5 Accomplishments to Make your Dental Hygienist Resume Stand Out

If you google "dental hygienist resume template", you'll find a lot of resume models filled with roles and responsibilities such as:

  • Chart accurate hygiene examination, treatment, and progress notes.
  • Provide education on oral hygiene, mouth guards, and future restorative needs.
  • Assist front office in answering phones, scheduling patients and filing all charting.
  • Processed x-rays.
  • Took and processed panoramic x-rays and cephalometric x-rays.
  • Intra-oral and extra-oral exams, periodontal evaluation and treatment development.

That seems about right, no?

But there's a problem. A huge problem, actually. Think of the dental hygienists that you know. How many of them have done similar things? Probably most of them. Because that's pretty much what being a dental hygienist is all about. There are differences here and there, but roles and responsibilities will often overlap. So if your resume is very close to a typical "dental hygienist resume template", how is that helping you get interviews? After all, the best resumes are distinctive. They make you stand out, not blend in!

So here's a little something to help you make your resume stand out. It's based on the 3 Laws of Resume Writing. And it's not material that I made up. I found it by carefully studying good dental hygienist resumes.

5 Dental Hygienist Accomplishments to Make your Resume Distinctive

  1. Worked with the director of operations on developing a product sales training manual which increased sales by 8% and improved operations. (The "bottom-line" is critical to any and every business. Which means you have to talk about anything you've done which has improved sales or reduced expenses.)
  2. Use of intra-oral camera with various educational tools and software, which reduced patients' reluctance to treatment. (The benefit here is on the patient side. A recruiter will notice that your actions had a positive impact on patients.)
  3. Coordinate monthly office meetings. (Leadership can take many forms, and is always sought after by potential employers.)
  4. Proactively initiated paperless periodontal charting. ("Proactively initiated" is the important part, here. If you've ever started something, make sure your resume spells it out.)
  5. Completed approximately 12 to 15 prophys per day. (Using numbers shows clear results. And it doesn't have to be an amazing figure to demonstrate value!)

The benefit is the key component of each accomplishment: improved operations, more money, demonstrated leadership and reliability, ... Accomplishments like these are the most critical pieces of your resume. Now read that last sentence again, because that's the best resume advice you'll get this month.

If you're a fantastic employee but your resume is silent on many of your accomplishments, you'll end up behind a good employee whose accomplishments are all clearly laid out.

And for that matter, an average employee with weak accomplishments better know how to network, since the resume alone won't pull its weight. (Actually, networking skills are critical to everyone's job hunt. But let's stick with the topic, if you don't mind.)

Accomplishments are where it's at. When you solve a problem, reduce costs, make something better/simpler/faster, when you show initiative, it has to be on your resume, without being drowned out by too many roles and responsibilities (i.e. the "we've-all-done-it" resume template material). In my view, half of the energy and time spent on your resume should be focused on your accomplishments. To write good accomplishments, you need to think of what your potential employer is thinking about (problems solved, better results, and so on) and emphasize that. If you go through 20 resumes of your peers, you'll certainly find great accomplishments that you could adapt on your resume. I truly believe that is time well spent.

Many More Accomplishments, Just for You

However, I've already done that research... The 5 ideas above are just a glimpse of the full list of accomplishments I've assembled. If you'd like that well-rounded, unique list of real-world dental hygienist accomplishments, for just a few dollars, check out our e-book, Dental Hygienist Resume Hacking, on Amazon. You can read it even if you don't have a Kindle device.