Improve your job search with a stronger resume
One of several medical assistant schools in Massachusetts, the Salter School, with campuses in Fall River, MA and Malden, MA, wants to prepare its students with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to begin entry level work as a professional medical assistant.
Students who enroll in our program will start with the basics—learning human anatomy and medical terminology—and progress to the point where they are comfortable taking vital signs, drawing blood, giving injections, and administering EKGs. In addition to these clinical skills, one of the many important skill sets that students work on while enrolled at the Salter School is job searching strategies.
This article looks at how to write an effective medical assistant resume. Writing a resume can be challenging, but with some simple tips, you can break your writer’s block and get the words flowing. Remember, your resume is often the very first thing that a potential employer looks at. For this reason, it’s important to come “out of the gate” strong!
How to write a medical assistant resume
According to CareerBuilder’s How to create the perfect resume guide, there are several components that make a resume strong. Here’s a run-down of where to get started:
1. Writing your contact information
The first section of your resume is easy: the “contact” section. Simply include the following at the very top of your resume:
- First and last name
- Mailing address (optional)
- 10-digit phone number where you can be reached
- Email address
- Your LinkedIn URL
Remember…Be sure your voicemail is set up with a professional-sounding greeting. If you miss a call from a potential employer, you want to be sure they hear a formal greeting. Also, be sure your email address looks professional. Try to get an address with your first and last name in it. Avoid email addresses like “partygirl” or “bigdaddy98”—these won’t look good to an employer!
2. Write a short summary/branding/objective statement
In recent years, there has been new advice on how to write your resume’s opening statement. Where it used to be an “objective” statement, it is now a “summary” or “branding” statement, where you are summarizing what kind of value you can bring to the employer. Personal Branding for Dummies, published by John Wiley publishers, provides a personal branding cheat sheet to help you write your summary statement. The cheat sheet recommends using a fill-in-the-blank template to help you craft your branding statement:
Using my ______ (key trait or traits), I _____________ (what you will do), by providing _________ (what value you provide)
3. Put your work experience before your education
According to Career Builder, most employers and hiring managers are looking to see your experience first. For each previous employer, be sure to include the name of the employer, city/state, and the years you worked there, starting with the most recent employer first. If you completed an internship—even if it was unpaid—you can include this under employment. Just be sure to indicate that it was an unpaid experience.
Be sure to include your job title and 2-3 bullet points about what you did in that job. Try to use action verbs and quantifiable results that you achieved. What are quantifiable results? Think numbers and percentages. If you can quantify what you did for a past employer, it sounds more impressive than a simple list of your job responsibilities.
Consider this example:
Non-quantifiable: Worked as a medical assistant intern at a local doctor’s office
Quantifiable: Served over 35 pediatrics patients per day during medical assistant internship
In addition to quantifiable results, you may want to integrate soft skills into your bullet points, such as team work, communication skills, critical thinking, and adaptability. Give examples of work projects where you proved you have these skills.
The exception to the “work experience first” rule is when your work experience completely doesn’t relate to the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are applying for a medical assistant job, your dog-walking job from high school probably doesn’t apply. If you don’t have any work experience, see #4 below.
4. What if you have no work experience? Then put your skills first.
If you have absolutely no related work experience, you can instead write a skills-based resume, where you list your job-related skills first. This often applies to recent graduates who are looking for their first job in a new career field. When listing your skills, be sure to include your job-related skills as well as any administrative or technology/computer skills that you may have. You can also include soft skills, like teamwork and communications skills. See an example of a skills-based resume for medical assistants below.
5. Include your education and certifications
The next section of your resume should be your education. Include the names of the schools, their city and state, and the year you graduated. For any diplomas, degrees, or certificates you obtained, be sure to include them as well.
6. A note on keywords
If you are submitting your resume on an employer’s website, it will probably be searched by a job applicant tracking system. Because a computer will be searching through hundreds of resumes, it will most likely be using keywords to filter through the resumes. That’s why it’s a good idea to use keywords in your resume.
How do you know what the keywords are? You have to make an educated guess. The actual job title will probably be one of the keywords. In addition, look at the job posting to determine which words seem to be the main words that are relevant to the job, and do your best to incorporate them into your resume.
7. How to format your resume
The formatting of resumes has changed dramatically over the years, and the best advice is to have 2 different ways of formatting your resume:
Version 1 - A nicely designed template with tasteful colors. This is the version you can use if the employer wants a PDF of your resume. Be sure to use a font that is common and readable, like Calibri or Arial.
Version 2 - A non-formatted version. This is the version you can use if the employer wants you to paste in your resume or attach a text version. In this version, use only basic formatting like bullets and boldface. Avoid headers, footers, pagination, images, symbols, unusual fonts, or anything that might confuse the applicant tracking system.
8. Update your LinkedIn profile to match
Most employers will expect you to submit a resume and also to maintain a LinkedIn profile. As you are submitting job applications, be sure you are keeping both your resume and your LinkedIn profile up to date. For more on LinkedIn profiles, see How To Create a Great LinkedIn profile.
9. Final touches
Before submitting a resume, ask one or two other trusted people to review it. A mentor or career services professional can help you make sure your points are coming across clearly. They can also help you review the resume for any typos or mistakes.
Sample Medical Assistant Resume (with No Previous Experience)
222 Salter Street – Boston, MA 00000
Mobile: 617-222-2222 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Using my professional medical assistant training and my love of working with children, I would help Smithtown Pediatrics provide high quality pediatric care by using a compassionate and responsive approach toward patients and an organized approach to the office’s administrative needs.
MEDICAL ASSISTANT CLINICAL SKILLS
- Vital signs
- Phlebotomy/finger sticks
- Lab testing
- Intravenous and intramuscular injection
- Immunization injections
- Assistance for minor office procedures
- CPR and First Aid
- Pediatrics internship experience
- Electronic health records
- Medical billing and coding
- MS Office, Excel, Word, Outlook
- Data entry (70 WPM)
- Appointment scheduling
- Medical records management
Certified in First Aid and CPR (American Heart Association)
Central Pediatrics, Boston, MA – July 2017 to October 2017
Medical Assistant Externship (XXX-hour externship-unpaid)
- Shadowed medical assistant supervisor for 20 appointments per day
- Measured vital signs for infants and children
- Updated patient records, under supervisor’s instructions
- Organized 15-20 patient specimens for lab pickup per day
- Reassured young children who were nervous or jumpy
- Helped make the doctor’s office fun for young patients
CVS, Malden, MA – January 2016 to July 2016
- Handled purchases for over 150 customers every day
- Managed over $1,000 in receipts every day
- Restocked and helped manage inventory
The Salter School, Malden, MA
Professional Medical Assistant diploma, November 2017
- XXX-hour program; XXX-hour externship placement
Malden High School, Malden, MA
With these step-by-step instructions and sample resume, we hope our students at the Salter School and all medical assistant students are prepared to write a strong resume. It’s the first step in getting started in your new career!
If you are still thinking about your future career and are looking for medical assistant schools in Massachusetts, be sure to check out the medical assistant training program at the Salter School, with locations in Fall River, MA and Malden, MA. To get started, just fill out our online form, or give us a call at 1-800-299-1074. Or, if you are ready to see our program in action, sign up for a tour and see what we have to offer. We can’t wait to meet you!