Yes, You Probably Need to Update Your Old Resume

Changing jobs after several years in the same office?  The first order of business is to give your resume a contemporary look.  That resume you used in 2005 will date you as much as walking into an office with big hair, bright red lips and shoulder pads!  

Your  resume make over can be the difference between getting an interview and having your resume trashed.

A resume that is not visually pleasing, easy to read or does not state specific skills or experience with specific products or procedures will be instantly overlooked. There are some key ideas to be incorporated into a resume specific to our local dental offices!

  1. Spend time looking at resume templates on line.  Is yours, clean, professional, easy to read, and reflect current trends? Or does it look like you sat down to a typewriter and listed your experience?  If you just keep adding skills to an outdated resume, you are dating yourself, and your experience will begin to work against you.   A polished, clean, current & relevant resume will represent your value and experience to a higher level.   
  2. It is OK to NOT  go into great detail with  skills on a resume for a position that does not require them.  For example: If you are applying for an office manager position, you will want to highlight your specific management skills.  You might include that you were a RDA for 6 years, but there is no need to list out all the RDA duties for which you are skilled.
  3. Be certain your resume states the position you are applying for.  Once you know key factors the employer seeking, you can focus your resume to reflect that criteria.  Although cross training and flexibility is important, (and these skills should be included)  be certain to identify the specific  position you are applying for:  RDA in a cosmetic practice, treatment coordinator in a multi-specialty practice, etc.  
  4. Include current skills and products for which you are experienced.   For example: If you have worked in a paperless office, with laser, implants, Cerec, Dentrix, Eaglesoft, or any other specific products or procedures, this needs to be stated in your resume.
  5. Be prepared to adapt your resume to specific opportunities. For example: If your current resume states you are looking for a dental assistant position but you want to apply for hygiene assistant opening, your can change resume to say “hygiene assistant” and then highlight all the duties specific to a HA position.
  6. Limit your resume to one page.  You will include a cover letter and reference page for a total of 3 pages.
  7. As a general rule, limiting employment history to 10 years is enough.  There is always an exception: If you have over 10 years experience, and it is long term, you can include that.  For example:  10 years in 1 office and 6 years experience in another, it would be perfectly acceptable to include both experiences.
  8. Include a separate reference page with 3-5 current references (Be certain to ask their permission prior to including them)
  9. New grads: Limited non-dental experience.  You may have 10 years’ experience with a single employer outside of dentistry, and it is perfectly acceptable to list the employer and dates of employment when you are trying to show stability and reliability, but do not  make that the focus of your resume.  1-2 lines is plenty.  The focus of your resume needs to be your dental experience.

With a small investment in time, some serious editing and good clean updates, you can maximize your value and experience in this competitive employment market!