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Becoming a “specialist” in certain areas of hygiene care

If you want your resume to stand out by putting that you specialize or are an expert in certain areas of care (diabetics, smokers, nutrition, geriatric patients etc) do you need actual formal post hygiene education credentials in that area or can you just concentrate your CE courses in an area of expertise in conjunction with clinical experience?



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5 Answers

Great question! My experience of becoming an “expert” has a lot more to do with perception from others, rather than any specific formal training. Almost immediately after starting my Facebook page, I started receiving questions from other hygienists who were looking for advice on a wide variety of topics. Many of the questions I receive are related to very specific situations, and believe it or not I actually don’t know all the answers right off the bat! Rather than just respond by saying I don’t know the answer, I will spend some time researching the problem and seeing what others know. This then allows me to provide a well thought out response that is hopefully helpful to the person asking. Being an expert isn’t necessarily about knowing everything, but knowing how to research and find the answer to anything that comes your way. The great thing about this is that once you have done the research, you then have the information in your head for next time somebody asks you something similar!
 
If you are looking to stand out as an expert or specialist in a certain area of hygiene, my recommendation is to not focus how to format your resume to stand out, but focus on building up the substance of what’s included in your resume. Spend time really digging into the area you want to specialize in. Start reading every article or piece of research you can find related to the certain type of care you want to become an expert at. Become passionate about it and really put in the hours to truly be an expert. Once you have started to gain a solid understanding of your area, start writing blog posts about it. Websites are constantly looking for new content, so if you have a well written article about the area you want to be an expert in, submit it to a variety of sites. Somebody will pick up on it. Now you can put on your resume that you were published on XXXX site. In my opinion, this looks much better to a doctor than just having some CE courses under your belt. He or she will have the perception of you being an expert because you are published, and you will stand out that much more. I hope this helps and keep up the great work!

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Good question! I can’t wait to read the answers. It’s hard to make your resume stand out. I know a lot have been including a picture…….kind of weird.

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I would think that as long as you place it in a category called “special talents or interests” and not under credentialing or in your title, that is great idea!!
 
I know my resume lists digital charting and films, along with my experience assisting and front office tasks. 🙂 Under credentialing and licensing, I have my extra permits I have gained. 🙂

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I would add any CE that you have concentrated on in your resume especially if you are passionate about it and can convey in an interview that your expertise on that topic. With a flood of hygienists in todays hunt for jobs it would help you stand-out. I would also put in any courses you take on practice management or team building courses.

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Wouldn’t be a bad idea to get formal training if it’s offered 🙂 make yourself stand out!

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