Resume Template: Dental Assistant

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Healthcare

As a dental assistant, you understand the importance of making a good first impression.

When patients come in you are often the first person they see and the first person to begin working on their teeth during their visit.

In order to make a good impression, you need to be knowledgeable about dental care, operating equipment in the office, and have a positive presence that puts patients at ease.

Much like yourself, a resume is the first thing a manager sees when they are considering hiring a new dental assistant.

Writing a dental assistant resume that will catch their attention and move the hiring process forward is your primary goal.

To achieve this goal, you need to prove that you are competent, passionate, and knowledgeable in your field, but doing all of that on one page can be quite the task.

If you’re ready to start applying to new positions, you’ve come to the right place to set yourself up for success and start creating the perfect resume.

Let’s get started!

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample dental assistant resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best dental assistant resume you possibly can.

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Dental Assistant Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Mandy Gilbert
mandygilbert@email.com
1 (615) 908-0021
Franklin, TN 37027

Summary Statement:

Dental Assistant: Skilled Dental Assistant with experience in both adult and pediatric dental care. Expertise in the areas of complete oral examinations and cleanings. Intimate with workings of dental office environment and proficient at maintaining patient information and communicating treatment needs to patients.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Operatory Set-Ups
  • Radiographs
  • Crown Impressions
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • Positive Attitude
  • Patient Care
  • Communication
  • 4-Handed dentistry
  • Dental Equipment Maintenance

Professional Experience:

Happy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | March 2018 – Present

  • Applied fluoride and sealant applications to patients teeth for preventative care
  • Consistently requested for child appointments due to a positive and caring attitude with patients
  • Trained incoming staff (over 5+ people) on routine tasks, X-rays, and patient charting
  • Communicated with patient caregivers concerning oral needs and practices to ensure proper dental care in and out of the office
  • Worked closely with dentists and hygienists during procedures, including cleanings and over 50 extractions

Kirkland Dentist Group
Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | February 2015 – January 2018

  • Provided chairside assistance to dentists during procedures, including restorative and surgical
  • Prepped patients for appointments with dentist by taking X-rays, adjusting chair for comfort, flossing and cleaning teeth
  • Curated office and patient records via computer software
  • Coordinated interaction between dentists and equipment suppliers
  • Took inventory of dental supplies and ordered needed items

Smile White Dentistry
Nashville, TN | Dental Assistant | June 2013 – November 2017

  • Sterilized instruments and organized treatment areas prior to care
  • Managed laboratory tasks, including crown fabrication and pouring impressions
  • Helped to expose and develop X-rays of patient teeth
  • Observed dentist during X-ray evaluations and entered notes into patient charts
  • Developed relationships with patients and assured patient well being during procedures

Education/Certifications

Certified Dental Assistant (CODA Accredited)
Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, TN,
Class of 2013

Certified Dental Assistant
Dental Assisting National Board,
2013

CPR & First-Aid Certification (Renewed 2019)

High School Diploma
Maplewood High School
2011

Formatting

While dental hygiene is important for health reasons, many people keep up with their dentist appointments for visual appearances as well.

Everyone loves a great smile.

When it comes to resume writing it is essential that you include impressive and impactful information explaining your skills as a dental assistant.

However, regardless of what you write, the first thing anyone is going to notice is the format.

Creating a dental assistant resume that is visually appealing should be your first consideration before you begin writing.

When reviewing resumes people only spend about 6 seconds evaluating each one – this means that the format makes the most impact during the first round of reviews.

An impressive resume format should appear professional and easy to read.

Creating that appearance comes down to a few simple details that are consistent across all acceptable formats.

Pay attention to spacing – allowing for adequate spacing between sentences and sections of a resume helps guide your reader’s eyes down the page.

Spacing, along with bullet points, creates a clean and professional appearance that doesn’t appear too cluttered or wordy.

When you select a font for your resume, make sure you pick something legible and neat.

List your information in reverse chronological order so that your most impressive and recent work is closer to the top of the page.

Never assume your resume will be read in its entirety – make sure your most valuable details are separated well with spacing, bolding, or italicizing to draw attention.

Start With Your Resume Summary

The summary of your dental assistant resume describes who you are as a dental assistant in just two to three sentences.

Often the most challenging aspect of writing this section is deciding what attributes and details are most pertinent to discuss.

When writing this section it can be helpful to start more generally and then work your way to narrowing things down.

Ask yourself, “what does a dental assistant do and what are the attributes and goals of a great dental assistant?”

Once you have answered those questions, think critically about what job tasks you have experience with and what goals and attributes you relate to the most from your response.

Let’s look at a few examples.

Yes!

Skilled Dental Assistant with experience in both adult and pediatric dental care. Expertise in the areas of complete oral examinations and cleanings. Intimate knowledge of the workings of the dental office environment and proficient at maintaining patient information and communicating treatment needs to patients.

No!

Skilled Dental Assistant with a wide range of experience. Experience in various areas of oral care. Intimate with workings of the dental office environment and proficient at working with patients.

The first example includes specific details and discusses a variety of job duties to show that the candidate is competent in the dental office.

The second example lends little to no information to support their statements and show off their expertise.

PRO TIP: If you are having a difficult time writing your resume summary try skipping it and coming back to it. Often, writing your work history and education sections allows you to get into a different mindset about how to discuss yourself within a resume.

Key Accomplishments/ Skills & Qualifications

When writing your resume, it is necessary that you include a list of skills and qualifications that is easily noticeable for your readers.

A list that lays out your skills in a particular and minimalistic manner allows for the section to draw attention and let hiring managers know at a glance if you meet the job requirements they have.

Make sure that you include skills that are both hard and soft.

Hard Skills:

  • Can be taught and practiced
  • Known as technical skills
  • Easily quantifiable

Soft Skills:

  • Known as people skills
  • Not easy to quantify
  • Similar to personality traits

Let’s take a look at a list that includes a good portion of both of these kinds of skills.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • Operatory Set-Ups
  • Radiographs
  • Crown Impressions
  • Teeth Cleaning
  • POS systems
  • Positive Attitude
  • Patient Care
  • Teamwork
  • Taking Direction
  • Communication
  • 4-Handed dentistry
  • Dental Equipment Maintenance
  • Customer Service

PRO TIP: If you are responding to a job posting or you have access to a job description from the company or office you are applying to, tailor your resume around the job posting. Often, job postings will include descriptions of the type of candidate they are looking for and list the skills and qualifications they want you to have. Make sure that your resume matches up whenever possible.

Writing Your Work Experience

Now that you have introduced some of the more general aspects about yourself, it is time to demonstrate your abilities by describing your previous work experience.

To build an effective work history section, it is pertinent to only include work experience that is relevant to the field of dentistry.

That means if you have work experience as a restaurant server, including it in your dental assistant resume isn’t going to benefit you in landing a job as a dental assistant.

In general, you should always try to list your work in reverse chronological order so that your most current work experience comes first (it is typically your most relevant or impressive).

Once you decide what jobs to include in your resume, describe each one in three to five bullet points.

When writing your bullet points always discuss job tasks that are relevant to the job and company you are applying to, and always start each bullet point with a new power word (action verb) or keyword.

Yes!

Happy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry | Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | March 2018-Present
• Applied fluoride and sealant applications to patients’ teeth for preventative care
• Consistently requested for children’s appointments due to a positive and caring attitude with patients
• Trained incoming staff (over 5+ people) on routine tasks, X-rays, and patient charting
• Communicated with patient caregivers concerning oral needs and practices to ensure proper dental care in and out of the office
• Worked closely with dentists and hygienists during procedures, including cleanings and over 50 extractions

No!

Happy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry | Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | March 2018-Present
• Preventative care for patients’ teeth
• Experience with children’s appointments
• Trained incoming staff
• Communicated with patient caregivers
• Worked closely with dentists and hygienists

The first example lends details that quantify and qualify the job tasks that the candidate handled.

The second example lists job tasks without details or descriptions that would be necessary to help the candidate sound knowledgeable and stand out.

PRO TIP: Including information that quantifies and qualifies your job descriptions is essential to writing an impactful resume. If you trained incoming staff or assisted on complicated procedures, explain how many people you trained and what you taught them, and describe how many procedures you assisted with and what they were. These details are essential to sounding well-versed and intelligent in your field.

(If you lack work experience, see below for a helpful section.)

About Bots

It is important to note that when a company reviews your resume, it is likely first to be sorted by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), or bot.

Bots review resumes in search of specific keywords and decipher whether or not they have “good-candidate potential.”

When a bot “likes” a resume, it will flag it.

If a bot doesn’t “like” a resume, that candidate will likely not progress any further in the hiring process.

Due to the increased use of bots, some resume experts recommend writing your job descriptions in paragraph format in order to include more keywords in your job descriptions.

Standard Bullet Point Format

Kirkland Dentist Group | Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | February 2015 – January 2018

  • Provided chairside assistance to dentists during procedures, including restorative and surgical
  • Prepped patients for appointments with dentist by taking X-rays, adjusting chair for comfort, flossing and cleaning teeth
  • Curated office and patient records via computer software
  • Coordinated interaction between dentists and equipment suppliers
  • Took inventory of dental supplies and ordered needed items

Paragraph Format

Kirkland Dentist Group | Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | February 2015 – January 2018
Provided chairside assistance to dentists during procedures, including restorative and surgical. Prepped patients for appointments with dentist by taking X-rays, adjusting chair for comfort, flossing, and cleaning teeth. Curated office and patient records via computer software. Coordinated interaction between dentists and equipment suppliers. Took inventory of dental supplies and ordered needed items.

You can also write your job description as a paragraph and then include a few key bullet points.

Kirkland Dentist Group | Franklin, TN | Dental Assistant | February 2015 – January 2018
Provided chairside assistance to dentists during procedures, including restorative and surgical. Prepped patients for appointments with dentist by taking X-rays, adjusting chair for comfort, flossing and cleaning teeth. Curated office and patient records via computer software. Coordinated interaction between dentists and equipment suppliers. Took inventory of dental supplies and ordered needed items.

  • Cut time waste 15%
  • 98% positive customer reviews

Here at Big Interview, we recommend that you stick with a bullet point format.

When using bullet points it is still possible to include a significant amount of keywords and this structure is more visually pleasing to the human eye.

Writing Your Education Section

The most simplistic section of your dental assistant resume is likely to be your education section.

List your degree(s) in order of relevance, recency, and impressiveness, while including the title of your degree, the school you attended, and the year you graduated.

You can always include certifications and licenses in this section or create sub-sections for each category of credentials.

Example:

Certified Dental Assistant (CODA Accredited)
Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, TN,
Class of 2013

Certified Dental Assistant

Dental Assisting National Board
2013

CPR & First-Aid Certification (Renewed 2019)

High School Diploma
Maplewood High School
2011

Possible Sections to Include in Your Dental Assistant Resume

If you have additional accomplishments or qualifications that don’t belong in the previous sections, feel free to include them in their own section.

Some additional sections to consider including are:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

What If You Have No Experience?

If you have just finished your education and you lack relevant work experience, there are some alterations you can make to your resume to fit your needs.

Start by moving your education section below your resume summary so that it is closer to the top of the page, and then expand on it where you can.

Did you earn an impressive GPA?

Did you graduate with honors or receive any awards?

Include details in your education section that could set you apart from the crowd.

Outside of adjusting your education section, also try to include additional sections if possible.

Volunteer work and internships can go a long way in landing you your first paid opportunity.

Keep a positive and confident attitude, and you will be flossing other people’s teeth in no time.

Resume Points to Remember

Give them options

Always start each bullet point with a new power word or keyword to describe yourself or your experience. Make sure that you aren’t repeating the same words twice, and that each keyword is the most specific and impactful word you could use.

Check things over

Take the time to read through your dental assistant resume more than once to check it for any mistakes or awkward phrasings. These details can be easily missed if you aren’t thorough and intentional about revising.

Get specific

When writing your resume, especially job descriptions, lend as many relevant details as possible to paint a complete picture of your abilities and experience. Quantifying and qualifying details will make you a stand out candidate among the rest.

Try to Avoid

Strange formats and fonts

When trying to stand out, some candidates try to grab attention with visuals by using an abstract format or font. Stick with fonts and formats that appear professional and easy to follow.

Writing too much

While it is important to lend details and get specific, make sure that you are still narrowing things down so that your resume fits comfortably on one page. Don’t hand in a two-page resume and don’t overcrowd your one-page resume so much that it appears cluttered or overwhelming.

Forgetting the small stuff

It happens to even the best candidates – they write a stellar resume only to forget something as simple as their name or contact information. Make sure that you don’t get so caught up that you forget the basics.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested power words.)

Helpful Tools

Power Words

  • Administered
  • Founded
  • Adept
  • Formulated
  • Built
  • Implemented
  • Created
  • Improved
  • Consolidated
  • Initiated
  • Coordinated
  • Launched
  • Developed
  • Pioneered
  • Designed
  • Organized

Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
Crown ImpressionsPatient Care
RadiographsCommunication
4-Handed DentistryEfficient Work Ethic
Dental Equipment MaintenanceCustomer Service
CPR CertifiedPositive Attitude