Orthodontic assistants aid orthodontists during procedures and with their patient’s treatment. They are the right-hand of these dental specialists and must be equally knowledgeable in the field to thrive. For an orthodontic assistant’s position, you will need a resume highlighting how you can provide the best chairside assistance and patient education. Our all-inclusive guide provides practical orthodontic assistant resume examples and step-by-step tips to guide you through the resume-making process. Ready to start? Let’s begin by looking at what needs to go into a competitive resume:
Orthodontic Assistant Resume
This sample orthodontic assistant resume features all the necessary sections and information to demonstrate your fit for the orthodontic assistant role.
Before you start, keep in mind that every resume should include the following sections:
Writing a resume can feel daunting whether you’re looking for your first job or the tenth. But it doesn’t have to be! The following recommendations simplify the steps in the resume-writing process, so you know what to include in your application document to increase your chances of getting an interview.
The first step in getting your resume right is to prepare. Make sure you complete all the steps listed below so you’ll feel confident when you start creating your resume:
Read through our resume examples for more details about what an orthodontic assistant’s resume should entail. These resume examples enable you to understand the skills and achievements you should include in your resume and how to phrase them.
Once you’ve prepared all the details, you’ll need to write your resume. The next step is to choose how you’ll organize them on your document. Resume formats are layouts in which we can organize our credentials. There are three main resume formats: chronological, functional and combination. Each one features our skills or work history, depending on which one will make our career profile shine more. Choosing the best resume format means emphasizing your strongest qualifications while downplaying your weakest.
Candidates with a long work history and no career gaps prefer a chronological resume as it highlights your experience by providing a detailed account of your work history in reverse-chronological order — starting with your last-held job.
On the other hand, the functional resume format details your job-relevant skills front and center. Because the focus is not on work history, this type of resume is best for candidates changing careers, with gaps in their employment or coming into the workforce for the first time.
As its name implies, the combination resume format mixes the above two resume formats. It is a balanced format with an equal focus on the work history and skills sections. Professionals at the midlevel of their career, applying for a promotion or changing careers find this format suitable as it allows you to list between two to three previous jobs.
Check out our resume formats guide for more details on executing each type of resume and identifying which is the best format for your career profile.
In this part of our step-by-step guide, we’ll detail how to write each section of your orthodontic assistant resume. By following our pointers and examples, you’ll soon have a finished competitive resume that’ll get you closer to landing an interview.
1. Choose an appropriate opening statement.
You can use either a career objective or a summary statement as an opener in a resume. The summary statement outlines your experience and professional skills based on your work history. The career objective outlines your career goals and how you can achieve them in your new role. You could choose any one of the two opening statements, depending on where you are in your career.
The summary statement is the better choice for an experienced orthodontic assistant with many years working in the industry. If you are starting or changing careers, you’re better off writing a career objective statement to showcase your qualities and goals.
The following poor and good examples of a career objective will help you understand what to include in your objective statement:
“As a registered orthodontic assistant, I’m interested in working for a reputed clinic. I understand that a job in a modern and specialty dental facility will provide me with lots of learning experience.”
This is an example of a poor career objective because it only focuses on what the candidate expects from the job but not what they bring to the position.
“As a newly registered orthodontic assistant, I’m looking for a new opportunity to use my experience in patient scheduling and tracking and my expertise in adjusting orthodontic treatments like fixed and removable braces. I have over four years of experience as a dental assistant, with proven competence in reducing setup time for procedures. Ready to take the next step in my career and assist an orthodontist as a Certified Orthodontic Assistant (COA).”
This career objective is a good example because it clearly states the candidate’s expertise and skills by:
If you’re planning on using the professional summary statement instead, read through these tips:
Study this summary statement example and choose your strategy wisely:
“A friendly orthodontic assistant with over three years of experience in documenting patient dental history and educating patients on braces aftercare. Expert in equipment and instrument sterilization procedures and providing efficient chairside assistance to orthodontists before, during and after dental procedures. Licensed as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) for the past two years and holds a certification in dental radiology.”
2. Neatly present your skills.
The skills section highlights three different types of skills: soft, hard and technical skills. You can use this section to list a minimum of six to eight critical skills in the chronological and combination resume formats.
Since a functional resume focuses more on the skills section, you pick three of your top skills and expand on how you apply them in your previous roles, similar to how a work history section is formatted in the chronological and combination resume formats.
Let’s look at the example below to understand how this works:
This elaborate skills section provides details of specific tasks, which helps recruiters better understand your exact capacity for the role.
When including your skills, ensure you don’t repeat any you’ve already mentioned in other sections of your resume. You aim to display a good mix of your soft, hard and technical skills.
Soft skills are nontechnical skills that dictate how you work and interact with your patients and the orthodontists. Some essential soft skills for an orthodontic assistant are:
Hard skills are gained through education, training or practical experience and are specific to a job. Some of these skills are:
Technical skills refer to the level of understanding and ease when using digital and software technologies. For an orthodontic assistant’s role, the following technical skills are important:
You will find more job-specific skills for orthodontic assistants in our Resume Builder. Our resume-writing tool will enable you to complete the writing process smoothly and quickly by suggesting prewritten skills and tasks specific to your job, providing stunning template designs and guiding you through every section of your competitive resume.
For each of your previous jobs in the work history section, mention details like the job title, name of the workplace, its location and your dates of employment. You must also list three to four bullet points in which you detail your tasks and achievements per role — unless you’re using a functional resume format, in which case you don’t go into detail of your tasks in this section.
To understand how to write this section better, let’s compare some poor and good work history examples:
To a potential employer, this work history doesn’t say much about your capabilities for the job as it only outlines generic duties and does not provide detailed descriptions of how the person performed their responsibilities.
This work history is an excellent example because it clearly describes the tasks performed and uses numbers to properly showcase their skills in the field. This example also displays the candidate’s professionalism and capabilities by mentioning skills and monthly workload.
Follow these tips if you want to achieve similar results with your resume:
The education section consists of your degree, the name of the institution where you obtained it, its location and your graduation date. There are state-specific accreditation programs for orthodontic assistants, which vocational training schools and colleges offer.
As an orthodontic assistant, you will first need some experience as a dental assistant, so focus on both your experience and education on your resume.
Use a separate section to mention your certifications, licenses or any specialization training you’ve acquired.
These are some desirable certifications for an orthodontic assistant:
This course from the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) leads to a certification for orthodontic assistants. It has two components: orthodontic assisting and infection control.
This is a 4-week course open to all interested learners. It teaches about biomaterials’ special properties and benefits, including titanium, zirconia and other alloys. It also offers insights into the practical use of these biomaterials in different aspects of dentistry.
If you’re starting your career as a dental assistant so you can later qualify for the orthodontic assistant role, this Texas Academy of General Dentistry program is a requirement for dental assistants who want to help with dental X-rays. It also includes sections on infection control and jurisprudence.
This program from Dental Assisting National Board, Inc. (DANB) is meant for all dental assistants. It has three components: general chairside assisting, radiation health and safety and infection control. This is another good certification to have if you still don’t meet the requirements for an orthodontic assistant.
Don’t forget to mention your contact information at the top of your resume, like your full name, the city and state you’re based, your phone number and your professional email address.
The top three skills required for an orthodontic assistant are:
The most important requirement for an outstanding orthodontic assistant is to communicate and reassure the patients properly. You are an intermediary between the orthodontist and the patient and must deal appropriately with both sides.
A good objective statement for an orthodontic assistant could be, “Experienced dental assistant who’s well-trained in orthodontic tools and procedures. Capable of building excellent client relations and equipped with organizational and administrative skills. Seeking an opportunity to put my knowledge of wire-cutting, refitting bands on braces and tightening corrective coils to good use as an orthodontic assistant.”
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