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Create a Dental Assistant Resume That Boosts Your Career

Use this dental assistant resume example and tips to create a resume that properly represents your skills and qualifications for certified dental assistant positions.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Create a strong dental assistant resume

Generally, dental assistants help support dentists in a variety of ways. They are, in many ways, the nurses of dentistry. Such work usually requires some certification and an understanding of how to help patients with oral hygiene. If you’re writing your resume for a dental assistant job, here’s how to show off your skills in this field.

What to highlight in a dental assistant resume

Typically, hiring managers expect that a Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) will be detail-oriented, have great interpersonal skills, understand dental practices, and have a great work ethic. Additionally, many dental assistants also play the role of office assistant, meaning they need to understand office management and be able to manage patient records. It’s important to highlight these skills and your knowledge simultaneously.

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How to write a dental assistant resume

Your resume structure will partially depend on your resume format. There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional, and combination. All three of these formats can be useful depending on your experience and the job, and they all use the same sections, albeit in a different order.

Header

The first section is the resume header. This goes at the very top of your resume and includes your contact information: your phone number, your full name, and your email address.

Resume Summary/objective

Next is the resume summary or resume objective. This is a short, two-to-three-sentence paragraph that highlights your top skills and experiences. If you only had three sentences to sell yourself as a dental assistant to a hiring manager, then what would you say? That’s what goes in your resume summary.

Skills

There are many different soft skills and hard skills that a dental assistant position will likely draw from. Here are a few bullet points you can use to fill out your skills section:

  • Processing dental x-rays and radiology tests
  • Knowledge of dental procedures
  • Dental office maintenance
  • Managing patient care records and patient information
  • Sterilization and infection control
  • Office management
  • Fillings and sealant
  • Providing chairside support
  • Dental equipment inventory and management
  • Helping with fluoride rinses
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Preparing patients for oral health procedures

Remember to emphasize key soft skills such as communication skills, while honing in on unique skills that really showcase why you’re the best fit for the job.

Work History

List your work experience in reverse-chronological order, with your most recent job first. For each job, include a few bullet points about your top responsibilities and achievements for each job. If you’re short on professional experience, you can you can include internship experience, academic experience, volunteer experience, and even experience in other fields as long as you can showcase skills that apply to dental assistant work.

Education

You typically need certification for this position, so include all certifications here, including Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) or Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). You should also feature your highest education credential (i.e., bachelor’s degree).

Do’s and Don’ts for a Dental Assistant Resume

Do
  • List office management skills as well as specific dental skills. Many dental assistants do both, and a resume that documents these skills is more likely to get you a follow-up interview.
  • Apply as an entry-level dental assistant when you’re just beginning your job search. Dental operators often hire entry-level assistants based more on work ethic than on past experience.
  • Include other healthcare experiences in your work history section. Working in the healthcare field is a great way to prepare for the dental field.
Don't
  • Lie about your credentials. Even if you’re applying for a position that doesn’t require licensure, a dental operator will check your credentials when you apply.
  • Cite only hard skills and not soft skills in your resume. You need to know how to manage patients as a dental assistant, and soft skills help you do that.
  • Try to create a resume from scratch. Resume templates are a great way to make sure your resume looks extremely professional, and using them saves time.

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FAQ: Dental assistant resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes. A cover letter allows you to discuss your experiences more at length, including why you’re better than other job seekers for this job. You can find dental assistant cover letter examples at ResumeHelp if you’re looking for a place to start.

If you don’t have much experience in the dental assistant field, then don’t worry. You can cite academic experience, internship experience, and volunteer experience, as well as experience in other fields that gave you transferable skills.

Resume keywords are the best way to create the perfect resume for every job application. With this tool, you can more easily shorten your job search. Plus, scanning the job description for resume keywords also helps you with applicant tracking systems (ATS), which can help your resume get to a hiring manager in the first place.

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Ho Lin Profile
WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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