Dental hygienists know the importance of a good cleaning. It’s routine but it makes a difference. But how about a routine resume makeover?
The health of your career can also be compromised if you aren’t attentive to routine inspections and assessments. A resume makeover can include some important updates and better wording to give it that extra sparkle you need.
This week, let’s schedule your resume makeover for a great cleaning as you head into the job hunting season.
Polish the Objective Statement
Most resumes begin with the same boring or vague statement about your career objective (which is the same for everyone – “to get a job”). Polish it! Instead of Objective, change it to “About Me” or “Summary” and tell them more about what employers can expect when they hire you.
Keep it short. There’s a three-part formula I like to use when creating this 1-2 sentence statement, also called a Value Equation:
- (1) Professional identity + (2) target audience + (3) your solution = your specific value to that employer
- “(1) I am a dental hygienist; (2) I help patients, co-workers, employers… (3) do or understand… so that…” (you fill in your unique value)
- Here’s one I might use: “As a professional dental hygiene career coach, I empower professionals with amazing information and results that make a life-changing impact on their careers.”
Seal up Your Location
Simply put, you don’t need to include a mailing address on your resume – that’s old school! There are two great alternative methods of communication (phone and e-mail) that are faster and more convenient for both you and potential employers.
The second reason is dental offices may use where you live against you – believing that if two equal candidates live 10 and five miles from the office, it’s better to hire the one that lives closer for logistical reasons and because they can potentially attract their nearby friends to go there. There’s a pretty decent chance your physical address won’t even come up during the interview stage, so just leave it off.
Radiograph for Errors
This should go without saying, but it’s shocking how many resumes contain obvious typos – and some employers will hold it against you. We all make them (yes, me too). So take some radiographs – proof-read it as much as you can and even have a friend or two take a radiograph to ensure your resume is free of some grammatical trouble spots.
Scale-Off Some Words
I read A LOT of dental hygiene resumes, and some of them simply use too many words. There’s an art to writing a resume and some basic protocols – but more importantly too many words and thick paragraphs make your resume less desirable to read. So it’s as much about appearance as it is protocol. Consider the following:
Bad: “I 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.”
Good: “Implemented new patient orientation program, elevating retention by 25%.”
Educate with Simplicity
This ties into the last example. Did you notice we started the first sentence with “I” and the second one with “Implemented?” By eliminating the pronoun and going straight to the verb the sentence is simplified. Studies show this drive’s the reader’s attention directly to what you did – resume readers are conditioned to look for these active words. Start all your bullet-point descriptions with them. If you’re stumped, we’ve created a list on our website of more than 500 positive ones you can use.
Flossing Out the Extras
As I was saying about your physical mailing address above. Sometimes hygienists include a lot of unnecessary information in their resume. There’s a mentality that more is more, but more is actually less – it hurts your chances that an employer will spend very much time with your resume. You want to make it simple, succinct and easy to read.
So, make sure you have excluded things like hobbies, your high school education, or jobs prior to your dental career. If you need to fill in space to get your resume to one page or you want to show a transfer of skill from a different kind of job then you are probably okay.
A good resume makeover should easily take you less time than it takes to see a patient if you do it regularly. However, if it’s been a while or simply don’t have the time send me a copy and I can give you some pointers or even simply get it done for you. Then you’ll be one step closer to landing a great dental hygiene job in 2017.