Dental nurses provide a whole lot more than service with a smile. As you prepare for your job hunt, your first goal is to create a dental nurse CV that highlights the wide range of your valuable skills from hygienic procedures to ensuring patients are at ease.
How do you develop a professional CV that stands out from the rest without tilting too far into self-aggrandisement? Resume.io’s wealth of resources for job hunters — including our CV examples — offer the tools and advice you need.
Within this writing guide, along with the corresponding dental nurse CV example, you will find information on the following topics:
- What does a dental nurse do?
- The sections to include in a dental nurse CV
- The best layout for a dental nurse CV
- Tips for developing the summary, employment history, education, and skills sections
- Professional layout and design hints.
What does a dental nurse do?
First up, let’s look at what these professionals do. Dental nurses are the backbone of the dental practice. Broadly speaking, they assist any member of the dental team to help get the job done. They also help put patients at ease while maintaining a welcoming atmosphere.
A key component of a dental nurse’s responsibility is cleanliness. They decontaminate dental instruments, maintain operating equipment, and keep materials and supplies organised and well-stocked. Dental nurses also assist in clinical procedures and may even be asked to staff the front desk and be the face of the practice when necessary.
How much does a dental nurse earn?
The National Health Service (NHS) says that most dental nurses will earn a starting salary between Band 3 and 4 in the Agenda for Change pay rates. That’s £21,730 for a worker with less than two years of experience and up to £26,282 for a dental nurse with more than three years’ experience.
Some senior dental nurses may start in Band 5 or higher, or up to £32,934.
Dental nurses typically work 37.5 hours per week and may be expected to take evening or weekend shifts.
How to write a dental nurse CV
The basic sections of a dental nurse CV are the same in all cases. Standardisation allows recruiters to find the information they seek quickly and easily.
Your CV needs the following sections:
- The CV header
- The CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The CV skills section
- The education section
In addition to developing your CV with these sections, you should keep their names consistent. It may be tempting to try to stand out with fun or different section titles, but you don’t want hiring managers to get frustrated while trying to find the information they seek.
And whilst your titles should be static, your content should speak to each prospective employer individually. That means reviewing the job advertisement and using examples and skills that relate most directly to that particular post.
The ATS: Another reason to get personal
When you apply for positions online, you are inputting your data into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
This system acts as a gatekeeper for the human resources department. It uses algorithms to rank your CV against those of other applicants. Your ranking depends partly on keywords and phrases earmarked for the job.
To increase your chances of passing through this gate, match the language that you use with the language from the job advertisement. This also tells recruiters that you have taken the time to apply individually to their position and understand the requirements of the job.
Choosing the best CV format for a dental nurse
Just as you should maintain standard sections within your CV, you should use a standard format for your dental nurse CV. We recommend reverse chronological order. This format mainly affects your employment history section, where you will begin with your most recent position and work your way backward.
A hybrid style CV may be a good choice if you are new to the workforce, are a senior dental nurse or are changing careers. That’s because it allows you the flexibility to focus on skills as well as your employment history. The functional CV format is usually reserved for those in highly scientific careers because it favours knowledge and skills over experience.
CV summary example
The best location on your dental nurse CV to differentiate yourself and offer a view of your professional personality is your summary. This paragraph of about 100 words is not formatted as strictly as the rest of your CV, so feel free to express yourself, professionally, of course..
Keep in mind your goal of getting that coveted interview, so highlight the reasons you are an excellent candidate. Take a sentence to summarise your career using strong descriptors of your professional style. Then, relate your proudest career achievement. Follow it with a sentence on your nursing philosophy or why you believe you’re a great fit for the practice.
If you want more guidance for this freeform section in addition to the CV example below, click over to these CV samples: care assistant CV example, pharmacist CV sample, nurse CV example, support worker CV sample , or school leaver CV sample.
Enthusiastic and experienced Dental Nurse committed to supporting the best possible dental experience for patients. A team player with excellent multitasking skills and a compassionate attitude.
Employment history CV sample
If you already have experience as a dental nurse, the employment history section will consume the most space on your CV. Under each job title, compose 3-5 bulleted items that show off the successes you have had in your career.
Ensure that your items help explain to your prospective employer not only what you have already done, but the value you experience will bring to their practice. Did you upgrade hygienic practices? Create a streamlined system for organising supplies and materials? Increase patient comfort with your understanding demeanour? These are achievements that will help you garner the attention of hiring managers.
Writing superior bullet points!
To structure your work experience section, use the STAR method. Name the situation, tell what you were tasked with, explain your action, and highlight your results.
Do away with space-wasting words such as ‘In this position I,’ and get right to the point with a strong action word. Enhance your items with detail and data whenever possible.
Dental Nurse at Supreme Dentistry, London
Jul 2019 - Present
- Greet and seat patients in a timely and professional manner each day.
- Review schedules and adequately prepare for visits.
- Set up trays as indicated by the prepared charts.
- Assist chair side using four handed dentistry.
- Process and file X-rays.
- Clean and disinfect all equipment, materials, and spaces after each patient.
- Sterilise instruments and organise exam rooms.
- Act as a helpful and knowledgeable liaison between patients and doctors.
- Assist the dentists and other dental staff as needed.
Dental Nurse at London Smiles, London
Jun 2016 - Jun 2019
- Worked as a dedicated member of an oral healthcare team committed to excellent patient care.
- Effectively communicated with patients and dental staff to ensure smooth processes and patient comfort.
- Provided chairside assistance during procedures.
- Educated patients on oral hygiene techniques, such as how to brush and floss correctly.
- Performed all necessary tasks to prepare exam rooms and spaces prior to patient visits.
Dental nurse CV skills example
The skills section of your dental nurse CV is a thoughtfully curated listing of the attributes you believe your prospective employer seeks. Highlighting them here makes it easy for recruiters to quickly decide whether your CV is worth a longer look.
This section is also an easy one to personalise for the ATS. Match your skills to those explicitly stated in the job advertisement. Aim for a blend of hard skills, or the learned knowledge and abilities you have developed, and soft skills, or the interpersonal and general work abilities you have.
You need knowledge of dentistry, medicine, hygienic processes, and medical computing and scheduling systems, but dental nursing requisites include many soft skills.
The National Careers Service lists these as necessary attributes for dental nurses:
- Ability to work well with others
- Thoroughness and detail-orientation
- Staying calm under stress
- Sensitivity and understanding
- Customer service
Remember that you can exhibit these skills in your summary and employment history section as well.
- Best Practices in Dental Nursing
- Advanced Dental Knowledge
- Health Assessments
- Treatment Planning
- Patient Care
- Safety & Sanitation
CV education example
Dental nurses must complete a course that has been approved by the General Dental Council and register with the council. This registration, along with your academic achievements, should be listed in the education section of your dental nurse CV.
If you have any other relevant academic achievements, list those here as well. If you are looking for a position as a trainee and are working toward your degree or certification, you may list that with your expected date of graduation or completion.
Other items to list here are any training you have in taking X-rays, clinical photographs, or impressions, making models of teeth, and applying fluoride varnish to prevent tooth decay. If you are working toward becoming a dental hygienist, dental therapist, or orthodontic therapist, be sure to include that coursework as well.
National Diploma in Dental Nursing
The Woolwich College, Dental Nursing, Level 3, London
Sep 2015 — May 2016
CV layout and design
You know from your patients that the appearance of their teeth is important, because first impressions are often based on appearance. Your CV is no exception. Taking the time to create a CV design that draws in the eye can make all the difference in whether you get the interview.
Your first priority is legibility. Start with an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Cambria. Use clear section headings that stand out so recruiters don’t have to hunt for your educational credentials — or anything else.
Maintain margins of at least one-half inch and vary your line lengths to provide white space. Large blocks of type are daunting.
You may get creative with your header, the area where you list all your contact information, but keep it professional and ensure that your name, phone number, and email remain the focus. Avoid bright colours or coloured font that may lessen legibility.
To smooth your path toward an excellent design, use a CV template, such as the ones Resume.io offers. This will also eliminate the frustrating and time-consuming task of designing your document.
Key takeaways for a dental nurse CV
- Dental nurses provide a myriad of services to dentists, hygienists, and patients within dental practices.
- A 37.5- hour work week is the nor — but you may have to work weekends and evenings.
- The summary affords you an opportunity to show off the professional demeanour that puts patients at ease in the dentist’s chair.
- The most important aspect of your CV design is legibility.
- Resume.io’s resources are a great way to get your job hunt going today.