Resume Template: Dental Hygienist

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Healthcare

Writing a dental hygienist resume might feel like a daunting task.

It can be a challenge to know where to start, what exactly to say, or just how to say it.

But, just like dental work, if you have the right tools to get the job done, it can make a world of difference.

Once you understand what the tools are and how to apply them, the rest of the work can start to fall into place.

Think of this article as a compilation of the most essential dental hygienist resume writing tools you will need to get the job done.

You have the knowledge and skills; now, it’s just time to apply them.

We’re ready to do this with you.

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 hygienist 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 hygienist resume you possibly can.

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Dental Hygienist Resume (Text Version)

CONTACT INFO:

Susan Sharp
suzysharp@gmail.com
1 (309) 273-0133
Peoria, IL 61525

SUMMARY STATEMENT

Dental Hygienist: Friendly and motivated Registered Dental Hygienist. Comfortable working with large dental practices and fast-paced working environments. Skilled at comprehensive dental inspections and communication with patients. Experienced and proficient in intra-oral imaging, soft tissue management, and decay-prevention methods.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • Local and Topical Anesthesia
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation
  • Oral Prophylaxis
  • CPR
  • Scheduling
  • Proficient in Eaglesoft
  • Patient Care
  • Scaling and Root Planing

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Peterson Dental Group
Dental Hygienist | Peoria, IL | May 2015 – Present

  • Perform teeth and gum inspections, checking for receding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease
  • Take dental impressions to create whitening trays and retainers for patients
  • Administer local and topical anesthesia to over 350 patients prior to procedures, including nitrous oxide
  • Complete digital radiographs and oral probes to provide patients with an analysis of their oral health
  • Excellent bedside manner with a consistently high patient satisfaction rating of over 98%

Browne Dental
Dental Hygienist | Bloomington, IL | June 2013 – March 2015

  • Maintained, cleaned, and organized dental tools and supplies to a sterile and organized work station
  • Preformed fluoride treatments, sealants, and screenings to an average of 10 or more patients a day
  • Observed and evaluated patient mouths utilizing equipment including x-rays and intra-oral cameras
  • Recorded detailed notes concerning patient oral health during lead dentist examinations

Peoria Dentistry
Dental Hygienist | Peoria, IL | June 2010 – December 2014

  • Handled large patient flow during 8-hour shifts
  • Worked diligently to maintain open and friendly communication with each patient
  • Instructed patients in proper brushing and flossing techniques
  • Attended weekly staff meetings and provided input
  • Administered prophylaxis treatments to patients

EDUCATION/CERTIFICATION

Bachelor of Arts in Dental Hygiene
University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield, IL,
Class of 2010

Licensed Dental Hygienist with the State of Illinois
2010

Formatting Your Dental Hygienist Resume

Typically your first order of business when a patient walks in for an annual check-up is to get a visual of the situation.

Before you start cleaning or doing any work, you take a look around physically and sometimes do some digital imaging or x-rays.

You understand the importance of this step because every person is different, and it’s crucial to know what you’re working with before you get started.

When someone reviews your resume the first thing they are going to do is assess it visually – and the first thing they’re going to notice is the formatting.

The format of your dental hygienist resume is pertinent when it comes to catching someone’s attention and making them want to read more.

Most hiring managers only spend about 6 seconds reviewing each resume, so the impact a format has (whether good or bad) on getting you an interview is huge.

The first decision to be made is font selection – make sure that you choose a font that is legible and easy on the eyes.

However, resume formatting involves more than the words you write; it’s also about the blank spaces in between.

A resume that is going to catch someone’s attention for all the right reasons will have intentional and even spacing to separate sections and bullet points to guide the eye.

You should always list things in reverse chronological order so that your more important and up-to-date details come first and are more likely to be noticed.

These basics might not sound like much, but if not followed, your dental hygienist resume could end up in the trash before the hiring manager reads the first line.

Start With Your Resume Summary

Now that you have a grasp on the overall look of your resume, it’s time to start adding in the details.

The first section of a resume is going to be your summary.

Your dental hygienist resume summary should only come out to about two to three sentences that describe some of your most notable characteristics as a dental hygienist.

While this section is short, it is sometimes challenging to sum yourself up in such a concise manner.

Try to think of this section as just a sample of your greatest hits rather than a comprehensive overview.

Start by asking yourself what the most important aspects of your job are and how you fulfill them.

If you can answer that question, you should be off to a great start.

Yes!

Friendly and motivated Registered Dental Hygienist. Comfortable working with large dental practices and fast-paced working environments. Skilled at comprehensive dental inspections and communication with patients. Experienced and proficient in intra-oral imaging, soft tissue management, and decay-prevention methods.

No!

Dental Hygienist who is good at working in large and busy offices. Great at dental inspections and with patients. Knowledge of oral imaging, soft tissue management, and decay-prevention methods.

The first example explains the candidate’s skills and specialties in a detailed manner using strong diction that allows them to keep things “to-the-point.”

In the second example, the candidate overlooks relevant descriptors and uses mundane language to describe themself, like the words “great” and “good.”

PRO TIP: If you are having trouble deciding what details to include in your resume summary, try skipping it and coming back to it later. Sometimes writing out your other sections first allows you time to think through your previous work, education, and skills before you have to sum things up more concisely.

Your Dental Hygienist Resume Skills & Qualifications

Often, when employers read through resumes for jobs that involve specialized technical or medical skills, they want to know right away if you have what they are looking for.

That is why it is important to include a list of specific skills and qualifications.

It is crucial to note these details in a minimalistic list that is easy to notice and read.

Make sure that as you decide what skills to include, you consider that there are two different kinds: hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are the kinds of technical skills that need to be taught and practiced to obtain.

Are you familiar with nitrous oxide sedation?

Have you worked with Eaglesoft?

Soft skills are more like personality traits that help you work well with staff and patients and show that you take your work seriously.

Are you great at explaining things and communicating with patients?

Do you show up to work on time and with a good attitude?

You can list all of your skills in one list or split them up into two.

Single List

  • Local and Topical Anesthesia
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation
  • Oral Prophylaxis
  • CPR
  • Organization
  • Scheduling
  • Positive Attitude
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Proficient in Eaglesoft
  • Patient Care
  • Scaling and Root Planing

Separated lists:

Hard Skills

  • Local and Topical Anesthesia
  • Nitrous Oxide Sedation
  • Oral Prophylaxis
  • CPR
  • Proficient in Eaglesoft
  • Scaling and Root Planing

Soft Skills:

  • Organization
  • Positive Attitude
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Patient Care
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Detail Oriented

PRO TIP: There is no “one-size” fits all for writing your resume. While the world of dentistry requires a fair amount of technical skills, soft skills are still relevant. Make sure that you are referencing a job posting or reviewing a company to make sure that you include the kinds of skills they want to see on your resume. Leave things out that they maybe don’t emphasize when describing their ideal candidate or work environment.

Writing Your Work Experience

With your more general and fundamental information out of the way, it is time to get into specifics by describing your job history.

Your work experience section is the part of your dental hygienist resume that will describe your previous jobs in detail.

Including applicable work experience is essential so that you can describe your jobs in a way that should reinforce the skills you listed previously.

So, make sure that you are only including jobs that are relevant to the field of dentistry and not the retail job you held down while you were in school.

Whenever possible, list your work experience in reverse chronological order so that your most recent work comes first (usually it is also your most impressive).

Once you have decided what jobs to include and laid them out in order of recency, describe your role and the duties you fulfilled in that position in about three to five bullet points.

Make sure that you are taking the time to narrow down your descriptions to include skills and characteristics that will fortify you as a candidate for the job you are applying to.

Yes!

Peterson Dental Group | Peoria, IL | Dental Hygienist | May 2015 – Present
• Perform teeth and gum inspections on patients checking for receding gums, tooth decay, and gum disease
• Take dental impressions to create whitening trays and retainers for patients
• Administer local and topical anesthesia to over 350 patients prior to procedures, including nitrous oxide
• Complete digital radiographs and oral probes to provide patients with a comprehensive analysis of their oral health
• Excellent bedside manner with a consistently high patient satisfaction rating of over 98%

No!

Peterson Dental Group | Peoria, IL | Dental Hygienist | May 2015 – Present
• Perform teeth and gum inspections on patients
• Take dental impressions
• Administer local anesthesia to patients
• Complete digital radiographs and oral probes
• Excellent bedside manner

The first example lends specific details that either quantify or qualify the tasks that the candidate performs at their current job.

The second example lists basic daily tasks without additional information to support and improve upon their descriptions.

PRO TIP: Writing an impressive job description comes down to specifics. Make sure that you are including quantifying and qualifying details to explain your accomplishments and abilities. If you claim to communicate well with patients and you have received great reviews, explain that you were a commonly requested hygienist. If you have performed and assisted with complicated procedures, list how many times you have done so – these details help paint a complete picture of you and your abilities.

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

More About Bots

As you work your way through your dental hygienist resume, it is important to consider that, like most other things in today’s world, the hiring process is becoming more automated and digitized.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), or bots, are computerized systems that sort through and review resumes before a hiring manager takes a look.

While this might sound a bit overwhelming for someone applying for a new job, in most cases, bots are relatively simple programs in regards to how they make decisions.

Bots search resumes for keywords that they are programmed to associate with “good-candidate-potential.”

These keywords are typically descriptive terms or power words (action verbs) that you use to describe your previous jobs and your current skills.

Some resume experts believe that using paragraphs instead of bullet points will help many resume writers include more keywords in their job descriptions.

Using more keywords increases the chances of your dental hygienist resume getting flagged for selection by a bot.

However, it is still possible to be intentional about including as many keywords as possible using bullet points.

Here at Big Interview, we believe that sticking with bullet points is best so that once your resume gets through to human review, it will appear organized and easy to read.

Let’s take a look at the visual difference between the two styles.

Standard Bullet Point Format:

Browne Dental | Bloomington, IL | Dental Hygienist | June 2013 – March 2015

  • Maintained, cleaned, and organized dental tools and supplies for a sterile and organized work station
  • Performed fluoride treatments, sealants, and screenings to an average of 10 or more patients a day
  • Observed and evaluated patient mouths utilizing equipment including x-rays and intra-oral cameras
  • Recorded detailed and relevant notes concerning patient oral health and restorative work during lead dentist examinations

Paragraph Format:

Browne Dental | Bloomington, IL | Dental Hygienist | June 2013 – March 2015
Maintained, cleaned, and organized dental tools and supplies for a sterile and organized work station. Performed fluoride treatments, sealants, and screenings to an average of 10 or more patients a day. Observed and evaluated patient mouths utilizing equipment including x-rays and intra-oral cameras. Recorded detailed and relevant notes concerning patient oral health and restorative work during lead dentist examinations.

If you choose to write your work descriptions in paragraph format you can still include a few bullet points to list stand out details.

Paragraph Hybrid

Browne Dental | Bloomington, IL | Dental Hygienist | June 2013 – March 2015
Maintained, cleaned, and organized dental tools and supplies for a sterile and organized work station. Performed fluoride treatments, sealants, and screenings to an average of 10 or more patients a day. Observed and evaluated patient mouths utilizing equipment including x-rays and intra-oral cameras. Recorded detailed and relevant notes concerning patient oral health and restorative work during lead dentist examinations.

  • 10+ websites launched and maintained
  • Trained over 6 interns and assistants

Writing Your Education Section

Now that you have written the main component of your dental hygienist resume, it is necessary to include a section that lists your credentials.

Writing a simple education section will allow the person reviewing your resume to see at a glance that you have the required training and certifications to perform your duties as a hygienist.

Make sure that you list your credentials in order of most to least related and impressive.

Example:

Bachelor of Arts in Dental Hygiene
University of Illinois at Springfield, Springfield IL, Charlotte, NC
Class of 2010

List any of your additional licenses and certifications after your degree.

Example:

Licensed Dental Hygienist with the State of Illinois
2010

Possible Sections to Include

If you have any additional training or impressive experience and abilities that haven’t fit in the previous sections, feel free to include a section that goes over those details.

Some 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 only recently graduated or switched career paths, you might be wondering what adjustments you should make so that your dental hygienist resume can still have an impact.

First, remember that this is a common situation because everyone has had to start at the beginning no matter where they have ended up.

The first thing you should do is move your education section underneath your summary so that it can command more attention.

Next, try to improve upon the basic details we went over in the education section of this article.

If you earned a high GPA or received any honors or awards while in school, include those details.

Add in additional sections that include any internships or volunteer work that is related to dentistry and could show off that you still have experienced even if it wasn’t paid.

Stay positive about your potential to learn and grow and confident that you have the strong foundation necessary to get started.

Dental Hygienist Resume Points to Remember

Show off your versatility

Make sure that when you are describing yourself in your summary, or your previous work experience, that you don’t repeat the same keywords. Start each bullet point or sentence with a strong new power word.

Freshen things up

Make sure that you are taking the time to review your resume before you send it off or hand it in. Have a trusted friend read through it and give you their notes – and read the resume aloud to yourself to make sure that you like the way things sound.

Follow their advice

If you are writing your resume in response to a job posting, make sure that you are referencing the post as you write. Job posts will often include a description of the type of candidate they are looking for as well as a list of skills they want the candidate to have. Make sure you include whatever applies to you in your own resume.

Try to Avoid

Keep things brief

Don’t write a resume that rambles on for too long or goes onto a second page. Make sure that you are narrowing down your skills and experience to only the most important and impressive.

Not too flashy

Make sure that when you are formatting your resume, you stick to an easy to read and follow format that will put your best foot forward. Stay away from fonts that are too stylistic and might distract from the details you are listing.

Don’t use “I” or “me”

While your dental hygienist resume is about you, it is actually frowned upon to include these two words in your resume. Make sure that you don’t include them when you talk about yourself – they just come off as awkward to your reader.

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

Helpful Tools

Dental Hygienist Resume Power Words

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

Dental Hygienist Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
Scaling and Root PlaningPunctual
Digital RadiographyOrganized
Soft Tissue ManagementVerbal and Written Communication
EaglesoftMulti-tasking
Nitrous Oxide SedationHard-working