Writing a Medical Assistant Resume
When you’re looking for a job as a medical assistant, your resume will help make or break your job search. Remember: Medical assisting is one of the fastest growing health care careers and there is a lot of competition for MA jobs. How you represent yourself on your resume is the ticket for an employer to choose you for an interview over someone else. Always remember to be honest and to-the-point when writing your medical assisting resume. Stick to the facts and show employers why they need you on board.
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The Cover Letter
The cover letter is a crucial part of any resume. Consider your cover letter as your formal introduction. It allows you to professionally introduce yourself and outline your skills, experience and why you are the best fit for the job opportunity.
A cover letter should be brief; no more than three to four paragraphs will do. Include a cohesive summary of your professional qualifications, work experience and any other relevant information that makes you a good candidate. Your last paragraph should thank the reader for their time and offer up contact information so you can be reached.
A resume is an in-depth outline of all of your work experience and education related to the job you are applying for. When creating a medical assisting resume, be sure to only focus on your education and experience that relates to a medical job. For instance, work experience not directly related to medical assisting, like waitressing, working in retail or as housekeeper, may not apply.
There are many ways to format a resume. Most word processing programs, like Microsoft Word, have ready-made resume templates that you can easily change to suit your needs. Or, sample resume templates can be found online to guide you.
All resumes; however, have similar components:
- Your contact information at the top, including name, mailing address, phone number and email
- A career objective
- Work Experience
- Relevant certifications, experience or education
While it may be tempting to create a resume a little out of the ordinary to catch attention, remember the medical field is made up of professionals. It’s best to stick to white, grey or crème resume paper. Resist using colored papers or papers with designs or scents to them. Remember that you’re representing yourself as a professional and need to be taken seriously.
When you apply for a position, you have something in mind. Something that tells you this is a great position for you, or that the company just might be one you want to stay with for a very long time. You have an objective when you decide to apply for a specific job. The objective section on your resume should succinctly express your reasons for applying:
- “To obtain a position as a medical assistant in pediatrics to meet my career goal of working with children.”
- “To apply my versatile and competent medical skills in family practice with a reputable medical facility that offers career growth.”
Be sure to focus on professional attributes, such as your goals, skills or desire for advancement. Whatever your objective may be, write it down several ways to see what sounds the best to you.
Your medical assisting experience comes into play in this section of your MA resume. Before you begin, make a list of any employment you’ve had that relates to healthcare or medical assisting. Note the year that you started and left past positions; you’ll also need the name and title of past managers or directors and their contact information.
If you’re a new MA graduate without work experience, don’t worry. You can use your externship and any medical volunteer hours that you’ve completed. Be sure to write down the dates of your externships and the medical specialties you worked in. Also provide a brief summary of duties performed during each externship, and outline the skills you performed as well.
Now that you’ve written your list of experience, create the ‘experience’ section of your resume. List the name of the medical facility, the location and dates you worked there. Then, add your brief summary of duties. Then, add bullet-points for each skill that you performed. Add a new section for each place of employment or externship.
Much like your work experience, the education section of your resume is broken down by date, location and place. Be sure to list your most relevant education first; add your medical assisting education before anything else when applying for an MA position.
You’ll need the names of each college or school you attended, the degree or certification earned and the dates you completed your course of study. List all relevant education, including other healthcare degrees you may have, such as a nursing assistant degree or phlebotomy certification.
You’re free to add an additional section at the bottom of your resume so you can list other relevant information. You may want to add any certifications that you hold, such as CPR or PHTLS. Add current trainings that may be relevant, such as weapons of mass destruction for health care providers’ workshop, immunization training or basic EKG interpretation training. Alternately, you may choose to add recommendations or accolades from past employers or preceptors in this section.
Your resume will change over time as your professional career and education evolves. A resume is not something you create once and then forget about. Remember to update your resume at least once a year, to reflect any changes or additions. It’s always a great idea to have a current resume on hand; you never know when just the right job opportunity will come along!