An Absolute Must for Dental Hygiene Resumes

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There are so many fantastic ways to make your dental hygiene resume standout and yet so few people are using them. One of them in particular is an absolute must.

An Absolute Must for Dental Hygiene ResumesLet me ask you a question to help internalize this a little more. Do you own a television or computer? Probably both, right? Do either of them display in black and white?

Color TV sets came to life in the late 1960s (thank you General Electric), while color computer monitors came about in the late 1970 (thank you Apple Computers), and consumer grade desktop color printing came along in the late 1980s (primarily Canon, HP, and Lexmark). And we haven’t looked back, right? Nobody is clamoring to buy a black and white TV set. Why? Because color is so much more interesting.

So why is it that in 2014, with all the advancements in electronic displays and printers that we are still producing black and white resumes?


We tend to think of resumes as like a instruction manual or a contract, not worthy of any life or vibrancy. But a resume is a marketing piece. It’s sole purpose is to market you as a great dental hygiene candidate for a job you are competing for. When companies create marketing pieces, do they do them in black and white? Not any more.

Add Color and REALLY Stand Out

Color will take an average resume and make it great. And you don’t have to have 15 years of experience to claim the right to use color – everyone can use color.

Yet so few do. In fact, only about 5 percent of the dental hygiene resumes I see have color on them – it’s rare. This is another reason to use it – because no one else is it will make yours stand out all the more. I think it will be a long time before there are more color resumes than black and white. I would guess most of you will be retired by that time so use it to your advantage.

How and Where

Don’t go crazy with it. It would be a mistake to color everything. You have to do it in small doses to get the best affect and it’s mostly to help guide the employer through your resume. Keep nearly all of your text black. Here are four places I recommend adding color:

  • Your name
  • Section Headings (Work History, Education, Skills, etc)
  • Lines and bars (graphics that create divisions on your page)
  • Photos (your picture or possibly a different graphic of your choice that is tasteful)

Final tip

Let me save you some time by advising you to avoid using color paper. Unless you want to spend quite a bit of time, you may find it frustrating to come up with the right combination of color paper and color ink. Ultimately, I believe the best combination right now is a non-textured, white matte paper with a with a weight that is somewhere between standard photo copy paper and cardstock.