9 Dental Assistant Resume Examples That Work In 2021

Author: Stephen Greet, Co-founder
Published on: October 2, 2021

You've learned about the steps you need to take to become a dental assistant in your state and you've possibly already completed them.

Now comes the dreaded part: putting all of your expertise and experience together in a resume.

If this sounds familiar, then know that the goal of this post help lift some of that burden and show you exactly what you need to do to build a great dental assistant resume in 2021.

These 5 dental assistant resume samples have all helped real dental assistants land real jobs, so they're a great place to start.

Dental Assistant Resume

Dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • The requirements to become a dental assistant vary widely by state (check out this site to learn about the requirements in your state). Passing the Certified Dental Assistant exam issued by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) is an accepted way to do that in most states.
  • In New Jersey, for example, licensed dental assistants obtain the title of Registered Dental Assistant. Be sure to use the exact title that is widely accepted by your state on your resume.
  • While it can be difficult to quantify the impact of some of your work as a dental assistant because you're part of a broader team, when you can do so it clearly demonstrates that you made a difference. In this example, tying a conversion to Dentrix showed that there was a meaningful increase in patient flow (and thus profit).

Experienced Dental Assistant Resume

Experienced dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • As you progress through your dental assisting career, there are loads of optional certifications you can obtain that increase your responsibilities and in most cases increase your pay. In this resume, Coronal Polishing and Nitrous Oxide certifications serve that role.
  • Certification for dental assistants varies state by state, but nearly all dental assistant jobs require that you have either cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification or Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. So if you have either, be sure to mention it on your resume.
  • The skills section of your resume should include just enough to show your specific technical strengths while not looking like a laundry list of all skills under the sun. The most popular skills we've seen for dental assistants are x-rays and 4-handed dentistry.

Inexperienced Dental Assistant Resume

Inexperienced dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • If you don't have much work experience or you recently graduated, feel free to include a hobbies and interests section in your resume (called "Activities" in this case). Be sure to include activities that demonstrate leadership when possible.
  • Some states (like Iowa) have dental assistant programs designed for people specifically with no certification. You learn the skills on the job, with the goal of eventually becoming certified.
  • If you decide to include a resume objective in your resume, customize it for each job you apply to. The most effective way to do that is to include the company name, followed by a sentence explaining your strengths that mirrors some of the language used in the job description.

Pediatric Dental Assistant Resume

Pediatric dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • Colleges around the country offer what are usually 1-year programs in dental assisting, with the goal being certification (often by passing the Dental Assisting National Board's Certified Dental Assistant exam). If you've attended such a program, be sure to include it in the "Education" section of your resume.
  • The hardest part for a lot of people when writing about their work experience is starting! A tried-and-true template for writing work experience bullet points is to start with an action verb (like "Recorded", "Sterilized", and "Maintained" in this resume), followed by an explanation of the work done followed by an explanation of the impact of that work.

Oral Surgery Dental Assistant Resume

Oral surgery dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • Dentistry has loads of specialties (like oral surgery and pediatrics, for example). Don't be afraid to lean into your specialty! If you're applying to a dental assisting job in oral surgery and you have experience in that field, then create a separate copy of your resume focusing on those aspects of your past work. 
  • A little color used sparingly on your resume can help to make it stand out to whoever is looking at it while maintaining professionalism.
  • At the end of the day, being a dental assistant is largely about interacting with patients. This resume works because it clearly demonstrates that this person is comfortable and enjoys those parts of the job.

Dental Assistant In Training Resume

Dental Assistant In Training Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • It can feel especially challenging to apply for jobs titles that you don’t have direct experience in.
    • Even if your dental assistant in training resume doesn’t show prior experience in dental assistance positions, positions like office assistant jobs do a great job at demonstrating your capacity to provide quality customer service and vast knowledge of electronic medical records.
    • If you don’t have any related or applicable job titles, it’s also okay to include unrelated job titles (like sales representative, restaurant server, or call center agent), volunteer experiences, internships, class projects, or relevant coursework.
  • Did you notice that this resume includes numbers in each bullet point? These numbers (or quantitative metrics) provide hiring managers with a clear way to evaluate your job performance.

Orthodontic Dental Assistant Resume

Orthodontic Dental Assistant Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • We talk a lot about quantitative metrics, and we do this for a good reason. Hiring managers are more likely to consider a job applicant who includes quantitative metrics.
    • Including numbers on your orthodontic dental assistant resume will demonstrate your value on the job and confirm that you’re the best person for a role requiring specific job skills, like taking impressions and understanding EMR.
  • Whatever you do, make sure you don’t simply re-state job descriptions or roles. Why?
    • First, that’s not very interesting. Hiring managers already know what responsibilities your job titles likely entailed.
    • Second, a bland description of your job requirements doesn’t make a strong sell on why you’re a better choice than the competition. Instead, focus on your accomplishments and achievements (use those numbers we just talked about) to show how you provided value beyond the basic job description.

Certified Dental Assistant Resume

Certified Dental Assistant Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • Demonstrate clear growth and increased responsibility in your certified dental assistant resume.
    • Format your resume in reverse chronological order, with your most current work experience toward the top of the page. This helps highlight your most recent and, probably, most relevant job title.
      • This is important because recruiters are likely to only read the top of a resume and may only skim the latter half.
    • Even for job titles that may not seem relevant, you can emphasize the skills you bring to the table.
      • For example, if you include a waitressing position from a few years ago, discuss responsibilities that highlight how you were proactive, a strong collaborator, good at customer relations, and skilled at educating customers. It’s easy to see how these skills translate to a dental assistant role.

Dental Hygiene Assistant Resume

Dental Hygiene Assistant Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • When you’re writing your dental hygiene assistant resume, you should make sure you’re focusing on what matters most.
    • This means you should not take up unnecessary space with education or contact information. These resume sections can be compact and straightforward.
  • And while we're talking about what not to emphasize on your resume, it's probably not in your best interest to include a picture of yourself.
    • Even professional headshots can make a resume look less than professional, and they can even cause bias in the recruitment process.
  • Even without a picture, your resume doesn’t need to be boring. Include tasteful pops of color for each resume section title and pleasant contrasts in body and header fonts.
    • Tip: Do some recon to find out the color scheme at the dentist office you're applying to and try adding a bit of company color to subtly complement your application.

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