Photo by Ani Kolleshi on Unsplash

Getting a good job as a dental hygienist requires quality training as well as a good resume. Most candidates have a hard time getting good experience, because as we know, you can’t get experience without a job, and you can’t get a job without experience. To beat this catch-22, think about these four options for building your professional resume.

Get Involved in Community Health

There are many different agencies that perform dental care events for the community. For example, schools, rural health clinics, or any of dozens of other settings . Most are conducted by colleges or charities. Search for one that’s being held near you, and volunteer your services. Be sure to document how many patients you see.

Join with Other Dental Health Services

You might not be able to get a job with a dentist yet, but you might be able to work with an orthodontist. If you’ve had braces yourself–or if you currently have them–ask your orthodontist if you can get involved at their practice. Offer to join them as they see patients and provide advice on care, even if you don’t necessarily do any of the care yourself. You can give them some great tips on caring for their teeth during their time with braces.

Assist in Teaching

In medical school, procedures are learned as “watch one, do one, teach one.” You can do the same. You covered the first two steps in your own educational setting, but you may have never reversed the tables and taught others. Find students who are enrolled at your former school, and offer to guide them in study sessions. You’ll not only reinforce your skills, you’ll also learn how to teach others any of a number of topics.

Learn the Equipment

Some body somewhere sells and services every tool and instrument you use as a hygienist. The more you know about the equipment, the better you look to potential employers. Get some experience with a sales associate who handles dental equipment, or get yourself otherwise connected to someone who can show you the real ins and outs of all your dental gear. The hiring process is all about setting yourself apart from the other applicants. Many other people will carry your same credentials, but you can improve your chances of getting hired by adding on some great experience that strengthens your resume and makes you stand out.