So, you’ve found a listing for your dream job. The benefits are great, the workplace is beautiful, they seem like they care about their employees (we like to think Tend checks all these boxes, btw). The next step: applying. And to apply you’re going to want your resume to be sparkling.
About 34% of hygienists are looking for a new career, but even if you’re not actively looking, having a resume that puts your best foot forward is a good thing to have on-hand. We’ve got some tips for creating a tip-top resume, and even a downloadable template for building your own, but first let’s take a step back.
Why a resume is important
A resume has two main functions. At its heart, it shows potential employers that you’re qualified for the position. While the interview will provide context and give you the opportunity to show off your splendid personality, getting into the room requires that you show your credentials.
Not so obviously, a resume itself is also a way to show off your skills. Formatting matters. A well-ordered, well thought out resume can signal that you’re organized and taking the process seriously.
Anatomy of a resume
A good resume has five basic sections. Together, they provide an overview of your past experiences and current qualifications, so potential employers can get a high-level understanding of you.
Name and contact info
This is kind of a no-brainer, but no resume would be complete without it. The header should have your name and contact information. Here’s what should be included.
- Your name: big, bold, and in a legible font
- Your location: no need for a street address, just the city/metro area you’re in
- Contact info: a phone number and email address will do
- If you have a LinkedIn profile, that’s great to include, too
Once you’ve got the basics, it’s time to get a little more personal.
Think of this as a first impression. In one to two sentences, briefly say a little about your experience and what you’re looking for.
Here’s an example:
Compassionate and attentive Registered Dental Hygienist with 4 years of experience in educating patients and promoting overall health. I’m looking for a career where I can keep caring for (and causing) smiles.
Another fairly straightforward section here. Include your degree, the institution you attended, and the dates you were enrolled. This is also a good place to include any relevant extracurriculars, clubs, or leadership roles you held while in school.
This is where you’ll put your employment history. (If you’re a new grad, that’s totally cool, everyone has to start somewhere. We have tips just for you in the next paragraph.) For each of your previous jobs, include the name of your employer, your title, and the dates you were employed. For each position, include 3-5 bullet points that detail your primary responsibilities.
If you’re a new grad, this section can still be very useful. Including your clinical experience, clinical rotations and specifics about your responsibilities will give employers a good idea of your past experience.
Certifications, trainings, and skills
If you’ve completed courses or have expertise beyond your RDH degree, this is the place to list them. Things like CPR/BLS certification, nitrous oxide administration and monitoring, local anesthesia, radiology, or restorative function courses are great to include.
Also be sure to include skills like periodontal therapy, any specific technologies or software you’ve used in previous roles that your new employer would be interested in.
Ready to get started?
A resume is a requirement, but that doesn’t mean it should feel dry. A lot of the time, it’s a first impression, which happens well before anyone actually meets you. Fortunately, a little extra attention goes a long way. And we’ll even take the guesswork out of it with a customizable template to get you started.
Download our hygienist resume template
Ready to apply to your dream job? Put your best foot forward with an easy-to-use, customizable (and beautiful) template.Download Template
The first dentist you'll actually look forward to.
By Doug Hudson
The First App from a Dentist