One of the most common questions dental hygienists have about their resume is whether it should be one page or two.
Why only one page? Three reasons:
- More likely to get read – It’s really simple. One-page resumes are much more likely to get read because they are not as long. In a saturated job environment, offices will get dozens of great applicants and so there simply isn’t time to get through two pages of that many resumes.
- Not necessary – I’ve written hundreds of dental hygiene resumes and very very few of them needed that second page. No one ever got an interview because of what was on page two of their resume.
- The type of resume – The most effective style of resume for dental hygienists is in a functional format, which is easier to keep shorter.
So, how do you keep it to just one page:
- Use a Functional style of resume – That’s where you post your accomplishments, skills, and expertise in a section near the top just under the About Me section. That way you can avoid some redundancies of posting some of the same things under each job. Then for your work experience you only need to list each job and how long you worked there.
- Only need to include the basics – You really only need to include four sections: About Me; Skills & Accomplishments; Work Experience; and Education.
- Bullets and not paragraphs – The only place you should have a paragraph is in that opening About Me section. The rest of the resume is basically in list format (bullets and such).
So when are two pages justified?
Most dental hygienists spend their career working in a clinical setting, but some will get very involved on the component leadership level or to the point of contributing thought papers, articles, or research to the profession. For those, a second page can be justified to include all the “additional” contributions they make on top of their clinical experience.
Others might include experiences on the education or corporate side of dental hygiene, serving as instructors or sales reps. These types of experiences require some additional explanation and thus the second page may also be necessary. However, even hygienists in these situations should consider creating a second resume that focuses on this different part of their career.