Dental Hygienist Resume: Examples and Tips

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert
Last Updated: March 24, 2023
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Dental hygienists handle patient screenings, clean teeth, and advise patients on oral health and preventative care.

Use these resume examples and expert tips to create an outstanding resume for a dental hygienist position.

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Dental hygienist example (text version)

Name: DEBRA DOUGHERTY

Address: City, State, Zip Code
Phone: 000-000-0000
E-Mail: email@email.com

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

Cheerful dental hygienist with over three years of experience in oral health and care. Able to safely complete routine cleanings and develop playful rapport with my regular patients. Focused on providing comprehensive education to treat and prevent oral disease.

WORK HISTORY

Dental Hygienist | 05/2018 – Current
Company Name, City, State

  • Remove tartar, stains and plaque from teeth using air-polishing devices and automatic toothbrushes.
  • Apply sealants and fluorides to help protect patients’ teeth in under 45 seconds.
  • Update patients’ dental record before and during a procedure to maintain detailed medical histories for future visits

Receptionist | 06/2014 – 12/2016
Company Name, City, State

  • Assisted patients in completing all necessary forms and documents.
  • Scheduled, rescheduled and handled cancelled appointments for patients.
  • Prepared claim forms for dental insurance.

SKILLS

  • Customer service
  • Active listening
  • Dental monitoring
  • Dental hygiene
  • Recording medical information
  • Entry-level dentistry
  • Preventive oral health education
  • Dental prophylaxis

EDUCATION

12/2016
Associate of Applied Science:Dental Hygiene
College Name, City, State

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Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO customize your resume to fit the job.Give employers what they want (and need) by making sure your resume addresses the exact requirements of the job. Read through the job posting and pick out key responsibilities and skills needed, such as “Sterilize dental instruments properly.” Then update your summary, skills and work history sections with your matching skills and experiences (e.g., listing “instrument sterilization” as a skill or listing previous work responsibilities involving sterilization). For more resume customization tips, see How to Create a Targeted Resume.
  • DO optimize your resume for ATS.Many organizations now use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan and weed out resumes. To pass ATS, emphasize resume keywords from the job description regarding skills and tasks in your resume, and make sure your document is presented in a straightforward, readable layout. For more ATS tips, see our article How to Make Your Resume ATS-friendly.
  • DO use a straightforward layout for your resume.On a related note, your resume should be presented using a design that’s easy to follow. Flashy fonts and graphic elements intended to set you apart from other resumes can also result in confusing (ATS) or employers. Use a professional resume template that includes enough visual touches to stand out while still maintaining a readable presentation.
  • DON’T just copy key phrases from the job description.If the job calls for  “proven experience as Dental Hygienist,” surely it’s a good idea to just write the exact phrase in your resume, right? Not necessarily. Employers can catch you out if you just parrot the job description back at them. So instead, present your experiences and skills in a way that shows they’re your own. For example, you could write “Dental Hygienist with 5+ years of experience in dental practice.” That addresses the key phrase and also includes useful details.
  • DON’T include irrelevant personal information.You have a limited amount of space to make an impact on your resume, so don’t waste it on information about personal interests or hobbies. If you’ve been involved with activities that show off valuable skills for the job, you can mention them, but otherwise, stick to job-specific skills and accomplishments. And avoid divulging personal details about subjects like your marital status or religion.
  • DON’T make your resume too long.Along those same lines, most agree that two pages is the maximum length for a resume. Make sure your resume falls within that limit by:
    • Only listing your last 10 years of work history.
    • Using short bullet points and phrases to describe your skills and achievements.
    • Limiting your skills to your top 8-10 abilities.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-Class Dental Hygienist Resume

  1. Summary

    Your summary should tell recruiters right off the bat why you’re the best person for the job. Highlight your top achievements and skills in important areas such as dental disease management, dental prophylaxis, infection control, and efficient customer service.

  2. Skills

    In this section present a mix of hard skills such as oral prophylaxis, fluoride treatments, and treatment plan management, and soft skills such as attention to detail, a friendly personality and good communication skills.

  3. Work history

    Focus on major responsibilities and achievements from previous jobs that apply to the position you want, such as patient records and medical history maintenance. Use action verbs to describe your experiences (e.g., “Conducted initial mouth screenings” or “Educated patients on tooth care”).

  4. Education

    Feature your top qualification (e.g., Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene), along with any relevant certifications or additional training in areas such as basic sciences, marketing, or public health.

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