Resume Guide for Medical Assistants

A vital part of the job hunting process, the resume provides an employer with a snapshot into your education, background, and prior work experience. Employers use resumes to weed out unqualified individuals and create a shortlist of potential candidates. Statistics show that hiring managers only look at resumes for a few seconds each. As a first impression, a well-crafted resume will capture your prospective employer’s attention and quickly demonstrates your suitability for a job.

In an increasingly competitive job market, medical assistants must present a professional resume that stands out from the competition. When crafting your certified medical assistant resume, make sure to highlight your background, education, creativity, and uniqueness. This skills summary reflects you as a prospective employee, so give employers a reason to invite you in for an interview.

How to Write a Medical Assistants Resume

  1. Do Your Research: Thoroughly research the job description and work atmosphere the organization offers. Find out exactly which skills and certifications the organization considers required and preferred for the role. Additionally, get as much information as you can about the company. Browse your potential employer’s website and learn about their achievements, mission and vision statements, and favored social causes.
  2. Write Down the Key Points: Brainstorm a list of all your academic and professional experiences, including extracurricular and volunteer activities, internships, and research projects. Consider which experiences pertain most to the job. Think about the skills and qualifications this prospective employer might need on their staff. With this list, develop a simple outline to organize your experiences into categories. Create a section for skills, educational background, professional experiences, and accomplishments. If you notice weaknesses in your summary, consider how to reorganize the content to enhance the employer’s first impression of you.
  3. Format Your Resume: With an outline of all your skills and qualifications, build the resume with headers, subheadings, and descriptive sentences. Use action-oriented words, such as “create,” “solve,” “design,” “deliver,” and “transform.” Tailor the content in your resume to the respective employer. Consider how your resume will stand out from competition. A candidate with a well-formatted and clear resume may be more likely receive an interview.

Types of Resumes

A resume makes up a personal snapshot of your skills and qualifications. Prospective employees use resumes to showcase their talents, emphasize their strengths, and highlight previous work experience. Three basic types of resumes exist: reverse-chronological, functional, and combination resumes. Each type of certified medical assistant resume holds its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Choose the style that best displays your individual skills and experiences.

  • Reverse-Chronological: The reverse-chronological resume highlights past employers and work histories. With this traditional resume structure, the focus of the resume remains on experience and includes a detailed description of the last jobs held, starting with the most recent. Those working in the same profession for many years often choose a reverse-chronological approach to resume writing.
  • Functional: Functional resumes make a great option for those changing careers or individuals returning to the job market after a long leave. Functional resumes highlight a candidate’s most relevant skills and accomplishments rather than focusing on specific experiences. This resume may include a list of company names and positions rather than a detailed description of the experience.
  • Combination: A combination resume includes elements of both reverse-chronological and functional resumes. This resume includes a summary statement, a list of skills and qualifications, and an experience section with detailed descriptions. This approach to can result in a long document, so be sure to consider redundancy and repetition when compiling information.

Required vs. Preferred Qualifications

When applying to a job, take note of both the required and preferred qualifications listed in the job description. Required qualifications encompass skills or educational backgrounds that the prospective employer deems necessary for candidates to successfully perform job duties. Preferred skills comprise the additional skills or credentials desired by the hiring department and may enhance a candidate’s ability to perform a task. Applicants with both required and preferred qualifications make top candidates. Generally speaking, you need all or most of the required skills and at least half of the preferred skills to receive an interview. If you lack the required qualifications for a job, it may be better to focus your time and energy on a different job opening. However, if you have all of the required skills and only some of the preferred skills, you may still want to apply.

What Should I Include on a Medical Assistants Resume?

  • Education and Training: List all education and training on your certified medical assistant resume, including your high school diploma and medical assistant degree. Write out a program description with a few key components, such as “a 720-hour program with 180-hour internship.” Include specific concentrations, courses, and relevant lectures, such as computerized billing, medical office procedures, pharmacology, and medical law and ethics. Including your GPA is not necessary, unless you feel your high score will help you stand out from the competition. If currently enrolled in school, note the degree as pending. Avoid any potential age discrimination by leaving off your graduation year.
  • Experience: Solid resumes include practical experiences that demonstrate a candidate’s ability to do the job. For traditional resumes, list all work experiences, internships, and volunteer activities in reverse-chronological order and include the employment dates. Write a good description of your key responsibilities and specific job duties. Point out all experiences you had with direct patient care, whether preparing examination rooms, giving one-on-one assistance in clinical settings, or taking patient health histories and vital signs. Include specific details about how many patients you worked with and how you helped to improve overall healthcare delivery. The experience section of your resume should include both previous work and your accomplishments.
  • Skills: Tailor the skills section of your resume to the specific job description for which you are applying. Certain technical and transferable skills stand out more on a certified medical assistant resume than others. For example, prospective employers hiring medical assistants seek candidates with strong communication, customer service, and problem-solving skills. Highlight these important qualifications at the top of the list, so the employer sees these first. Feel free to include other unique skills that might help set your resume apart from the competition. Use action verbs and positive adjectives to make your skills and qualifications as descriptive as possible.
  • Licensure, Certifications: Be sure to list your medical assistant certifications on your resume. If you hold certifications in first aid, CPR, phlebotomy technician, medical coding, or emergency medical technician, include those as well. List the full name of the certification rather than the acronym. Include the license number, the date you earned the licensure or certification, and any expiration dates if applicable. This section is critically important for professionals required to hold certifications, such as medical assistants.
  • Awards, Accomplishments, Affiliations: Consider all achievements you can list on your resume. Accomplishments may include honors for exceeding standards, scholarships, most valuable player awards, or outstanding employee certificates. Include any affiliations with relevant professional organizations, such as the American Association of Medical Assistants, the American Registry of Medical Assistants, the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, or the Association of Healthcare Administrative Professionals.
  • Volunteer Work: Listing your volunteer experience can boost your resume. Volunteering also shows employers that you care about worthwhile causes and organizations. Include both one-time volunteer experiences and weekly or monthly commitments. Use this section to dive deep into transferable skills that apply toward your ability to do the job well.

What Should I Put on My Resume If I Don’t Have Any Medical Assistant Experience?

Whether graduating from college or changing careers, you may not have experience as a medical assistant to include on your resume. You can boost your resume by shifting the content around to highlight other qualifications. For example, put together a summary or objective statement to help prospective employers understand why you lack work experience. Focus on your education, certifications, licenses, and qualifications. Highlight these four sections by listing them before the experience section. Use all relevant qualifications, including transferable skills acquired through various experiences. Individuals pursuing careers as medical assistants should showcase their strong communication skills and customer service experiences through other employment.

What Is A Resume-Reading Robot?

What Is ATS?

When organizations search for new employees, human resources departments track data about potential candidates. An applicant tracking system (ATS), an automated software solution, simplifies the hiring and recruitment processes. An ATS allows hiring managers to weed through thousands of resumes. For example, the software searches resumes for certain keywords in order to determine which deserve interviews and which receive a rejection. Hiring managers can also use an ATS to communicate with prospective employees. The use of an ATS affects all applicants, including those applying for medical assistant positions.

Tips for Outsmarting an ATS

  • Simple Headers: Use clear headings for quick access by the ATS or hiring manager, using specific, simple terminology.
  • Clean Format: Stay away from busy formatting. Create a simple resume with a clean layout. Use basic fonts and graphics.
  • Keywords/Phrases: Use keywords and popular phrases to describe your experiences, for example, “results-oriented,” “specialized in,” and “redesigned.”
  • Industry-Specific Jargon: Use medical assistant jargon, such as “examination and minor surgery support,” “medical billing and coding,” and “administered EKGs,” to demonstrate your experience and familiarity with the industry.

Resume Writing Tips for Medical Assistants

  • Tailor Your Resume: Create a different version of your resume for each job application you submit. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the job and your ability to do research on the organization.
  • Save Your Resume Under a Professional Name: When attaching your resume as a file, keep the document title clear and simple. Save your resume using the following format or a similar one: Firstlast_specialty_resume.doc.
  • Make It Easy to Read: Use simple fonts without color to make your resume stand out as professional and readable.
  • Include a Cover Letter: Always include a cover letter with your resume.The cover letter lets you speak directly to the hiring manager.
  • Keep It to One Page: Keep the resume to a single page. This becomes especially vital when a position expects many applicants.

Common Mistakes Medical Assistants Make on Their Resumes

  • Typos: Typos, such as misspellings or incorrect punctuation, show a sense of carelessness on a job application. Demonstrate professionalism by proofreading your resume several times before submitting to an employer.
  • Including Personal Information: Indicate your general location when applying for a job. Your specific home address may suggest a long commute and hurt your chances for employment. Additionally, you risk some privacy issues by putting too much personal information on your resume.
  • Including Salary Information: Exclude salary information from your resume unless the employer asks for this specifically. Otherwise, this discussion will occur during the interview process.
  • Using Nicknames: Nicknames do not belong on a resume. Demonstrate a sense of professionalism by listing your first and last name only. You may even want to include your middle name or initial.
  • Using an Unprofessional Email Address: Unprofessional email addresses should not appear on a resume. If you still use an old account with nicknames or humor, sign up for a new account that uses some variation of your first and last name or initials.
  • First-Person Pronouns: A resume should be written in first-person. However, avoid first-person pronouns, such as “I” and “we.” These pronouns add unnecessary words to your total word count and can make the resume appear informal.
  • Unprofessional Voicemail: When applying for jobs with your certified medical assistant resume, you invite prospective employers to call you. Record a voicemail greeting that demonstrates your professional manner.