6 Resume-Writing Tips for Dental Students

Posted by on Dec 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Congratulations! You worked hard to reach your goals and are poised to enter the dental world as a properly trained and highly educated dental professional. Now, it’s time to put your best foot forward and share all your amazing skills and traits with potential employers or partners via a standout resume.


Determine What Type of Position You Want

The first step in crafting a resume is to determine your goal position. For example, what you put into your resume will differ greatly based on whether you are seeking a DSO a Dental Associateship or want a role in private practice. 

Now, on to some actionable tips:

Seven Tips For Creating Your Resume

The ADA recommends some basic elements of an impactful resume before you get started: 

  • Education: Your dental school accreditations and degrees
  • Leadership: Professional experiences where you were responsible for certain outcomes or improvements
  • Awards: Achievements, scholarships, honors, or other accolades
  • Research: Presentations, projects, and other areas where you contributed to the education of a dental community
  • Community service: Volunteering and / or non-profit work that you’ve done
  • Professional affiliations: Memberships you have with different organizations and why they’re important

Once you have those in place, you can start on these tips: 

1.) Focus on Your Skills

The experience and technical skills you gained in dental school are essential information you need to share with anyone reading your resume. It’s important to lead with them at the top of your curriculum vitae (CV), which is a summary of your jobs, education, research, skills and experience. 

This will help those looking at your CV or resume — like dental professionals, recruiters, or hiring managers — to garner an understanding of who you are at a glance. 

Other dentist resume tips include adding bonus sections, like teaching experience, assessments, military service, published articles or appearance in publications and presentations and more. Just don’t go overboard. Remain focused primarily on the pertinent and applicable information.

2.) Use Data When Possible

Back up your claims with data when possible. After all, anyone can say they have a good rapport with patients, but pointing out that you have achieved 40 consecutive five-star ratings following a procedure backs up your claim and is much more impressive.

3.) Customize Your Resume for the Recipient

Your resume should read differently if you are submitting it through an applicant tracking system than it does if you are sending it via email. Use words that are similar to the job description you read. 

This helps software understand how qualified you are for the position and increases your odds of getting flagged for a potential interview. It works for recruiters and hiring managers as well because it demonstrates that you read their listing carefully.

4.) Get a Second Opinion or a Mentor

You should never submit a resume that you wrote and reviewed on your own without letting someone else look it over first. Choose someone like your family, advisors, peers or a mentor to look over your resume to ensure everything makes sense. 

Many times, when you write something, you fail to recognize that it doesn’t make sense. It might make sense to you, in your own head because you know what you meant, but it might not be clear to another reader.

5.) Read It Backwards

After you make sure what you wrote makes sense, it’s time to get rid of any typos that might exist. The easiest way to do this is to read your resume backwards, word-by-word. This allows you to focus on each word independently instead of as part of a phrase. This makes it easier to catch each and every typo.

6.) Know Your Audience

Consider who will be reading your resume as you apply for jobs. When joining a small practice, another dental professional or the practice owner might screen you. If you’re joining a DSO, a recruiter or hiring manager might be who reads your resume. 

Each audience will look for differing factors when they determine what resume merits a follow up to set up an interview and the resume that just gets set aside. 

7.) Optional Summary Section

This section sums up everything you state in your resume in one succinct location. It is similar to the information you lead with in your CV, but instead of introducing yourself; you are summing up everything that makes you an ideal candidate for the job in one easy-to-find location.

Writing a memorable resume that gets you noticed is a vital part of pursuing the dental position you are seeking. Without the right sections and the correct wording, it will be difficult to gain the attention you need to earn that coveted interview. 

Consequently, spending time on crafting this one document may yield unparalleled results, so take your time, and follow the tips listed above. 

Get Your Handbook to Surviving after Dental School

Are you looking for more insights to prepare for life after dental school? 

Take a moment to download our free ebook, The Post-Dental School Survival Guide.

Learn More about Life after Dental School

Treloar & Heisel and Treloar & Heisel Property and Casualty are divisions of Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

Insurance products are offered through Treloar & Heisel, LLC.

This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice. 


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