Spruce Up Your Dental Resume

Not every dentist dreams of being a dental owner. After all, it comes with a significant amount of responsibility and a number of challenges, ranging from administrative duties to staff recruiting. Regardless of ownership, dentistry offers health care professionals a multifaceted career and opportunities in science research, academics, technology, politics, and insurance.

If you are looking to spruce up your resume to gain a great associate position or are wanting to diversify your career, there are numerous things you can do to look good on paper and even more impressive during an interview.

1. Take leadership courses.

Consider taking a leadership or team management course to learn about the fundamentals of working efficiently with a dental team. Just because you don’t want to be a practice owner, doesn’t mean that teamwork is not important to your career. In fact, understanding how to communicate and work well with your administrative and clinical staff is crucial. You need to be able to manage your relationship with insurance and treatment coordinators so you have patients in the chair. You depend on clinical staff for preventative and hygiene treatment and for treating more difficult restorative and surgical cases.

A team management course can be taken online or in person, but the most important takeaway is good communication skills, mutual respect, and teamwork. Once you master these types of courses (some are even offered by the American Dental Association (ADA)), you can do a little bit of bragging in an interview and show off your management skills for your new associate position.

2. Be an active dental member.

Investing in your career means being a part of important organizations like the ADA or your state and local chapters. There are numerous dental groups and some have a specific niche while others are more generalized. What’s important is to be an active member by paying membership dues and attending conferences.

When you are an involved member in dental organizations, it shows you care about the field as a whole and you are serious about your career. It is a practice builder for patients because they like to see dental professionals who are linked to prestigious groups. Lastly, it is an important opportunity to network with other dentists and develop lifelong professional and personal relationships.

3. Learn straight wire orthodontics.

If you want to stand out on your resume, consider taking an orthodontic continuing education course. Incorporating orthodontics is a smart, lucrative move for your career. You can do so by learning straight wire orthodontics to treat Class I and Class II malocclusions.

Having an orthodontics background is attractive to potential employers because it is applicable to nearly every field. General and pediatric dentists looking for associate positions have a leg up because they can better diagnose and treat orthodontic patients to avoid referring patients out. This alone is a major advantage against other applicants because it brings in revenue and improves overall patient care in general and pediatric dental offices.

4. Showcase your expertise.

Your resume does not need to be fancy, but it does need to showcase your skill set. If you are a general or pediatric dentist, you may want to elaborate on your scope of practice and how you contribute to patient care. Rather than list broad terms and assume your interviewers understand the many skills those fields require, point out the areas that you are particularly passionate about and skilled in.

Dental owners want to see motivation and want dentists who are looking to go the extra mile for their patients and practice. This means that if you are experienced with sleep dentistry, behavioral management, sedation, space maintenance, orthodontics, or CAD/CAM dentistry, highlight it on your resume to let practices know you are one of a kind.

5. Volunteer your time.

Set yourself apart and diversify your résumé by volunteering your time. You may teach a half day a week to dental students or work with a local Girl Scouts group. Some dentists are fortunate to attend yearly mission trips where they provide dental care for communities with less access to dental care. It is not only a great experience for a dentist, but it shows your compassion for others and how you use your time.

Volunteer work does not have to be limited to dentistry. If you volunteer in a religious group or local sports group, update your resume to let others know you are a diverse candidate and have interests outside of dentistry. We all know that we need good communication skills and relatability with patients for practice growth.

Use these 5 tips to set yourself on a new pathway.

When you decide to improve your résumé, you open yourself up to more opportunities. This usually translates to better pay and a more rewarding and comfortable career. Remember that dentistry is a career with numerous outlets, so if you are looking to make a pivot in your career into orthodontics or public health dentistry, you need to have a diverse, dynamic résumé. These tips can help get you started on new paths that will make you a candidate of choice in your chosen career.