Your resume is your chance to market yourself and is often the 1st impression that the potential employer will have of you. This is your chance to make yourself shine, but it is important to include only the details that are important to the position you are applying for. You want to be thorough, but to the point! Here are a few basic tips to get your resume noticed and even READ by the employer!
PICK A FORMAT
There is more than one way to create a professional resume and the web is full of different templates that are available to use. I would recommend taking a look at several templates to get ideas, but then do your own and keep it simple! Use simple professional resume grade paper.
Your name and contact info should be at the TOP and should be easy to read. Do not try to get fancy by using a variety of fonts. Keep it basic and provide all the necessary information they will need to contact you. Name, mailing address, best contact phone number, and an email address.
Very briefly explain what you are looking for and what you have to offer. The position is for dental hygiene so be specific. Generic statements will have very little meaning, be specific. For example, don’t just say that you are seeking full time employment at a great dental office. They will all think they are great! Be specific! Each resume you drop off should be tailored for that specific specialty. For example: “I am looking forward to being part of a dynamic pediatric dental team”.
The dentist may assume that since you are a RDH will you be proficient in all areas of dental hygiene practice but this is your chance to list your qualifications. Make yourself stand out! However, do not use lengthy paragraphs to describe everything that you know how to do. Bullet points are great to use. They are easy to read and flow well. The resume is more likely to get completely read if it is easy to follow and to the point.
Do not include your high school education! Only include your college education, where you went, when you graduated, and what degree you obtained. If you were a part of any organizations that pertains to dental hygiene then you can bullet point them under the school where you attended a dental hygiene program.
It is not necessary to state that you worked at Pizza Hut when you were 16 or that you babysat through college. Provide any work history that is helpful to the dental hygiene field. If you have worked as a dental assistant prior to attending dental hygiene school make sure you include that experience. Or even leadership roles that you have had within a company, but not just smaller side jobs that you have had.
There is conflicting information online about whether you should list a few solid references or simply put “References available upon request”. I feel that listing 3 good professional references will give the employer a chance to call without having to get the information from you. This may be more convenient for them to have on the resume.
KEEP IT PROFESSIONAL, NOT PERSONAL
It’s great that you enjoy spending time with family and vacationing on the beach, but this is not the place to express how you spend your free time or your interests. Often times during the interview process the interviewer will try to get to know you a bit better and may ask you some questions that do not relate to the dental hygiene profession, but only share personal information when asked.
PROOFREAD AND PROOFREAD AGAIN!
There should be no spelling or grammatical errors on your resume. It’s always a good idea to also have someone else read over it as well. Someone that will give you an honest opinion about any mistakes or changes that should be made.