A cover letter and resume for a dental assistant position should achieve a few specific goals. Apart from establishing that you have the professional and academic qualifications required, the two documents should reflect your strong communications skills, professionalism and empathy. Establish yourself as a health care provider whose top concern is the quality of patient care, as well as strict adherence to established dental protocols. Note that you are also flexible, hardworking and willing to pitch in as needed. Focus on writing a cover later and resume that will stand out from the crowd and land an interview.
Create a resume focused specifically on becoming a dental assistant. Begin with a summary that uses bullet points to note your experience in the field. Include information about patient care, appointment setting and follow-up. If seeking your first position as a dental assistant, begin with an objective that calls attention to other qualifications: “To work in an environment committed to superior patient care,” for example. Include information on state credentials and your educational background.
Include a resume section that details professional experience. Use a separate entry for each relevant job, beginning with the most recent. Specify job functions and include information about the facility, such a the volume of patients or the number of dentists. Note any hands-on experience, such as laboratory procedures or working with children. Include information about non-health care positions — retail sales,for example — only as a means of emphasizing communication and organizational skills.
Write a separate cover letter for each job application. If possible, personalize the letter with the recipient’s name. Use the opening paragraph to express your interest and briefly describe your qualifications. Maintain a professional tone without sounding stiff or inauthentic. Keep the letter relatively brief — typically about three paragraphs.
Use the next paragraph to describe any qualifications that set you apart, such as volunteer work or CPR training. Let the employer know if you intend to pursue a career in dentistry. Demonstrate that you’ve done some research and have familiarity with the practice: “I am particularly interested in your work in orthodontics,” for example. Stress that you find the work rewarding, particularly when you can help ease a patient’s anxiety.
Close the cover letter by restating your interest and asserting that you’re uniquely well qualified for the job. Include a specific call to action, such as, “I ask for the opportunity to meet with you at your convenience to discuss the position and my qualifications.”