Dental hygienists know the importance of regular checkups, but what about a routine resume cleaning?
Routine resume cleanings and exams facilitate a healthier career, and reduce compromised conditions. It can include some important updates or better wording to give it that extra sparkle you may need.
This week, let’s schedule a resume cleaning in the event a job search is in your near future.
Extract and Polish the Opening Statement
Most resumes begin with a boring or vague statement about career objectives – to get a job. Pull it! Change it to “About Me” or “Summary” and give employers a sense of what they get when they hire you.
Keep it short. There’s a three-part formula I 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 mine: “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! Phone and email are faster and more convenient methods of communication for everyone.
Some dental employers may use the information against you, if they have a negative impression of your neighborhood. Or, they may surmise you live “too far,” limiting your connectivity with patients and at risk for being late.
Radiograph for Errors
Typos are easy to make on resumes and some employers will hold it against you. We all make them (yes, me too). So take a radiograph of your resume, mount, and carefully roof it. Next, read it backward, line for line – that will force you to read each word more carefully. Finally, have a friend or two you trust review and spot the trouble spots.
Scale-Off Some Words
I read A LOT of dental hygiene resumes, and some of them simply use too many words. Marketing (resume) writing is as much a visual exercise as much a literary one.
Good resume writing is concise and tight. Sentences and bullet points should aim for 25 words or less. Paragraphs should be held to one to two sentences, and occasionally three.
Too many words creates thick, bulky blocks of text that readers with little time will skip. Consider the following:
Too bulky: “Started a new patient management 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 protocol, 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 look for 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
Sometimes, hygienists include lots of unnecessary information on their resume. Some believe that more is more, but more is actually less. Too much content frustrates a reader and can cast a negative impression.
So, exclude things like hobbies, high school education, extensive lists of CE, or possibly jobs prior to your dental career. If you are just starting your career and don’t have much to include, you’re probably okay to include some fluff. But always work toward including more meaningful accomplishments, areas of expertise, and results.
When done regularly, resume cleanings take less time than the average PT. If you are way overdue or up against the clock, a specialist is a good option. Contact me and I can give your resume a quick treatment plan and quote.
P.S. Don’t struggle in silence. If you have questions or need help with something contact me directly or go to my request a quote page and you’ll get free analysis, strategic direction, and a quote to create something amazing for you.
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual help, click here to contact Doug.