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11 Dental Assistant Resume Examples That Work in 2022

Author: Stephen Greet, Co-founder
Published on: September 20, 2022

Dental assistants are a huge asset to any dental office, but it's not always easy coming up with what to say when you're applying for a job. After all, how are you supposed to put all your expertise on one page?

If this sounds familiar, then know that the goal of this post is to lift some of that burden and show you exactly what you need to do to build a professional resume.

These nine dental assistant resume samples have helped real dental assistants land jobs, and our writing guide can help you learn the nitty-gritty of resume writing so you can land your next great dental assistant role in 2022.

Dental Assistant Resume

Dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • The requirements to become a dental assistant vary widely by state, so make sure you check out this site to learn about the requirements in your state.
    • Some states (like Iowa) have dental assistant programs designed for people specifically with no certification. You learn the skills on the job so you can eventually apply to get certified! 
  • While it can be difficult to quantify the impact of some of your work as a dental assistant, it's important to include some metrics while you're building your resume.
    • Metrics quantify your impact and let your future employer know that you did something special. 

Experienced Dental Assistant Resume

Experienced dental assistant resume example

Why this resume works

  • There are lots of resume tips out there, but there isn't a lot of advice about certifications, despite how important they are to your dental assisting career.
    • Certification for dental assistants varies state by state, but nearly all dental assistant jobs require 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 experienced dental assistant resume.
  • The skills section on your resume should include just enough technical strengths while also not looking like a laundry list of all skills under the sun.
    • We'd recommend having six to eight skills, such as "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 recently graduated, feel free to include a hobbies and interests section on your inexperienced dental assistant resume (sometimes called activities).
    • Be sure to include activities that demonstrate leadership when possible, like being on a sports team or the president of a club.
  • If you decide to include a resume objective, make sure you customize it for each job to which you apply. The most effective way to do that is to include the company name, followed by a sentence or two explaining your strengths that mirror some of the requirements in the dental assistant 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 (usually candidates need to pass 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 pediatric dental assistant resume.
  • The hardest part about writing your work experience is starting. A tried-and-true tip for writing work experience bullet points is to start with an action verb (like "recorded," "sterilized," and "maintained"), followed by an explanation of the work done and the impact of that work.
    • If you're stuck, try using a resume outline to get a sense of what your work experience bullet points should look like (and what the rest of your resume should look like, too). 

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), so 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. 
  • Writing your oral surgery dental assistant resume can feel impossible if you don't know where to start. Luckily, you're in the right place!
    • You've already seen some good resume examples, but it can help to look at other examples within the dental field so you can note specific verbs, metrics, and skills listed there.
    • Don't plagiarize, of course; simply use the examples to give you a boost to write your own resume.

Dental Assistant-in-Training Resume

Dental Assistant In Training Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • It can feel especially challenging to apply for jobs while you're still training. How are you supposed to show that you've got the skills for the job when you're still learning the job?
    • Never fear, rely on transferable skills! Positions like office assistant jobs do a great job demonstrating your capacity to provide quality customer service and vast knowledge of electronic medical records.
  • Suppose you don't have any related or applicable job titles. In that case, it's also okay to include unrelated job titles, volunteer experiences, internships, class projects, or relevant coursework.
    • We'd also recommend adding a resume objective (also called a career objective) to highlight your passion for the role you're applying to and your relevant skills.
      • If you do include an objective, always include the company name and the specific job you're seeking. Customization is vital!

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 restate the dental assistant job description. Why?
    • First, that's a red flag. It speaks strongly of plagiarism (plus it's not creative).
    • Secondly, simply restating the job description 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

  • Even for job titles that may not seem relevant, you can emphasize the skills you bring to the table by adjusting the skills section on your resume.
    • For example, if you include a waitressing position from a few years ago, discuss responsibilities that highlight your abilities with customer service, time management, and communication. These universal skills can easily translate to a dental assistant role.
  • Demonstrate clear growth and increased responsibility in your certified dental assistant resume by using good resume formatting practices.
    • We'd recommend formatting 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.

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 (aka your work experience).
    • Many people try to emphasize education, but if you're a few years out from your school days, it's not relevant. Just include the basics and focus on your work experience.
  • , 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.
  • Although you're in a technical field, your resume doesn't need to be boring! Use a resume template to your best advantage by using several fonts, some color, and a fancy layout.
    • Before you go overboard, remember: your resume needs to be easy to read and pleasing to the eye. So use a different font and some color for your section headers, but keep your body text untouched.
    • Tip: Find out the color scheme at the dental office you're applying to, and use that color to complement your application!

Registered Dental Assistant Resume

Registered Dental Assistant Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • Your registered dental assistant resume should have all the important resume sections: a header, your contact information, work experience, skills, and education.
    • For example, a resume objective is great for showing off transferable skills and recent experiences if you’re just starting out in your career.
    • Once you’ve nailed that content, feel free to add optional sections!
  • Before you hit "submit," check the job title on your resume! Some states call registered dental assistants other titles (like "licensed dental assistant").
    • Be sure to use the exact title widely accepted by your state on your registered dental assistant resume.

Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Resume

Expanded Functions Dental Assistant Resume Example

Why this resume works

  • Ensure your expanded functions dental assistant resume is effective by including quantifiable metrics (numbers) throughout.
    • Words alone can’t provide enough evidence for your skills. Try to include numbers on the number of dental techniques you’ve mastered, or the number of patients you see per hour.
    • Aim to include metrics in at least half of your bullet points, but don’t be afraid to add more if you can incorporate them naturally.
  • More than just metrics, there are lots of other resume tips experts recommend, such as formatting your resume for the ATS and using the right keywords.
    • Remember: no matter how pretty your resume template is, it won’t make up for content and formatting, so make sure you’re setting yourself up for success!

4 Tips to Perfect Your Dental Assistant Resume

Dental assistant job postings reflect the variety of responsibilities this flexible career offers and requires. Since a dental assistant will complete various tasks every day, a strong resume for this position should reveal your abilities and responsibilities on the job. Your dental assistant resume should focus on the quantifiable skills and abilities specified in the job description.

Dental practices typically use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) recruiting software to scan applications for key terms, reducing the need for hands-on application review for the first hiring round. So, your resume may need updating to pass the ATS scanning. When creating your dental assistant resume, pay attention to these four areas to increase your odds of successfully moving on to the interview process:

  • Emphasizing specific dental assistant skills
  • Formatting your dental assistant resume properly
  • Utilizing an objective and summary 
  • Using quantifiable points 

Emphasize your dental assistant skills

When recruiters hire dental assistants, they use a three-step process to weed out candidates:

  1. Hiring directors narrow down candidates for minimum qualifications (usually by using ATS). Filters are set to catch basic qualifications regarding experience and key terms or phrases.
  2. Next, recruiters look for a set of preferred qualifications. Applicants who meet these criteria remain in the application process.
  3. Lastly, employers shortlist and rank candidates based on their fit with the minimum and preferred qualifications. 

To pass the ATS filtering and move on to the next phase of the process, your resume should contain key terms and phrases from the employer's job description. The skills section on your resume is the place to explain your abilities within the scope of the dental assistant job.

You can add soft skills, like interpersonal communication, or hard skills, which are job-specific abilities learned and perfected in specific careers. Resumes that reflect the soft and hard skills the employer is looking for will pass through the ATS filter and on through the application process. Some of the top soft and hard dental assistant skills employers are looking for are:

  • Dental equipment knowledge (hard skill)—shows the applicant can complete basic dental assistant tasks
  • Electronic Medical Records (EMR) experience (hard skill)—shows the applicant can utilize an online data system for employer
  • Medical licensing (hard skill)—indicates up-to-date, recognized proficiencies (could be a minimum requirement)
  • Communication skills (soft skill)—shows abilities with positive patient interactions
  • Team player (soft skill)— indicates the ability to work with others in the office
  • Customer service (soft skill)—shows applicant will put the patient's needs first
  • Highly organized (soft skill)—indicates applicant can prioritize tasks and complete work on time
  • X-ray experience (hard skill)—shows precise (and likely preferred) experience and training
  • Vital signs (hard skill)—shows future employer ability to complete routine, necessary tasks
  • Patient safety (hard skill)—indicates the ability to follow required safety steps and policies

Don't feel pressured to put every skill on your resume to pass the ATS scan. Instead, customize your resume to match the job description by finding keywords in the description and adding some to your own dental assistant resume.

Format your dental assistant resume properly

For most job seekers, properly formatting a resume is a huge hurdle. Your resume should of course show important details like experience, education, and applicable skill sets, but resume formatting plays a huge role in how the ATS and the hiring manager read your resume. 

Many job seekers get caught up in stylizing their resume instead of simply making minor changes to a resume template. You don't have to go overboard to get your resume noticed, so keep your formatting simple.

Let's look at the most vital aspects when formatting your resume for a dental assistant position:

  1. Create a resume that is one page. You don't need to add a second page unless you've been in a highly technical field (like engineering) for over a decade.
    • Pare things down by using simplified wording, removing stylized lines or graphic additions, deleting extra spacing, and removing redundancies.
  2. Use bullet points to narrow your focus and keep things short.
  3. Avoid using icons or images. The ATS only searches for keywords, icons and graphics won't help the application process.
  4. Include the title of the position you're seeking on your resume to emphasize your focus or goal.
  5. Check, double-check, and recheck your resume to ensure no errors. Spelling errors and other basic mistakes can be a huge turnoff to a future employer since they highlight an applicant's lack of attention to detail. Send the resume through our free resume checker and have another set of eyes look at it before sending it off in an application.
  6. Decide if you need to include an objective or summary. If so, prioritize its location on your resume to highlight this standout feature.

Your dental assistant resume objective or summary

For some job seekers, you might want to add an objective to your resume. Some argue that it's antiquated, but they can be useful if you know how to use them correctly.

What exactly is an objective? A resume objective is a way to show a prospective employer your job aspirations and what kind of job you're seeking. This section is best for applicants new to a field or with experience that doesn't exactly relate to their ideal position.

In other words, if your goal is to be a dental assistant, but you don't yet have experience, you could use an objective statement. Comprise your resume objective with two to three sentences explaining you are seeking a dental assistant position as your current career goal and why.

On the other hand, you could choose to add a summary to your resume instead. You use a summary if you have at least 10 years of experience in the field. Per its name, a summary summarizes your best achievements and your top skills. It's a great way to increase your credibility within two to three sentences.

Boost your dental assistant resume with quantifiable points

Like in many careers, using specific data is a concrete way to show value. Generic, vague statements won't do anything to help you get a job, so use details that strengthen your accomplishments. (Our tip? Try to answer the "how" in most of your work experience bullet points.) You want to show future employers exactly what you've done, what you're capable of, and what they can expect of you if hired. But what does that look like on a resume? 

Here are some ways a dental assistant can show the quantifiable impact:

  • Explain a percentage increase in patient retention
  • Convey increase in patient satisfaction
  • Relay the number of patients seen per shift
  • Detail the percentage of reduced cavities experienced with patient education provided
  • Listing the total number of clients assisted in a procedure

Once you pinpoint a valuable action of interest to an employer, quantify the impact you made (aka explain the results of your actions). Here are a few examples of strong job-specific quantified points that might be used as a bullet point on your dental assistant resume:

Work experience bullet points for a dental assistant resume

Tailor your resume for each dental assistant job application

By scanning the job posting, you should customize your dental assistant resume to match what the employer is looking for in a candidate for each of these categories:

  1. Objective/summary—rework your objective statement to include the company's name, the job title you're seeking, and specific skills related to the job description.
  2. Skills—add your skills to the resume you've listed on the job posting. Remove any that are not relevant to the job you're applying for so you can make room for those the ATS will identify.
  3. Job description bullet points—some of your quantifiable points should echo what's listed in the job description by using specific keywords and phrases.

Dental assistant resume

Once you have some expertise as a dental assistant, you can build your resume to emphasize your time in the field. This will help you stand out from other applicants. Here are some ways to customize your dental assistant resume with some experience in the field:

  • List all certifications you've earned
  • Include quantifiable points that show increases in revenue for dental practices
  • Explain how you improved the dental office revenue, patient volume, or another valuable metric

You can list your certifications toward the bottom of your resume, similar to this:

Certifications for dental assistant resume

Entry-level dental assistant resume

Everyone starts with no experience, so if you're just entering the field of dental assistance, you'll need to show your capabilities. Here are some ways to customize an entry-level dental assistant resume:

  • Include basic certifications like CPR, since it's an expectation for most dental practices
  • List relevant experience highlighting soft skills that can be utilized as a dental assistant
  • Show hobbies and interests that may indicate leadership or other positive qualities
  • Mirror the job description in your resume objective, even noting the company name in the career goal

Pediatric dental assistant resume

For a specialized dental assistant resume at a pediatric office, add in some customized details like these to help you stand out from other applicants:

  • Soft skill experience demonstrating any work with youth or children
  • Include hard and soft skills that are especially vital to working with children, like patience or safety procedures
  • List descriptions of excellent customer service provided to patients

Orthodontic dental assistant resume

When customizing your orthodontic dental assistant resume for a job in an orthodontic office, think about adding specifics to showcase your resume:

  • Show soft skills that demonstrate the high-quality patient care you provided
  • Include quantifiable points that focus on patient satisfaction or happiness
  • Add certifications that are valuable in an orthodontic office, like x-ray qualifications

Certified dental assistant resume

When applying for a job as a certified dental assistant, include such customizations to your resume as:

  • Using numbers to show your value above other candidates
  • List jobs in reverse-chronological order to focus first on your most relevant job experience
  • Include past positions that bring relevant soft skills to a potential employer's attention, even if the job title isn't relevant

Your dental assistant resume recap

Congratulations on taking the first step toward your career as a dental assistant! With a little thoughtful customization, your dental assistant pursuit is easily within reach. 

During the process, use our online resume builder to help you create your most effective product right from the start. If you already have a working draft, feel free to use our AI-powered online resume checker to polish your product for any future job applications.

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