far less likely to be convinced.
Pick the skills that best match your abilities, the job description and the company in question. For example, if the listing specifically mentions four-handed dentistry experience, you want to mention that on your resume. Alternatively, while you may be fluent in Welsh, it’s probably not worth including unless you’re applying for a dental assistant role in Wales.
Back your skills up with achievements, too. If you want to impress recruiters, you shouldn’t just claim to have these skills. You should also explain how they have helped you be a better dental assistant.
Let’s go back to our example of four-handed dentistry. You could write under a skill heading or job description: “Commended for efficient four-handed dentistry that shortened procedure times by 20%.” This description convincingly underscores the value you can bring to a dental clinic.
Every resume should be adapted to the role in question, and that includes the skills section. If you’ve scanned the job listing, however, and you’re still not sure what to include, take a look at this list.
We’ve separated this section into soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills relate to your personality and behavior. For example, they include communication and organizational skills. Hard skills, meanwhile, are technical ones, such as taking X-rays.
Both are important for your resume: the hard skills show that you are a competent dental assistant, while soft skills demonstrate that you are also a good coworker.
- People skills: Patient care will be a major part of your role, so make sure to demonstrate your ability to put nervous patients at ease, resolve complaints about waiting times, and explain dental hygiene practices and other day-to-day dental assistant roles. Try to use specific phrasing in the job listing so it stands out to recruiters.
- Organizational skills: From booking clients for appointments to making sure the dentist has everything they need at hand, organization is a key part of the job. Make sure to show how your organizational skills have helped previous workplaces run smoother.
- Attention to detail: With people’s health on the line, attention to detail is key. When backing this up, you could mention detail-oriented tasks you were in charge of or being commended by other team members for your meticulous nature.
- Taking X-rays: This is a key responsibility for dental assistants, so recruiters will be looking for it. Make sure you explicitly mention it so that ATS software doesn’t automatically discard your resume.
- Assisting with basic dental procedures: Think through all the procedures of which you have experience, such as fillings, crowns, extractions and polishing. Include as many as possible of the most relevant ones while remaining concise.
- Four-handed dentistry: Although you might be tempted to include four-handed dentistry in the above skill, it’s worth its own bullet point. When mentioning it, emphasize your confidence with it or how it has helped improve efficiency.
- Understanding of dental hygiene: You could support this point by mentioning being praised by dentists or doing recent courses on the topic.
- Taking dental impressions: Dental impressions are another responsibility that recruiters might specifically look for, so make sure to explicitly state your experience.
Familiarity with specific appointment booking software: If you have experience with widely used software, make sure to mention it by name. Should the dental clinic use the same system, it could help weigh the scales in your favor.
As well as a skills section, your resume should include:
- Your contact details: There’s no need to include your home address, but make sure to include a professional email address as well as your full name and phone number.
- A professional summary: This is where you’ll summarize why you’re the best candidate for this dental assistant position.
- Career history: Only include work experience that’s relevant to the role in question, such as previous work in dental clinics. Make sure your job descriptions are concise but focused on your achievements. Try to use action verbs and cut unnecessary adjectives.
- Education: Keep this section succinct, and place it under the career history section unless you’ve recently graduated. In that case, you’ll want to lead with your education. Considering including your GPA? Only do so if you graduated within the last couple of years and you achieved a 3.5 out of 4.0 or higher.
You may have read that you should include references or hobbies on a resume. Neither are required, and they can use up valuable space. When you reach the reference-checking stage of a job application, the recruiters will ask you for those details directly, so don’t worry — you won’t be penalized for leaving them out.
As for hobbies, while some people do advocate for including them on a resume, the only time they’re necessary is when they’re relevant for the role in question. For example, if you ran a YouTube channel reviewing eco-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste, it would be worth including. A YouTube channel reviewing TV shows, on the other hand, is unlikely to be a good use of resume space.
Remember: your resume should be as brief as possible!
Standing out from the crowd can be tough, and that’s especially true when it comes to applying for jobs. Your resume needs to highlight your best features and convince recruiters that you’re the right person for the role.
Here at Rocket Resume, we’ve got dozens of dental assistant resume templates that will help you get invited to interview. They’re customizable to your level of experience, background and the role in question.
Recruiter-approved phrasing will help you highlight your skills and achievements so that you can make the best possible first impression. Plus, all of our templates are ATS-readable and can be built in just 10 minutes.
You’ve got the skills, expertise and passion necessary for the job. You just need a resume that will demonstrate this to recruiters. Create your resume now.