Skills to Include on Dental Assistant Resume

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Whether you are on the hunt for your first dental assistant job or you have had years of experience in the dental field and are searching for a new dental assistant opportunity, having a clean and descriptive resume is a crucial part of landing your next dream job. While other parts of a resume are more simple and concise, such as your education level and your past experience, other parts are more difficult to figure out. A more difficult section to master in your resume building may include listing skills that you obtain that would make you a perfect fit for the job. Here are some tips for properly listing skills on your dental assistant resume.

What Does a Dental Assistant Do?

Before we start discussing the skills you need to be a successful dental assistant, it is important to fully understand what a dental assistant does. Dental assistants perform many tasks to help out patients, such as preparing them for their appointments and treatments, assisting the dentist during treatments and operations, taking X-rays, sterilizing instruments and equipment, and educating patients on proper oral hygiene.

Dental assistants also perform many administrative tasks to keep the office running smoothly. They schedule appointments, keep records of patients oral healthcare and medical history, handle billing and payments, file paperwork, and answer the office phone to answer any questions or concerns.

Types of Hard Skills for a Dental Assistant Resume

There are two different types of skills out there, and it is important to include both types on your dental assistant resume. The first type is called a hard skill. Hard skills are skills that can be learned through schooling and training, and are quantifiable. Here are some examples of great hard skills to include on your dental assistant resume:

  • Certifications: Certifications are extremely important to list on your resume, because they show that you have gone through the necessary training and have proven that you are knowledgeable on the material to receive the certification. 
  • Number of Patients: If you already have previous dental assistant experience, it is important to list how many patients you are used to assisting on any given day. This shows the amount of work that you are used to and are comfortable with.
  • Ordering/Purchasing: If you’ve completed ordering and purchasing in a previous dental assistant job or in a prior job in a different industry, it is helpful to list this in your resume. You will most likely be conducting ordering and purchasing in your new dental assistant position.
  • Computer Proficiency: Dental assistants are constantly using computer programs to perform administrative duties while on the job. If you have any prior computer or software experience  in a dental assistant job or any other office job, add it to your resume.

Types of Soft Skills for a Dental Assistant Resume

The second type of skill to include on your resume is soft skills. Soft skills are skills that can not be specifically measured, but that still make you a qualified candidate. Especially with a customer-forward job such as a dental assistant, it is crucial to have good interpersonal and communication skills to be successful with your patients. Here are some good soft skills to include on your dental assistant resume:

  • Organization: Dental assistants are constantly dealing with paperwork, billing, and filing, so it is important that they are organized. Especially because you are dealing with patients’ medical history and wellbeing, it is crucial that you know where everything is, and that your workspace and computer programs are clutter-free. 
  • Interpersonal Communication: Dental assistants work closely with dentists and with patients, so it is important that they are good communicators verbally and non-verbally, and that they also have great listening skills. You need to be able to work well with others, to lead to the success of the dental office as a whole. 
  • Detail Oriented: Being detail oriented is very important as a dental assistant. You must follow strict protocols, rules, and procedures while on the job. This allows you to properly help patients, and to keep the dental office sterile and up to code. 
  • Dexterity: Having dexterity is super beneficial while working as a dental assistant. Dental assistants are constantly working with their hands to provide aid to dentists during procedures and treatments. Having good dexterity will ensure that you can use the dental tools and instruments correctly.
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