Your dental hygiene resume is your most important career document – is the wording packed with punch?
Not only does it matter what you say, but also how much space you use to say it. Add on top of that how your organize and express your information and you quickly realize the potential your dental hygiene resume has to grab employers by the lapels and not let go.
So here are five points to pack your resume prose with power and punch, landing you more interviews.
Bullet points are really useful on resumes – they help keep your writing clean, short and succinct. They also help employers who are able to more quickly absorb your content. Try to keep them from wrapping onto a second or third line if they are the full page width. Depending on the size of words you use, less than 15 words is adequate, but less than 10 is ideal.
Too Wordy: “Started a new patient program that included an office tour and sit-down meeting with myself and the doctor. We improved patient retention by more than 25 percent.”
Perfect: “Implemented new patient-orientation program, elevating retention by 25%.”
Writing that Jumps
In resume writing you begin lines of information with a verb to jump-start a sentence and give the reader a shortcut to what you did. In the examples above, both “started” and “implemented” are good verbs to do this. And I have a list of 500+ positive words you can use to do this.
You also want to make sure your writing is in an “active” voice as opposed to a “passive.” Active is best (especially in resume writing) because it’s easier to understand text more quickly.
Active Example: “I love working with all kinds of patients.”
Passive Example: “There are all kinds of patients I love working with.”
I’ve written often about the importance of knowing what an employer is looking for and then delivering it. Your cover letter is the primary place to do this, but it can be done on your resume, too.
Carefully review the job description and find the keywords of things they are seeking in a candidate. Then make sure your resume hits on them – you may need to modify a word or two or perhaps move some lines up in order of importance.
It goes without saying your resume should be error-free. No mistakes in grammar, punctuation or spelling. There are for sure some employers who will over-look mistakes, but you just don’t know who will or won’t so proof-read your resume many times.
It’s important to have one or two friends you trust to read it over. Or you can even hire someone to do it. There’s no shame in it – all professional writers make mistakes and themselves rely on someone else reading their work.
Another tip: When proofing it yourself, read it backwards. This forces you to look at each word without getting caught up in the flow of how the sentence reads.
Again, the words you use and how you use them is extremely important on this most important of all career documents. Take some serious time to make sure your dental hygiene is pitch perfect and you greatly improve your odds of landing a great dental hygiene job.