Your résumé is the window into who you are as an employee. Before you even start writing it, it’s important to think about what you’re going to say.

The first impression a potential employer gets often comes from your résumé. There can be dozens, sometimes even hundreds of résumés landing on their desk, so it’s important yours stands out from the stack.

The best way to do that is to show off your skills. No matter how snazzy a résumé looks, if you don’t have the proper qualifications, you probably won’t get the job.

Many colleges have Career Services departments, where you can meet with a resume writing guru to help you craft the best first impression possible!

What to expect in a second interviewStart Strong

The header is the first thing most hiring managers will see. It’s at the very top of your résumé and tells your potential employer who you are and what job you’re interested in. Make sure you pick a font size that’s big enough to see and easy to read. You should also put your contact information at the top left or right side of the page. Doug Perry of Get Hired RDH says most people just include their email and phone number.1

About Me

Once you get that hiring manager to notice your résumé you’ll want to tell them who you are. The ‘about me’ section can also include your ‘objective,’ or why you want the job and what makes you the perfect fit. Give people a peek into the kind of person you are. Focus on active verbs, things like ‘developed’ and ‘enhanced.’2

This is not the time to go on and on about how amazing you are… save the details for your interview! Chances are there are a bunch of resumes in that pile and if you write too much, yours might end up in the garbage.

Work history

Your work history should be listed with the most current job first. That way hiring managers know what you’re up to right now and what experience you’ve had in school that makes you a great candidate. Instead of an internship like you’d find in other programs, Dental Hygienists do clinical rotations. Listing your clinicals is a great way to build experience on your resume. Make sure you include the name of where you worked, what you focused on and anything else that’s interesting or useful. The easiest way to do that is with bullet points.

You don’t need to include every job you’ve ever had. The fact that you worked at a pizza parlor when you were 16 doesn’t matter. Also, you want to put your best foot forward, so don’t list any projects that didn’t turn out so well. There’s a good chance your interviewer will use the resume to guide the conversation, and you don’t want to waste time explaining why something didn’t work out.

Good grammar, punctuation and spelling

The easiest way to miss out on a job before you even interview is to have grammar, spelling or punctuation errors on your resume. Make sure you read it, twice, before you send it out. If you don’t feel like you’re the best person to proofread, send it to a friend or former professor. It’s usually easier for other people to find mistakes.

Putting together the perfect résumé is the first step towards starting your career. If you follow these steps, you’ll be on the right track!

1 “How to Create the Perfect Dental Hygiene Resume” Get Hired RDH. June 4, 2014. http://gethiredrdh.com/2014/06/04/perfect-dental-hygiene-resume/

2 http://career.opcd.wfu.edu/files/2011/05/Action-Verbs-for-Resumes.pdf

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