What would the world be like without dentists?
Considering all the unhealthy food engineered to be extra tasty and addictive with just the right amount of crunch to creamy ratio and all of that added salt and sugar.
I don’t want to imagine it.
Also, of course, there are many of us who played soccer as children with birthday balloons on slippery tiled floors in new socks. Who hasn’t chipped an incisor here or there… right?
As a dentist, you save the day (and relieve pain). Not to mention, you restore us to full pearly white smiles.
But first, you have to land the job as a dentist to practice.
This guide will help you write a dentist resume that will land you interviews and get you one step closer to landing the role.
What you’ll learn here:
- How to write a resume header that indicates professionalism
- Exactly how to create a valuable dentist resume summary that captures attention
- The difference between a basic vs. excellent experience section
- Skills that recruiters need to see when they’re looking for new dentists
- How to present your education, certifications & licenses in the right way
Looking for related resumes?
How to write a dentist resume
Your resume needs to show that you have the qualifications and the experience to do the job right.
Your role as a dentist is essential to society – and it can make or break someone’s health.
Needless to say, recruiters or hiring managers will be extra careful about choosing the right candidate.
Dentistry jobs require a detail-oriented, compassionate, and dexterous doctor to diagnose and operate on thousands of patients annually. These are soft skills that recruiters will be keeping an eye out for in your skills and experience resume sections.
Real data backing up accomplishments always look good on resumes, so consider ways to weave them in.
How many years of experience do you have?
How many patients have you worked with?
Did you increase the patient retention rate? How?
It’s always important to tailor your resume to the job description that you are planning to apply for.
Mirroring the information, experience, and qualities that they specifically request, and using keywords mentioned in the description is a great way to appeal to recruiters.
Always format your resume to be scannable and easy to read with bullet points and a legible font.
How to write a professional resume header
Your resume needs a header that delivers vital information right away.
2 dentist resume header examples
There are a couple of mistakes in this example:
- Just writing ‘dentist’ is too vague. You should clarify what type of dentist you are – if you’re a General Dentist, Pediatric Dentist, Dentist Assistant, etc.
- It’s missing an opportunity to include links that will improve your credibility – like a LinkedIn URL or a page on a membership site.
Let’s look at a better example:
Even at just a glance, recruiters can see that this candidate is a General Dentist. It also has two contact methods and a LinkedIn URL.
Show That You’re a Skilled Dentist In Your Resume Summary
As a dentist or recent graduate with a doctorate, you need to prove you have the chops to work with patients by successfully identifying issues and taking steps to fix them.
In a few lines, include:
- Your years of experience
- Best achievements or career highlights
- Top technical skills or specialty
As far as achievements go, think of points that will make you unique from other candidates. Perhaps you increased client satisfaction. Or maybe you have had successes with endodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
As a new graduate, writing an objective is the way to go. Include your DDS or DMD, and any experience you have in a dental clinic.
Don’t speak in the first person and start your summary with ‘I’. Instead, start with something along the lines of “A recent graduate of (insert college name)”, or “Extraverted general dentist with 6 years of experience…”
2 Dentist resume summary examples
Let’s begin with a recent graduate’s resume objective. Here’s an example that misses the mark:
Nothing here jumps out. An objective like this isn’t very strong and is unlikely to give recruiters the impression that this person is the new dentist they’re looking for.
- This has only the bare minimum of information about themselves and their objective.
- It isn’t advisable to begin your statement with an ‘I’. Start with a strong third-person statement instead.
- No relevant experience mentioned.
Let’s try again:
This example is great because:
- It shows off educational achievements.
- Highlights specific areas of learning and experience.
- Mentions the license type.
Even though the candidate is entry-level, it paints a picture of someone who is committed and passionate about dentistry.
How should you describe your dentistry experience?
Emphasize on achievements and skills when recounting your experience in dentistry.
Recruiters reading about how you successfully handled procedures and other dentist duties are going to get a much better impression of you, your abilities and your character.
Bonus points if you can show off quantitative data, such as:
- Did you increase patient retention? By how much?
- Did you manage or train dental assistants? How many?
- Did you grow revenue at the clinic? By how much and how did you do it?
Your goal here is to convince the recruiter that you’re a dentist who goes above and beyond – someone who will make an excellent asset to the practice.
If you haven’t yet been in a general dentist position, include relevant achievements and experience from relevant roles, like as a dental hygienist, or medical jobs, or any related extracurriculars.
Let’s take a look at some examples:
Dentist resume experience examples.
First, we’ll look into a dentist experience section that's lacking:
- Conducted oral assessments
- Took X-rays and performed operations on patients
- Dealt with patients pre and post procedure
- Maintained patient profiles
This experience section makes the applicant appear inexperienced or lazy.
It’s hard to make a strong impression without any specifics about what exactly was achieved or implemented during their time of employment.
Let’s try again.
- Treated 300+ patients annually with a year-over-year patient retention rate of 97%
- Conducted oral and maxillofacial radiology to reveal damage and illnesses. Conducted Bitewing, Panorex, and Periapical X-rays when needed.
- Engaged in extensive dental treatments including root canal, resin bonding, crowns, fillings, whitening (KOR) and prosthodontic procedures
- Provided valuable hygienic and damage prevention advice to patients post-checkups and operation.
This example is much more revealing. They boosted patient retention rate, showcased their expertise in specific dental procedures, and showed off their soft skills in patient care.
What are the top skills that every dentist should have?
Before anyone is going to allow you to operate on a patient, you need to prove your understanding and experience of vital dental skills and qualities.
Both soft skills and hard skills are needed to be an excellent dentist.
Hard skills are the technical knowledge you learned in dental school, like how to do fillings, fitting crowns, operating an X-Ray machine, removing teeth, etc.
Personality attributes like the ability to deliver friendly, compassionate communication when dealing with patients, and attention to detail are the types of soft skills that are essential as a dentist.
How to list hard skills on your resume
The recruiter will be looking at the hard skills first.
Check out the job description to see what skills they’re specifically looking for, and mirror your resume to reflect those skills (if you have them).
Here's some examples of hard skills:
How to describe soft skills on your resume
Soft skills are still important.
Other than possessing excellent hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness, dentists need to be excellent communicators and have a great rapport with patients. A lot of people fear going to the dentist – a good dentist eases that fear and makes the experience emotionally comfortable.
It’s your job to make people feel heard and understood and that they are in safe hands.
Here are some soft skills that every dentist should have:
How to present your dentist resume education section
So you’ve completed your four years of in-class, pre clinical, and clinical instruction and earned your Doctorate in dental medicine or dental surgery.
Before this, you likely got your Bachelor’s degree in either biochemistry, physics, chemistry, biology, math, or another field.
Here’s how to present your education on your dentist resume.
- On your resume Include your doctorate whether it’s a DDS or DMD above the institution where you studied.
- For your bachelor’s degree, first list the degree, followed by the college or university and then a list of relevant coursework.
- Always include your years of study.
- If you’re a recent graduate, highlight some educational achievements (like a high GPA).
Dentistry Certificates & Licenses
List your certifications and licenses in their own section. Always start with the ones they’re asking for specifically on the job description.
Underneath the title, include the license number and years active.
Here are some common dentistry certificates:
Key takeaways for your dentist resume
- Read the job description to see what skills, experience and qualifications they’re looking for in the ideal dentist. Reflect that information in your resume by weaving the exact words they use into your summary, experience and skills sections.
- Highlight career achievements using real data. For example, did you increase patient retention? By how much?
- Include a mix of technical and soft skills – a friendly bedside manner is important, and so is extensive knowledge in dentistry.