The American dental industry is exploding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 6% increase in dental jobs by 2031, which shows more rapid openings than many other industries, creating a high demand for people to fill these positions. While the demand may be growing, you need your dentist resume to stand out if you want to land a job at your dream dental office.
Dentistry is a highly sought-after career. According to BLS, the median annual pay for dentists in 2021 was $163,220. Anyone from a dental assistant to a senior dentist can enjoy competitive pay, fair work-life balance, and close-knit staff environments.
However, there is also high competition for most dental openings. Landing the dentist job you desire goes beyond using a free resume template or fancy fonts. You must include all the necessary content that allows your work experience, dental school training, experience with dental software, and skills to speak for themselves.
Dentist Resume Format
The dentist resume format determines the impression the hiring manager at the dental clinic can get of your potential. Your dentist resume objective should be to capture all of your most valuable and critical skills and work experience in as few words as possible. When hiring managers view resume after resume, you need to make yours stand out with engaging information that meets the job description.
The most important aspect of your resume format is to use reverse chronological order. People read documents top-to-bottom, so you want to place your most important information right near the top of the page.
Many organizations use applicant tracking systems to filter and sort candidates based on specific criteria. Carefully review the job description and follow all format requirements so you make it through the initial ATS cutting process.
Use this resume template for any general dentist job application:
- Header with your name and contact information
- Resume summary
- Dentistry education
- Professional experience
- Professional development licensing, training, or certificates (think CV template)
- Skill section
- Awards or honors
- Professional affiliations and community involvement
We recommend submitting your dentist’s resume as a PDF to preserve its format, once downloaded. Consider a resume service if you need support structuring your professional resume.
Making Your Dental Experience Stand Out
Your work experience in dental services is one of the most important aspects of landing your dream dentist job. Use exact figures that display how you improved patient outcomes and office success. Focus on the long-term wins you helped the patient and the organization achieve rather than your daily tasks.
Here are a few examples of successful dental experience statements:
- Providing dental care to 1,500+ patients with a team consisting of three dentists, one associate dentist, one certified dental assistant, and one dental hygienist
- Performing routine dental procedures, prosthodontics, teeth implants, endodontics, tooth extraction procedures, and cosmetic dentistry
- Training in dental surgery and oral surgery
- Educating patients in oral health for at-home dental treatment and preventative care
- Providing effective treatment plans for oral health concerns like tooth decay, TMJ, and periodontal disease
- Reducing patient appointment and procedure times by 20% with improved efficiency protocols
- Implementing new organizational protocols for reduced dental instrument wasting
List descriptive achievements for your most relevant jobs in reverse-chronological order. For example, you should discuss your time working as a certified dental assistant or a pediatric dentist, but you can skip the summer you scooped ice cream.
Displaying Contact Information Clearly
At the top of any dentist resume example, you’ll find the personal information section. Here, you list the need-to-know information so that hiring managers can contact you to set up interviews and follow through with the next process steps. Your contact information should be easily identifiable, clear, and correct.
For any general dentist or specialist to practice, you must have the proper licensing. You should list your general dentistry license title and number directly beneath your name at the top of the resume. Without this information in an easy-to-locate place, most offices will immediately toss your resume in the reject pile.
Use this dentist resume sample when formatting your contact information:
- John Doe
- Registered General Dentist
- License no: 12345
- 6783 Rainbow Rd, Chicago, IL, 29086
- Phone: (103) 345-6789
- Email: [email protected]
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/johndoe
Be sure to use a professional email address for your dentist job application. If the dental care job description requires other details, like a specific certification, include it here. Directly beneath your personal information, you will add your resume summary to describe your experience, passion for dental care, and why they should hire you.
Dentist Skills Your Resume Should Display
Many overlook the value of selecting the right dentistry skills to emphasize on their resume. Your skills should display distinct oral health experience and knowledge, plus general worker values.
Hard skills refer to specific on-the-job attributes that allow you to improve patient outcomes and practice efficiency. Soft skills are vague terms that can apply to many industries, describing your qualities as a worker. You want to strike the right balance between hard and soft skills to display your unique benefits.
Here are a few resume hard and soft skills that you can use for inspiration:
- Hard skills: Four-handed dentistry, x-ray machine operation, restorative teeth procedures, preventative dentistry, laser teeth whitening, orthodontics, prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, dental hygiene, oral radiology, cosmetic dentistry, endodontics, maxillofacial surgery
- Soft skills: Communication, dexterity, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, collaboration, teamwork, listening skills, time management, leadership, compassion, patience, ethics, flexibility, adaptability, emotional strength
We recommend using similar terminology as above. You can also pull exact terms and phrases from the job description. For example, if it says they need a leader with good time-management skills, list those attributes under your soft skills.
Don’t list all of the skills above. Only select the skills that your job experience and training support.
What Else Should You Include?
When you view any resume sample, you’ll notice that most include quite a few extra sections. After you cover the personal information, resume summary, education credentials, experience section, and skills, you can fill the remainder of the page with additional attributes that help you stand out. Consider adding the following sections at the end of your dentist resume:
- Licenses: Dentistry licenses are state specific. Under the license section, you can list your general dentist license location plus any other licensing you have.
- Languages: Dentistry is a service-oriented field where you must frequently communicate with patients. Speaking multiple languages is an enormous skill that can put you ahead of the competition.
- Certifications: Certifications strengthen your resume, prove experience, and display your abilities as a dentist. A few common certifications include the Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA), Radiation Health and Safety Certification from the Dental Assisting National Board, and the Board Certification from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.
- Awards: Awards showcase your excellence and display how you’re the best at what you do. You can list any relevant awards you’ve earned throughout schooling or work experience.
- Volunteer work: Volunteer work adds context to your soft skills. We recommend only including work relating to dentistry.
Should You Include a Cover Letter?
Cover letters are the largest pain point for any applicant, regardless of the industry. You just perfected your resume, and now you have to capture all of the information in an engaging, well-written, and succinct letter. Many believe they can skip the cover letter if the job posting doesn’t require it, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
83% of hiring teams believe an impressive cover letter alone is enough to move a candidate into the interview phase. Cover letters introduce the hiring managers to your personality and passions. While the resume shows your highlights and hard figures, the cover letter reveals who you are, why you want to work for them, and how you can better their practice.
So, what should your cover letter include?
- Your contact details
- The date
- The hiring team’s contact details
- “Dear X,” or “To X,”
- A paragraph explaining why you’re writing
- A paragraph discussing your interest in the position
- A paragraph describing why you think you’re a good fit
- Thank them with a call to action
When addressing the letter, use specific names rather than “To whom it may concern” to display your research. Use your biggest resume highlights in the heart of the letter.
Understanding the Latest Dental Staffing Trends
Creating the perfect dentist resume requires ample research and fine-tuning. You could hire a resume writing service, but most wouldn’t understand the specific details required in dentistry applications. Understanding the latest dental staffing trends and researching information about the hiring practice are the best ways to tailor your resume with unique, specific details.
At Weave, we specialize in helping dental teams succeed. We surveyed over 510 healthcare professionals in 2022 to understand the impact of labor shortages on small practices.
We compiled all the key information into an e-book, The 2022 State of Dental Staffing, to help hirees like you understand the latest staffing trends and key insights. Get the 2022 State of Dental Staffing e-book today from Weave to perfect your dentist resume package with our hard-hitting insights.