Demand is growing across the healthcare industry for skilled and trained workers in all positions, including the support position of medical assistant. If you feel compelled to help but are better suited to scheduling appointments than assisting in surgery, this might be the right healthcare career for you. Send out a winning resume when you're freshly graduated from a medical assistant education program by using these five tips for job seekers without relevant job experience.
Focus on Your Passions
Are you seeking a medical assistant position because you want to help people? Add a cover letter to your resume that explains what events in your life inspired your decision to change careers, like a personal brush with illness or years of caring for an ill family member. Keep your story short and to the point -- there's no need to go into so much detail that you spend more than a paragraph or two outlining your passions for healthcare. Writing too much about your ambitions and too little about your actual skills will backfire.
Highlight Any Experiences
You may think you have little chance of competing with medical assistants with 5 years of experience when you're freshly graduated. However, outlining your other work and life experiences that taught you transferable skills can help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Remember to include crucial skills like
- Billing, appointment setting, or scheduling work done for any kind of company
- One-on-one customer service experience from a retail or service profession
- Taking care of children for friends, at a daycare facility, or as a school volunteer and parent
- Non-professional healthcare experience, such as helping a family member with medication or physical care
- Skills you developed during your training program, like working with others on large projects or experience with essential computer spreadsheet and word processing programs.
Include Your Training Sessions
Don't forget that the internships or clinical work you need to do to complete your education still count as on the job experience. If you spend 100 hours shadowing a medical assistant in a doctor's office and helping with paperwork, include it under your relevant experience no matter how short the experience. You don't necessarily have to list exactly how many hours you spent training your skills in a real workplace, but do note that it was an internship or shadowing arrangement to be honest about how much experience you've really accumulated so far.
Specify Your Certifications
What kind of certifications and licenses did you receive through testing at the end of your training program? Most medical assistant training programs are accredited through the American Association of Medical Assistants, so a registration number from that organization deserves prominent placement on your resume. There are other certification groups, so include any tests you've passed to join organizations outside of your school.
Don't forget about licensing requirements. Most states don't require anything specific for medical assistants, but a few do mandate standardized testing and certain continuing education credits. If you live in an area where licensing or certification is dependent on finding an employer to sponsor you, highlight how you've prepared everything on your end for meeting the requirements to prove to a potential employer you're ready to start working without a detail.
Pinpoint Extra Skills
Finally, don't forget about any specific and useful skills you picked up during your education or life before becoming a medical assistant. For example, people who sign up for extra classes in phlebotomy or radiology classes during their education should definitely emphasize these experiences, even if there's no official extra license or accreditation to go along with the skill. A medical assistant who has done 25 test blood draws in school is still easier to train on the job than an applicant with no experience in handling needles and vacuum tubes.