The absolute best way to apply for a dental hygiene job is by dropping off a resume kit in person.
But for lots of reasons this isn’t always possible, and many offices will even instruct you to simply e-mail it. So it’s important to think through your options and best way to do this.
In my mind, there’s more bad ways than good so let’s review them all starting with the bad.
What Not To Do
Sending a Source Document:
Most hygienists create their resumes in a word processing software (usually Microsoft Word on a PC or Pages if you have a Mac). Both can do a great job, but I strongly caution you against sending a Word or Pages file.
It may open and look totally fine in many instances, but this will not always be the case and the problem is you don’t know who will have the problem and who won’t. Different versions of these programs and different users will have different settings and fonts and that can turn a beautiful resume into a complete, unreadable mess in some instances.
Most commonly fonts are the issue. Fonts come in all shapes and sizes and when a computer doesn’t have the same font you used to create your resume it will try to replace it with something similar, which messes up the spacing and overall look.
Sending it in the body of an e-mail:
Another bad idea is to simply paste it in the body of an e-mail you send them. Will it work? For sure! Will it look good? No way!
You can’t even make this kind of format look as good as the average resume. Sending your resume within the body of an e-mail is a sure way to not impress and unless you have really strong writing and background, to receive on of those “thanks, but no thanks” letters.
Sending it By Fax:
In case you hadn’t noticed, faxing is a dying form of communication. Yes, many offices, including dental offices, still have a fax machine and still use it.
They are pretty reliable, but the big problem is in how they look. They often come across with random lines and specks of ink blotches. Sometimes they can even cause parts of your resume to be unreadable. You can’t afford to take a chance on that happening.
The Best Method
By far the best electronic format for sending your resume in is through a PDF file and, truly it has been for many years now.
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Following its release by Adobe in 1993 it began to be widely adopted as the standard for sharing documents, whose source files could be different from one another.
In 2008 the PDF format became an open source product – meaning other companies besides Adobe could begin incorporating into their software. The result has strengthened the use and prominence of PDF files.
PDF creation capability is now embedded in Microsoft Word and Pages for Mac. But that’s not all, you can also find free PDF making websites.
Most important of all, however, is that the universal ability to open a PDF (called PDF Reader) has been around since the beginning (1993) and is included on all new computers.