Don’t belittle your work history on your resume. I hear the same question over and over again: “Should I remove my experience at Home Depot from my resume? Does it look bad?” The answer is a resounding NO.
Prior to entering the dental industry, you probably held several service industry jobs at restaurants or retail stores. Maybe you held a job at Starbucks or Home Depot while in college. In high school perhaps you waited tables, worked at American Eagle or McDonalds.
Play up the customer service skills and training you gained during your tenure on the job. Were you responsible to open and/or close the store? Did your employer trust you to be a key holder? Perhaps you handled monies and were held accountable for making sure your register was balanced at the end of the shift?
Most brands are well known, and their number one focus is on the customer experience. Don’t take dental offices, dental labs, dental supply companies out of your business mindset—they are businesses too. If you have experience with the general public, handled customer complaints, solved problems, had responsibility and are able to share an experience where you showed empathy and compassion – BINGO! You have the interviewer’s attention. Your ability to deliver services to your patient with empathy and compassion is where the relationship between the business and patient is nurtured and fed long term. Trust and loyalty are two key words in any relationship with an employer. You can easily transition these soft skills from your previous work to your dental career.
Your work history is important, and the key is in the way you present it. This experience should be conveyed in your cover letter and at the interview. Here’s a great link with a list of 28 soft skills. Roll up your sleeves, and take a read. Every employer I have ever spoken with seeks employees with strong soft skills over technical skills. Let your inner strength and interpersonal effectiveness SHINE!