How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume

How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume

A carefully crafted medical assistant resume allows the recruiter to understand your academic experience and career history.

They should be able to determine at a glance what your background is and what your skills are.

You should tailor your medical assistant resume to the individual job role. You need to showcase any key information that will help the recruiter to identify if you are the right fit for their needs.

The medical profession is highly competitive, and the recruiter will likely receive hundreds of applications for the position. Therefore, you need to make sure that your resume stands out from the rest by clearly demonstrating your credentials.

What Will an Employer Look For in Your Medical Assistant Resume?

In your medical assistant resume, you need to show that you have read the job description and that any information provided is directly relevant to the role.

Recruiters will be looking to see at a glance that you have the capabilities that they need – so they will be looking to find out about your career history, your qualifications and your specific skills.

Typically, most resumes are broken down into distinct subsections. Regardless of whether you are a senior medical assistant or you are applying for an entry-level job role, employers will generally expect to see the following elements:

  • A resume objective
  • Your professional experience
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Skills and attributes

Skills to Include in Your Medical Assistant Resume

The difference between a good and great medical assistant resume is understanding what skills to include.

You may wish to split your skills section into hard (such as specific medical capabilities), soft or transferable skills.

Before you begin writing your resume, look at the job description.

  • Is the advert specifying any specific tasks or duties?
  • Are they clearly stating any required skills?

If so, make sure you reference these within your resume as these will be the skills that the recruiter is specifically looking for.

Although your resume should be as concise as possible, try to avoid simply listing several skills. You need to showcase how those skills are relevant and how you have demonstrated them.

For instance, saying you have computer skills won’t set you apart from others. But explaining any experience in relevant medical software could catch a recruiter’s attention.

Hard Skills for Your Medical Assistant Resume

Read our selection of tangible skills that you may wish to include (if applicable):

Medical Skills

Some experienced medical assistants may be asked to perform specific medical tasks such as taking vital signs, administering medications, applying dressings or communicating with patients.

If you are an experienced medical assistant, you need to highlight areas where you can aid qualified medical professionals.

If you are trained in basic life support or CPR, make sure you reference it. Likewise, mention if you are experienced in specific health-and-safety duties, such as sterilization or preparing treatment rooms.

Specific keywords you may wish to include:

  • Administering injections
  • Applying dressings
  • Basic life support (BLS)
  • Clinical skills
  • Infection control
  • Safety guidelines
  • Maintaining medical equipment
  • Patient confidentiality
  • Preparing treatment rooms for patient examinations
  • Vital signs

Medical Administration

This is different from basic admin tasks. It’s about showcasing how you can multitask across different patients and how you update medical records and book appointments. It’s also about any experience you have working with insurance companies to process claims, and resolving billing issues.

Specific keywords you may wish to include:

  • Advocating for patients
  • Arranging prescription refills
  • Completing patient medical records
  • ECH (electronic patient record) software
  • Medical coding
  • Processing insurance forms
  • Recording medical histories
  • Scheduling medical appointments

Soft Skills for Your Medical Assistant Resume

You may also wish to reference these specific soft skills in your medical assistant resume:

Administrative Skills

You will be responsible for office management.

Can you demonstrate your telephone manner or your computer skills? You may wish to reference any specific computer software that you can use – especially if you’ve used medical software.

Specific keywords you may wish to include:

  • Customer service
  • Triaging patients
  • Troubleshooting computer problems
  • Microsoft Word or Excel

Personal Skills

This could reflect your bedside manner. As a medical assistant, you are likely to work closely with patients regularly. What are your communication techniques to ensure that patients feel relaxed and aware of what to expect from appointments? Are you fluent in other languages or can you help communicate with those who need extra help and support?

Specific keywords you may wish to include:

  • Bedside manner
  • Explaining medical information in understandable language
  • Empathy
  • Explaining procedures to patients
  • Teamwork
  • Greeting and welcoming patients

Negotiation Skills

You may be responsible for liaising with medical suppliers. Can you demonstrate examples of when you have negotiated with representatives to make financial savings?

Specific keywords you may wish to include:

  • Identifying medical suppliers by price and quality
  • Ordering medical supplies

Writing a Medical Assistant Resume With No Experience

You may feel daunted by the prospect of writing a medical assistant resume if you’ve never worked in a medical assistant role before.

The trick is to focus on any voluntary work or internships that may have given you relevant experience.

For example:

  • Have you worked in an office answering phones? If so, use that information to showcase your administrative skills.

  • Did you once have a part-time job as a lifeguard? Explain what health and safety training you had to go through as part of your role.

  • Do you have bartending experience? If so, you’ll likely have experience managing inventory or supplies.

Using voluntary experience or internships isn’t a cheat – it’s merely using experience that you haven’t been paid for.

It’s important to remember that if you are applying for an entry-level medical assistant job, the recruiter will be well aware that you will likely have no experience.

They’ll consider this when reviewing your resume. They’ll focus more on your capabilities and your potential than what you’ve previously achieved.

How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume
How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume

How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume

Now you know what to include in your medical assistant resume, it’s time to take you through the process step-by-step:

Choosing Your Medical Assistant Resume Format

Your first decision is whether to craft a functional resume or a chronological resume.

  • A functional resume provides the most relevant information at the top – you could group your academic and career achievements, giving a recruiter a detailed overview of your relevant skills.

  • A chronological resume puts the information into date order, with your most recent experience first.

If you are an experienced medical assistant, then we recommend using a chronological resume to introduce yourself to the recruiter. It makes it easier to see how you have progressed and developed your career so far.

A functional resume may be more appropriate for entry-level roles where you are trying to boost the strength of your experience.

Make the Most of the Header Section

Space is limited on a resume. Ideally, it needs to be one or two pages.

You could list your key contact information (name, phone number, email address) within the header section. However, be aware that if the resume is being read by an ATS, it may not be so easily read.

Medical Assistant Resume Objective

This is your elevator pitch. It’s an introductory statement that introduces you and entices the recruiter to look at your resume in more detail.

It’s typically a short paragraph in length but it should explain what makes you good at your job and why the recruiter should want to find out more.

It should encompass a summary of the work experience included in your resume. You may find it helpful to write this part of your resume last, once you’re confident that you know what career history/achievements you are showing to the employer.

Your medical assistant resume objective should explain who you are and encourage the recruiter to read more.

For example:

I am a dedicated and hardworking certified medical assistant with five years’ experience working for a specialized oncology center. I am well-organized and excel in providing exceptional patient care, bringing a friendly and positive attitude to the workplace. I am experienced in both clinical and administrative duties and I aspire to work in a role where I can continue to build upon my knowledge and capabilities.

Work Experience

This is your opportunity to share your employment history. Try to keep the details as relevant as possible to the medical assistant job for which you’re applying.

Focus on the core competencies required for the job and showcase examples of where you have met those requirements.

This is also your opportunity to showcase any key achievements or share any great results with the employer.

Where possible, try to include some quantifiable stats which demonstrate your capabilities. Your medical assistant resume is your chance to wow the recruiter and make them realize what you could do for them.

If you have minimal professional experience, you could discuss any voluntary experience that you have or any extracurricular activities that you may have participated in that could be relevant.

Where possible, try to keep your work experience in chronological order. You should list your position, the name of the employer and dates of employment. Use bullet points to reference your key duties.

Where possible, align these duties with those referenced in the specific job description. You should try to use statistics to add context to your duties – it helps the recruiter understand what impact you had.

Use action verbs such as:

  • coordinated
  • headed
  • planned
  • incorporated
  • consolidated
  • achieved

They’ll impress the recruiter and provide credibility to your statement.

For example:

Certified Medical Assistant, Pinewood Medical Centre, Suffolk (January 2015–October 2020)

  • Coordinated all certified medical assistant duties in the specialized oncology clinic. Managed the patient booking system (20 appointments per day), took vital signs and explained procedures to patients. Ensured all patients were warmly welcomed and felt at ease.

  • Prepared treatment rooms for patient examinations, following safety guidelines and infection control.

  • Used EHR software to update medical records and confirm medical insurance details for patients. Maintained over 2,500 patient records per year.

  • Identified suitable medical suppliers (price and quality) and took responsibility for ordering medical supplies. Achieved cost savings of 4% per annum.

  • Received 87% positive feedback score from 2020 patient survey (+8% from 2019).

Qualifications and Education

To work as a medical assistant, you need to have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. Some medical practices may require further training, so if you have achieved any other certifications or professional licenses, here is your opportunity to sell yourself.

How you write this section will depend on whether you have experience or not.

Experienced Medical Assistants

If you are an experienced medical assistant, you can limit your education section as the recruiter will place more emphasis on your work history.

For example:

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA), National Healthcare Association (NHA) (2017–2018)

Bachelor of Arts in English, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA (2010–2014)

Inexperienced Medical Assistants

If you have minimal experience, you may wish to expand on your educational experience to highlight any particular skills which are relevant to the role.

For example:

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Virginia (2006–2010)

  • GPA of 3.95
  • Excelled in biology and chemistry
  • Gained clear communication skills through involvement with the debate team
  • Wrote a regular column for the school newspaper, outlining experiences volunteering for a local children’s center

Relevant Skills

Make sure you are well aware of the skills required to work as an effective medical assistant. You need to be aware of the expected duties and demonstrate that you have the required skills to manage these duties.

In this section, you can add further details of skills that you may not have mentioned within your career history.

As mentioned earlier, try to make them as specific as possible to the job role.

You may wish to conclude your resume with a personal profile that highlights your personality and gives the recruiter a flavor as to who you are as a person.

Perhaps you have hobbies or interests which could relate to the job role – such as the ability to speak fluently in different languages.

For example:

  • Clear communicator, fluent in two languages (English and Spanish)
  • Computer skills (MS Word, Excel, EHR software)
  • Recording patient medical history
  • Taking vital signs
  • Decision-making and problem-solving
  • Adhere to infection control and safety guidelines
  • Medical coding and administrative skills

Helpful Tips to Remember

There’s no incorrect way to write a medical assistant resume, but these tips will help guide you and ensure that your resume catches the recruiter’s attention:

  • Pay attention to jargon – If the job description uses specific phrases or terminology, try to subtly mimic these phrases within your resume. Many employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to automatically filter through applications. Using the right keywords will help you pass through any filters and it will show the recruiter that you have the specific skills that they are looking for.

  • Don’t forget the soft skills – It’s tempting to focus on your hard skills (as detailed above) but don’t neglect your softer skills. It’s not just about the work that you do, it’s also about the way that you work. Employers need to know that you’ll fit in with the team.

  • List your work experience chronologically – Make sure that you put your most recent experience at the top of your list.

  • Use quantifiable statistics to demonstrate a point – Recruiters will skim-read your medical assistant resume. Therefore, you need to have statistics to back up what you are saying. If you’ve scheduled regular appointments, provide a number; for example: “Managed the patient booking system, scheduling 20 appointments per day.” It gives the recruiter context of what you are talking about and opens up conversations for an interview.

  • Try to be concise – A resume shouldn’t be longer than two pages. Make use of subheadings, bullet points, bold/italic type and clear statistics to highlight any key achievements. Remember, the goal of the resume is to entice the recruiter to invite you to attend an interview to learn more about you.

  • Use professional formatting – Where possible, stick with a traditional font (Ariel or Times New Roman) and use an 11 or 12-point font size. This looks professional and is easy to read.

Final Thoughts

Writing a medical assistant resume is a distinct skill. It’s a delicate blend of providing enough information to pique a recruiter’s interest, whilst also keeping it concise enough for the reader to quickly scan for the relevant information.

The resume should be used as a two-part document, along with the medical assistant cover letter.

Between these two documents, there should be enough detail to help convince a recruiter that they need to invite you to be interviewed.

Our top tip is to remember that resumes and cover letters are tools designed to help you achieve an interview, not the job itself. They are about showing the hiring manager what you have previously done and what you are capable of doing.

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