An Outstanding Dental Resume Can Be Your Key to Landing Your Dream Dental Job!

Spending our days reviewing many resumes for positions across the country, we get to see what is important, what works and what information sets you apart.  Creating a well-structured dental resume is crucial to catch the attention of potential employers and allows you to stand out in the crowd.  Allow your unique personality and passions to shine through and touch on what you value in your role in the dental workforce. 

It is super important to tailor your resume to each job application, emphasising your skills that match the specific requirements of the position. It’s easy to spot a generic resume. In today’s competitive dental job market a standard, cookie-cutter resume might not cut it.  Dental professionals often share a deep commitment to their work and values, and your resume should reflect that. 

Let’s explore how to create a fresh and unique dental resume that allows you to express what truly matters to you. While whoever is reading your resume may want different things, crafting your professional resume to please the majority and stand out is the name of the game.   Always start strong! 

Contact Information:  Include your full name, your preferred name, phone number, professional email address, and location (city and state). If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can add the URL.

  • Be sure to provide accurate and up-to-date contact details. You don’t want employers to miss out on reaching you! (it happens more than you would believe)
  • Double-check your email address for any typos. A professional-sounding email can make a good first impression.

Professional Summary:  Write a brief concise and targeted summary that highlights what is important to you, what drives you in your career;  highlight your unique skills within your scope, your qualifications, and career goals. Tailor this section to match the specific job application.

  • Craft a brief and engaging summary that captures your passion for dental care. Let your enthusiasm and passions shine through!
  • Mention your years of experience and highlight a couple of your standout skills to pique the employer’s interest, what is it you value about being in the dental workforce.

Showcase your education:  List your relevant educational background in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institution, qualification earned, graduation date, and any relevant honours. Mention any certifications or licences you hold.

  • Start with your most recent education and work backwards. It’s like telling your educational journey in reverse!
  • Don’t forget to mention any academic honours or awards. It shows your dedication and hard work.

Certifications and Licences:  Highlight any certifications or licence required for the position, such as AHPRA (Dental Board Registration), Radiography Licence and CPR certification. Include expiration dates if applicable.

  • Show off your hard-earned certifications and licences – they’re like badges of honour for your dental expertise.
  • If your certifications are up for renewal soon, mention your commitment to staying current in the field.

Highlight your work experience:  Describe your dental work experience in a way that emphasises your contributions and achievements.  Include the name of the dental practice, its location, your position title, and the dates of your employment. Use bullet points to briefly describe your responsibilities and accomplishments for each role. Focus on tasks related to the role.

  • Paint a picture of your day-to-day responsibilities in each role. Give employers a glimpse into your dental world.
  • Use real-world examples to highlight your patient interaction skills and how you contribute to the overall dental team.
  • Ensure if there are gaps in the timeline to briefly note why.

Skills:  Create a dedicated section to highlight your technical and soft skills. 

  • Illustrate your daily tasks in the dental field, showcasing proficiency in various procedures, or transferable skills
  • Provide examples of interpersonal abilities and personal attributes demonstrating effective communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Professional Memberships: Mention any memberships in dental associations or local dental organisations. This demonstrates your commitment to your profession.

  • Mention your dental community involvement. Being part of professional organisations highlights your commitment to growth.
  • It’s like saying, “Hey, I love what I do, and I’m part of a group that feels the same way!”

Continuing Education:  Showcase any relevant workshops, seminars, or courses you’ve attended to enhance your skills and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

  • Let employers know that you’re a lifelong learner. Mentioning workshops or courses demonstrates your dedication to improvement.
  • It’s like telling them, “I’m always looking for ways to be better at what I love.”

Tailor Your Resume:  Customise your resume for each job application. Research the dental practice where possible and job requirements posted, and then adjust your resume to highlight the skills and experiences that match the specific role. A generic resume is easy to spot.

  • Customisation is key. Each dental practice is unique, so show them how you’d fit in seamlessly.
  • Think of it as a tailored dental treatment plan – you’re addressing their specific needs!
  • NOTE – if you have written a cover letter this is the place to provide very specific responses and ensure you address it to the requested person. 

Achievements:   Highlight any notable achievements, such as improving patient satisfaction scores, increasing treatment plan acceptance rates, or contributing to team efficiency.

  • Highlight those moments that made you proud. Did you help a nervous patient feel comfortable? Include it!
  • These achievements show your potential employer that you go the extra mile for your patients and your team.

Emphasise Your Values:   Create a section that explicitly outlines your core values as a dental professional and what is important for you.  For example, if patient-centred care is crucial to you, explain how you prioritise it in your practice.  

  • Share stories or examples that demonstrate your commitment to these values.

Action-Oriented Language:  Use strong action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments, such as – implemented; managed; improved and collaborated.

  • Use vibrant verbs to show your active role in your previous positions. It paints a dynamic picture of your contributions.
  • Instead of just ‘worked’ go for ‘collaborated’ or ‘championed.’

Keep it Concise:  Your resume should ideally be one page, especially if you’re a recent graduate. If you have extensive experience, you can extend it to two pages, but ensure that the most relevant information appears on the first page.

  • Keep your resume concise and easy to skim. Imagine you’re sharing the highlights of your dental journey over a quick coffee break.
  • Highlight the most relevant experiences that align with the job you’re applying for.
  • Dates and practice locations are important.

Proofread:  Thoroughly review your resume for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. A well-polished resume reflects your attention to detail.

  • Give your resume a meticulous check for errors. You want to give employers the impression of attention to detail.
  • Think of it as double-checking your patient’s charts before treatment – accuracy is crucial – this can’t be underestimated for a role in dental care. 

Professional References:  You can either provide references directly on your resume or state that they’re available upon request.

  • Keep a list of references handy, whether you include them on your resume or not. It shows your readiness to provide evidence of your skills and work ethic. 
  • Ensure your referees are aware they are listed and may expect to be contacted. 
  • It’s like saying, “I’ve got a team of people who’ll vouch for my dental superpowers!”

By tailoring your resume to the specific job application, highlighting relevant skills and experiences, and showcasing what is important to you and your dedication to oral health care, you’ll significantly increase your chances of standing out and landing your desired and ideal dental position.