In a high-demand field like medical assisting, competition for jobs can be intense. To make yourself stand out from the pool of other applicants, you need to showcase why are you are the best fit for the position.
Here are some tips for crafting a standout medical assisting resume.
1. Summarize your clinical and administrative skills
Medical assisting students or graduates should focus on displaying their proficiency with key clinical skills, such as administering medications and taking vitals. Be sure to also describe the impact of your work, such as helping an organization serve more patients, or working alongside a team of doctors and nurses to improve the patient experience.
If you are applying for a front desk medical assisting position, you also need to demonstrate that you have relevant administrative skills. For example, highlight your experience with using electronic medical records systems, or your knowledge of medical billing. Your proficiency with medical terminology is also an important skill for both front office and back office positions.
“Including relevant skills in your job descriptions will help your resume become more searchable by the Applicant Tracking System, a tool that many employers use to scan resumes for qualified candidates,” says Jennifer Osburn, a Career Development Coach at Herzing University.
2. Feature your work experience
If you’ve completed a medical assisting externship as part of your degree program, make sure this is featured prominently on your resume. Employers look for experienced candidates, even for entry-level roles. They want to be able to tell immediately whether you have the skills needed to succeed on the job, and externships are a good marker of your preparation and experience.
On the other hand, if you are a student looking for an externship, you might not have a lot of direct professional experience to highlight. In this case, you should showcase your relevant experiences, which can include academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities and volunteer work that make you a good fit for the position.
3. Highlight transferable skills
If your work experience does not directly align with the position you want, focus on highlighting the skills you have that would help you succeed in an MA role. These are called transferable skills.
Examples of skills that you may have performed at other, non-healthcare related positions that are transferable to an MA position include customer service, data entry, or clerical work. Employers also value soft skills, such as communication and teamwork.
4. List your education
It is important to include your education on your resume. Make sure to state the level of degree you’ve earned, such as a diploma or an associate degree in medical assisting. Also include your expected graduation date and any accolades you have received.
5. Showcase your certifications
Healthcare certifications like the Red Cross BLS for Healthcare Providers or first aid certification can help you differentiate yourself from the pool of other applicants. Be sure to include the dates for when you obtained these certifications, as well as when they are expected to expire. Medical assisting graduates should list their Registered Medical Assisting (RMA) certification or Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) certification, as they are required by some states.
6. Update your resume for each position
Always be sure to update your resume to match the skills and requirements for the position. According to a Career Builder survey, 61% of employers are more likely to pay attention to a resume that is tailored to the position in question. Creating a customized resume demonstrates your interest in the positon and lets employers know how serious you are as a candidate.
Bonus: Resume Dos and Don’ts
There are certain dos and don’ts that apply to every resume, no matter the career or position.
- Organize your resume: Organize your skills and information in a way that is easy to digest and understand. A medical assisting resume will typically have a section for relevant skills at the top, followed by professional experience, education, volunteer work or extracurricular activities.
- List a professional email: Make sure that you list a professional email at the top of your resume so it is easy for employers to contact you. If you are a student, you can use your college or university email address. Also, make sure that you have a professional voicemail message recorded for the phone number that you list.
- Save as a PDF: Do save your resume as a PDF. This may seem like a very trivial tip, but it can make a big difference in your job search. Sending your resume as a PDF ensures that whoever opens the file sees it exactly as you intended. Some word processing applications may not be compatible, and older versions of Word can have trouble opening emailed documents. You want to make it as easy as possible for recruiters and hiring managers to open, read and pass along your resume.
- Overlook typos: Typos and grammar mistakes show poor attention to detail and a lack of effort. Before you submit your resume to an employer, proofread it yourself or ask an advisor to review it with you.
- Sell yourself short: Your resume is your ticket to landing an interview. Make sure that it clearly shows your qualifications and why you are a good fit for the position. Consider all of the tips and tricks above to ensure your resume is the best it can be.
Where can you go to get resume help?
Herzing’s Career Development Team can help you organize your resume, share tips for improving your job descriptions, and review the final draft with you to make sure there are no typos or grammar mistakes. Visit Herzing’s online Career Center or set an appointment with your advisor to get started.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.