In this article, we are going to lay down the top five warning signs that you have written a very bad medical assistant resume, and how you can go about fixing it. We will not only discuss five big mistakes people make when it comes to their resume, but we’ll utilize a sample resume to show you what a well-written resume looks like and why. We’ll then finish off this in-depth article with helping you write a quality resume and cover letter, and even how you can go about standing out amongst your peers even if you have no real-world job experience.
5 Signs Your Medical Assistant Resume is Bad
As promised, here are five big signs that your resume is in serious trouble.
- Your resume catches the attention of the hiring manager in a bad way: Everyone wants his or her resume to standout in a positive fashion, but you can always standout in a very, very bad way too. Whether it’s due to bad grammar or punctuation or spelling errors on your cover letter, you always want to make sure that you cross all your “T’s” and dot all your “I’s” because if you don’t, your competition will.
- You write an autobiography: We understand that you want the job. We understand that you’re qualified. But you cannot, and we stress cannot, write an autobiography in your cover letter. And you cannot, in your resume, drone on and on about every single aspect of your previous job where you performed well, or describe every little assignment you completed in college. Instead, work on being brief yet specific.
- You don’t customize your resume to your potential employer: Let’s flip the script for the sake of a good example.Let’s say you were hiring a maid for your home.Do you want to read a list of resumes from maids that just talk about how good they are? Or, would you rather read a resume from a qualified maid that specifically talks about how he or she can come into your home, take care of all the work that’s required, and ultimately make your life easier? Probably the latter, I’m guessing.So always remember this—your resume isn’t about you. It’s actually about the employer. And you should craft your resume to showcase how you can specifically aid that employer or hiring manager—it should not just be about how good you are, because at the end of the day, “good” is a relative term.
So if you have a specific skill, instead of just listing it, talk about how that particular skill can be beneficial to the employer for the very specific job you’re applying to.
- You don’t talk up your strengths: You are likely a candidate with a good education, learned skills, and possibly even some job experience. Showcase that. Talk about how all of that will help you become the best you can be.Showcase your strengths, and then, like in the number three above, discuss how they can all come into play to efficiently do the job that the hiring manager is looking to fill. Show that you’re the complete package, and why they would be foolish to hire someone else.
- You don’t write a good cover letter: You need more than just a resume these days. In fact, if a resume is like the credits of a movie, the cover letter is the two minute movie trailer.With a cover letter, you want to sell yourself to the hiring manager or the company at large. You want to outline, in succinct fashion, what makes you qualified, but you also want to inject some personality into it, too. It’s supposed to be a preview of sorts—and not just a professional preview.
But again, understand the job that you’re applying to, and tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly. Meaning, if you’re looking for a medical assistant position, and you know that medical assistants work closely with patients in both administrative and clinical situations, what does that mean? It probably means that the person hired will need to be personable. Professional. Caring. Passionate. Empathetic. Warm.
So bring that out in your cover letter. Write in a way that makes someone feel that you’re not just a number, but also a caring, passionate, empathetic, and warm person that just so happens to be one heck of a qualified candidate.
Reading, Writing, and Understanding Resumes
The magic of writing a great resume and cover letter isn’t really magic at all, but a process of assembling your best qualities and making a presentation through your documents that sells your skills and markets your experience to the employer.
By comparing medical assistant resume samples, you can create your own resume that will impress a future employer in your chosen area of employment. But with over 560,000 medical assistants currently employed, you’ll need to find the resume format that’s exactly right for you.
The perfect medical assistant resume template is one that allows you to prove to the person who’s doing the hiring that you have the skills, experience, training, and personality to be successful at the job.
Granted, it’s a tough job market these days. But the good news is that medical assistant job prospects are predicted to increase much faster than those for the average occupation from 2010-2020, and that’s good news for you if you’re searching for a position in the field. Because with the right resume and cover letter, you can be confident that you’ll get the interview that leads to the medical assistant career that you want.
Below, we’re going to take a look at two resume samples of prospective medical assistants, and then underneath each sample, we’ll explain what the resume does well in terms of its structure and language so you can better understand what an employer is looking for when they are entrenched in the hiring process.
And towards the end of this article, we’ll also cover how you should write your medical assistant resume and cover letter if you have no job experience at all, or just recently graduated school.
Medical Assistant Resume Template
This resume template comes from Monster.com.
Full Name Here
120 1st St.
Sometown, OH 58735
CERTIFIED MEDICAL ASSISTANT
CMA with experience in a multiphysician family medical practice and additional healthcare experience as an RPT. Known for dedication to providing premium patient care. Skills include:
- Medical Office Management
- Medical Billing & Coding
- Medical Records Management
- Data Entry (75 WPM)
- Bookkeeping & Filing
- Taking Patient Vitals
- Blood Draws
- Patient Scheduling
- Ancillary Testing
- Patient Education
- HIPAA & JCAHO Knowledge
Certified Medical Assistant (CMA), 2006-Present
Registered Phlebotomy Tech (RPT), 2004-Present
Certified in First Aid & CPR, 2004-Present
High School Diploma, SOMETOWN HIGH SCHOOL, Sometown, OH, 2002
ABC FAMILY MEDICAL PRACTICE, Sometown, OH
Certified Medical Assistant, 2006-Present
Serve as a key member of interdisciplinary healthcare team for a busy family medical practice. Assist seven MDs as well as PA and RN team in ensuring optimal patient care and smooth daily functioning of office.
- Consistently praised for efficient handling of administrative duties (e.g., answering phones, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, patient processing, billing and bookkeeping) that allowed doctors and nursing staff to focus on the health concerns of their patients.
- Documented in Electronic Health Record.
- Demonstrated proficiency in taking patient medical histories and vital signs, as well as in performing venipunctures, injections and various diagnostic procedures and ancillary tests (e.g., EKGs, immunoassays, chemistry analysis, hematology, urinalysis and sigmoidoscopies).
- Ensured the cleanliness, sanitation and maintenance of all facilities, exam rooms and equipment.
- Helped implement practice’s quality assurance and control program. Efforts ensured compliance with HIPAA, CLIA and OSHA regulations; improved patient care/satisfaction; and lowered monthly overhead by 12%.
- Reacted calmly and effectively in emergency situations, and added the personal, caring touch that immediately put patients at ease.
XYZ CLINIC, Sometown, OH
Registered Phlebotomy Technician, 2004-2006
Collected patient blood samples in a safe, sanitary manner for diagnostic testing as a certified phlebotomist.
This resume proves that this applicant is familiar with the terminology of a medical assistant job, and truly accentuates all the positive work and experience the applicant has done or had in the past.
The resume also showcases the demeanor of the applicant, which is important. You’ll notice words like “reacted calmly” or “put patients at ease.” With that said, this resume could even go further, as employers would like to know that you’re a friendly and welcoming person, as you’ll sometimes be the face of the practice or hospital that patients will most be familiar with, outside of their physician.
Also, do note that this is a resume sample of a certified medical assistant. Therefore, this is a person who is actually certified (with the AAMA, for example), which means that this professional is someone who is actually allowed to document in Electronic Health Record (only certified medical assistants can do this), which is why it’s explicitly mentioned under “Key Results” in the resume (which you could also rename “Responsibilities” on your resume if you so choose).
But it’s important to know that more and more employers are seeking certified or registered medical assistants (AMT). So if you are indeed certified or registered, do note that on your resume. But if you’re not, don’t lie about it, because employers can check to verify your CMA credentials.
How to Write Your Resume
Now that you’ve seen how a medical assistant resume appears, it’s time to think about what your resume should look like.
A resume is a combination of a billboard and a biography. It’s announcing your qualifications, but it’s also providing the data to prove that you are good enough to hire. And when creating your resume, there are some basic guidelines to follow.
Your contact information should be accurate and accessible. Put your name, address, telephone number and email address at the top of your resume. Use formatting that is effective: bold type and a larger font make you stand out from the beginning, even before anyone has met you.
Make sure that your medical assistant resume objective establishes early on that you are qualified in the field, and that you are focused on your goals. Who are you as an employee, and who do you want to be? Your objective should establish the foundation for your current and future aspirations.
Use active rather than passive language to describe what you’ve done in your previous jobs. Include terminology that’s unique to the medical assistant field to verify that you can step into the position with a solid background of knowledge. Use keywords that connect to the employer’s needs.
What Will You Bring to the Job?
What have you done before? What will you bring to the staff? What’s your typing speed? What duties did you perform in your previous task? Prove that you’re able to do the administrative as well as the clinical aspects of the job.
Show that you’re willing to learn new things that would benefit your company’s need. List your education and training, including any certifications that are relevant to the job; your previous employers and the tasks for which you were responsible. If you received any special awards or recognitions during your employment, mention them.
If you have references from health care facilities, provide them. Make sure that the contact information is accurate. References from teachers and instructors are also persuasive endorsements, and your former teachers might be flattered that you think so highly of their abilities that you want them to proofread your resume.
Write a Great Medical Assistant Cover Letter
Your resume is, of course, the main component of your employment portfolio. But don’t underestimate the importance of the cover letter. This is the place where you personalize yourself to the strangers who, you hope, will one day be your employer.
The cover letter can include specific details about your previous achievements in your employment to show what you bring to the position. It’s a way of letting some of your personality shine through, but beware of being too personal or too emphatic (so avoid exclamation points. And if you feel compelled to use them use them only once and ideally at the very end of the cover letter).
Remember many hiring managers often say that, in their opinion, the cover letter is more important than the resume. So here are some tips to follow to help you write a strong cover letter.
1) Your introduction should include your name, training and certification, education, and experience, and also should mention the position for which you are applying. Write down your qualifications in a list. Your ending paragraph should include information on the best times to reach you. Conclude by thanking the employer for taking the time to consider your qualifications, and indicate that you hope to hear from them soon.
2) You can have the best job skills, the most impressive references, and the finest education possible. But if your cover letter contains spelling errors, typographical mistakes, or shows incorrect grammar or punctuation, the employer isn’t going to look at your resume. Proofread your resume and don’t rely on spellcheck to do the job, because spellcheck can’t actually read and judge your content structure. It won’t know if you’ve used “to, too, or two” incorrectly, and this is the kind of mistake that dooms a cover letter. So have a family member or friend proofread your letter and your resume before submitting it to a prospective employer.
What If I Have No Experience?
So you’ve just graduated from community college with your certification as a medical assistant. Or maybe you’ve just graduated from high school and you’re looking for a job as a medical assistant. Job applicants with minimal or no experience who are recent graduates have a better chance if they apply for a position in a doctor’s office, rather than a hospital or medical center where more formal training is likely to be required.
If you’re looking for an entry-level position as a medical assistant, especially if you have no job experience yet, your resume needs to emphasize your strengths. You don’t have a lot of time to catch the employer’s attention, so you want to make sure that your resume proves that you’ve got what it takes to do the job.
Remember, employers want someone they can trust, that they feel is competent, and that they feel will make patients feel safe and comfortable and can work well with everyone from the physician and other colleagues to others in the hospital or clinic, insurance companies, and more.
So think to yourself: what have you already done that shows you to be a competent, caring individual that would be an asset to the office?
Are you a high school graduate with no professional experience, but you took an infant CPR certification course so that you would be a better baby-sitter? That’s an attribute that can translate into skills necessary for a physician’s office that will be dealing with young patients.
Remember: never lie or exaggerate on a resume, but don’t hesitate to turn your experience into marketable skills.
Now that you’ve seen what other medical assistant resume samples look like, you can begin working on your own. There are many templates available on the Internet from which you can choose. A resume is one of the most important documents you’ll ever write, which is why you want to do your best to make it honest, inviting, and well written.
And never forget, too, the importance of your cover letter. The cover letter provides the opportunity for you to essentially re-emphasize your resume’s strengths, while also letting your personality shine through. Therefore, your cover letter is arguably more important than your resume, so take a lot of time to craft it smartly and very carefully.
For more on becoming a MA, be sure to visit our helpful medical assistant training homepage, which should help guide you in the right direction to taking the next useful step towards your future career.
If you need more help, please visit our Medical Assistant Professional homepage for more information about schools and admissions.