Before you get to work on embellishing people’s smiles, there’s one crucial procedure you need to do first. It’s called writing a dentist resume, and the goal is to demonstrate your skills and experience to recruiters and potential employers.
Resume-writing might be quite different from all the other work that you’ve done so far. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide that will help you every step of the way.
This article will show you what information you should put on your dentist resume and how to organize the document for easier viewing. On top of all that, you’ll find a bunch of expert tips to help you refine your resume.
Let’s get started.
The three most common formats for your dentist resume are the chronological, functional, and combination ones.
Take advantage of bulleted lists to convey a lot of information briefly and concisely.
You can use optional sections to add invaluable information that doesn’t fit any of the mandatory sections of your dentist resume.
Mention your vital skills throughout your resume, in addition to having them listed in the skills section.
What is the Right Format to Use for a Dentist Resume?
A resume format represents the way you convey information to recruiters, which makes it one of the most important aspects of your dentist resume.
There are many ways to go about demonstrating your skills and achievements in a resume, but three have been proven to work best with both recruiters and the ATS. These are:
Common Resume Formats
Chronological resume format, which lists your latest and (generally) most important achievements first. It’s the most common format out of the three—recruiters are used to it, and it successfully passes ATS due to its orderly arrangement.
Functional resume format, which is perfect for entry-level applicants, as it focuses on skills.
Combination or hybrid resume format, which backs up your skills with substantial professional accomplishments and is mostly suitable for industry veterans.
While a format represents a functional part of your dentist resume, a layout is its visual counterpart. It’s a crucial element to consider when creating a captivating document that entices recruiters to keep reading.
For starters, you should keep your resume one page long in most cases. Recruiters sometimes spend as little as 7 seconds skimming through them, which is why you want to show as much information as possible but in a brief and concise manner.
To make sections more distinct, you should have plenty of white space between them as well as 1-inch margins on all sides. Moreover, you can create a visual hierarchy by setting section titles to 14–16 pt font size and using 10–12 pt font size for regular text.
Lastly, make sure that you’re using a clean and legible font for your resume, like Arial or Times New Roman. Avoid overly stylized fonts that are hard to read and don’t look professional.
What Sections Should a Dentist Resume Contain?
There are two types of sections that your dentist resume should contain.
Mandatory Resume Sections
Resume objective or summary
Optional Resume Sections
Hobbies and interests
The goal of the resume-writing process is to include all the mandatory information and then spruce things up with optional but highly valuable details. These lists of sections should help you achieve that goal easier, but you can streamline the whole process by using our resume-building tool.
The software comes with a user-friendly interface and a bunch of powerful yet intuitive features that allow you to customize everything from font to format and layout with one click. The bottom line is—your dentist resume could be finished in a matter of minutes.
Dentist Resume Contact Information
A contact information section is a simple one. Just state the facts and try not to make any spelling mistakes. The details you need to provide include:
Mandatory Contact Information
Here’s what that looks like in practice:
Contact Information Example
+ 806 334 0639
Keep in mind that your job title acts as a keyword for the ATS, so simply use “dentist.” Also, make sure to create a new, professional email address if you’re still using the quirky one you made ages ago.
Lastly, it’s generally recommended to omit your location unless you’re applying for a position abroad. What you could include is a LinkedIn profile, as it’s a professional internet network.
Dentist Resume Objective or Summary
A resume objective or summary is a short, attention-grabbing paragraph at the top of your resume. Its purpose is to highlight your biggest strengths to entice recruiters and potential employers to check out the rest of the document.
If you’re an entry-level candidate, you want to start your document with a dentist resume objective. Its goal is to hook recruiters in 2–4 sentences by demonstrating your drive and abilities even though you don’t have a rich work history.
On the other hand, experienced candidates should write a dentist resume summary. The point of this section is to draw attention to your most prominent professional accomplishments instead.
Dentist Resume Objective
Here’s a good example of a well-written resume objective created by a candidate who was specific when talking about their skills:
Resume Objective Example
“Personable and thorough dental graduate with more than 120 hours of work experience at ABC Dent. Prominent skills include dental examinations and sedation medication. Looking to successfully fill in the role of a dental hygienist at Dental Spa.”
For comparison, the following is a bad example that gives recruiters no useful information to work with:
“Recent dental graduate looking for my first job.”
Dentist Resume Summary
When writing a summary, you want to grab the reader’s attention with the most impactful details about your professional career. Here’s a good example:
Resume Summary Example
“Dedicated dentist with 15+ years of experience providing professional dental services and compassionate patient care. Proficient in moral doing molar root canals and extractions. Prominent achievements include increasing patient retention rates by up to 35% by implementing new scanning technology. Seeking to bring my expertise and expand my prosthodontist skills as a senior associate dentist at XYZ Dental.”
However, if you keep it vague, you’ll end up with a bland-looking resume summary like this one:
“Experienced senior dentist associate looking for a challenging position to further improve my abilities and help improve your patients’ oral health.”
Dentist Resume Work Experience
The work experience section of your dentist resume is usually the most important one, so let’s see how to get the most out of it.
Before we get into the specifics, here are the details you should include for every previous job that you add to your dentist resume:
Dates of employment
Your achievements and results obtained
Once you’ve added those, you want to pay extra attention to your list of results and accomplishments, as they best demonstrate your workplace proficiency.
For starters, you should use a bulleted list to convey a lot of information in a brief and legible manner. To make sure you’ve shown just enough without cluttering the section, you should have between 3 and 5 points per previous job.
Making this part of your resume stand out in the eyes of recruiters is even easier if you use action verbs and power words in combination with numbers, statistics, and percentages. Action verbs make the whole section more interesting and stand out, and putting numbers next to your accomplishments gives them more weight.
Dental Assistant Experience
If you’ve recently graduated or are only getting into the industry, you’ll significantly increase your chances with recruiters by creating a professional and information-packed work experience section that focuses on your skills and shows your ability to learn.
Here’s an example of how to demonstrate that:
Dental Assistant Work Experience Section Example
100 Smiles Houston, TX
June 2020–December 2022
Practiced complex procedures, including implants and veneers, while supervised by 3 senior dentists.
Assisted senior dentists in performing 15+ root canals and 5+ implants per month
Attended 150+ hours of specialized dental training and conferences
General Dentist Resume
If you’re writing a general dentist resume, you should focus on the outstanding achievements you've obtained in your career. Don’t just list the responsibilities any general dentist could do—focus on those results that make you a senior in the field.
Here’s a good example:
General Dentist Work Experience Section Example
HealthDent Atlanta, GA
Performed up to 15 filling restorations, 7 crown applications, and 3 root canals each week
Clearly communicated necessary procedures and potential drawbacks to patients, increasing customer satisfaction rates by up to 45%
Onboarded and mentored 5 new dentists and 1 hygienist
Dentist Resume Education Section
The education section of your resume shares similarities with your contact information in that it’s supposed to be clean, simple, and straightforward. Simply list the following details:
The institution that issued it
Years of attendance
Prominent results, relevant coursework, extracurricular activities, and more (optional)
Here’s an example:
Education Section Example
Doctor of Dental Science (DDSc)
UCLA School of Dentistry, Los Angeles, CA
The position of a dentist requires a degree, but if you’re applying for a similar role and you don’t have your diploma yet, you can still include it by adding “expected” next to a graduation date or writing “current” instead. Moreover, you shouldn’t include your high school degree unless it’s your highest one, as it’s considered redundant.
Finally, if you lack professional experience, you can put more emphasis on your education. Show your diligence toward the profession by listing academic accomplishments in a bulleted list. Otherwise, keep this section brief and let your work experience section do the talking.
Dentist Resume Skills
One of the best ways to approach the education section of your resume is with research. As a dentist, you likely have a lot of different skills to showcase. However, you want to emphasize the ones that recruiters are looking for the most. To find out which those are, you should research the job ad and the institution that you’re applying to.
Once you have a comprehensive list, you can create the skills section of your dentist resume right after the education part. Remember to keep soft and hard skills separate since they are different in nature. By doing that, you’ll give recruiters a concise overview of your skillset and make it more concrete.
You can also achieve this by mentioning some of your vital abilities throughout your dentist resume, especially in the summary, objective, and work experience sections. Include them next to some relevant results, and you’ll make them stronger in the eyes of recruiters.
Dentist Hard Skills Examples
Some of the most prominent hard skills to put on your dentist resume include:
Molar root canal therapy
Dental implant surgery
Crowns, bridges, and veneer procedures
Dentist Soft Skills Examples
A good list of soft skills will go a long way toward boosting your chances with recruiters. Here are some abilities from this category that you can present in a dentist resume:
Attention to detail
Working under pressure
Dentist Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections allow you to add more important information to your dentist resume or tailor it to the specific job ad that you’re applying to.
A diploma is not enough to practice dentistry in the US—you also need a license. You should simply add yours after all the mandatory sections of your resume. Here’s an example:
License Sections Example
California Dental License
Moreover, you could list any licenses that allow you to perform specific procedures, such as oral surgery.
Language Proficiency Levels
Full professional proficiency
Professional working proficiency
Limited working proficiency
If proficiency in a particular language is required, that information will likely be noted in the job ad. Nevertheless, these are valuable skills that look good on any resume. You should add the languages based on your skill levels, which are as follows:
Hobbies & Interests
The hobbies and interests section adds a healthy dose of personality to your resume and shows recruiters and potential employers who the person behind the document is. Take this opportunity to be yourself and briefly talk about something you’re truly passionate about.
Volunteer work is a great way to show that you’re truly enthusiastic about your profession. It shows drive and passion, which is something recruiters always look for. Moreover, it can help entry-level candidates offset their lack of professional experience.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Dentist Resume?
The answer is yes—a tailored cover letter that matches your dentist resume is one of the best ways to stand out among the competition. It shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to talk about your skills and experience in greater detail.
Dentist Resume Tips
Let’s finish this comprehensive guide with a few expert tips that will help you make your resume sparkle:
You should omit personal pronouns when writing a summary or objective since the goal of this section is to show what you bring to the potential employer.
Showcase your precision and attention to detail by ensuring your resume looks clean and professional with no typing mistakes.
If you have multiple previous jobs to add to your resume, you should do so in reverse-chronological order.
Use a cover letter to go into detail about your career aspirations and professional accomplishments, but don’t repeat what you already have said in the resume.
And that concludes today’s lesson on resume writing!
We’ve given you everything from specific explanations on how to polish every detail of your document to dentist resume samples that you can use for practice and as inspiration.
All that’s left is for you to follow the instructions step-by-step, and your success is all but guaranteed. Lastly, don’t forget about our resume-building tool. It can do all the heavy lifting for you. Whatever the case, you’ll have a gleaming resume in no time!