Janice Reed
Community Specialist
Posted September 30, 2021

Writing a medical assistant resume

Learn why medical assistant resumes are so important to landing the job, and what you should include on yours to stand out from the crowd.
Janice Reed
Community Specialist
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Writing a medical assistant resume
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There are few occupations with as much demand for new employees as that of a medical assistant.

With a projected growth rate of 19% (well above the national average) and a current workforce of over 725,000, there is expected to be close to 150,000 medical assistant vacancies opening up in the next ten years.

That’s a lot of numbers to digest, so let’s put it in plain English.

There are plenty of medical assistant jobs to apply for.

So, if medicine is the career path for you, you’re going to need to put together a solid medical assistant’s resume in order to secure one of these valuable positions.

In this guide, we’re going to show you exactly what to put on your medical assistant resume, and we’ll even get you started with a couple of pre-built examples.

Why you need a medical assistant resume

There’s a pretty frightening piece of data behind the main reason for crafting a medical assistant-specific resume: only 2-3% of applicants end up getting through to the interview stage.

Of course, there are several reasons why this might be the case:

  • They didn’t include a cover letter

  • They weren’t certified for the role

  • They didn’t have the right experience

The main reason is that it’s not practical for a recruiter to interview 250 applicants (which is about how many they get for every job).

This really puts the pressure on crafting a professional resume directly catered to the job at hand. It’s why you need to create a medical assistant resume rather than just submitting a generic one.

Just follow this seven-step process to create the perfect medical assistant resume that gives you the best shot at landing a job.

What should a medical assistant put on a resume?

Let’s walk through each step.

1. Start by thoroughly examining the job description

The first step is simple:

Study the medical assistant job description. Your resume should closely match it.

Yes, that means you’re not just submitting the exact same resume for every job. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch each time.

Use this guide to create a quality template that you can tweak to match each position.

Here’s what you want to do:

  • Review both the advertisement and job description

  • Look for keywords (such as pediatric care, attention to detail, or reliability)

  • Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager — what are they looking for?

2. Find matches for your experience and skills

Next, we’re going to spend some time matching up our own skills and experience with the requirements of the job.

For example, if one of the requirements of the job is scheduling appointments, cast your mind back to previous jobs you’ve held that involved this.

If you don’t have direct experience in a work environment, consider other aspects of your life that might be appropriate.

Maybe you’re a mother to three kids, constantly scheduling doctor’s appointments and playdates. You’ve got a really good handle on maintaining a schedule as a result.

Note that we’re not actually writing the resume in this step. Rather, we’re getting prepped with study notes.

By spending some time determining how our own experience matches the required medical assistant duties, our resume will be tight, concise, and tailored directly to the position we’re applying for.

3. Begin with your contact information

Alright, here’s where we get started writing our actual resume. Let’s start with the easiest section:

Our contact details.

This one’s pretty simple. Make sure that hiring managers can get in touch with you easily. The question is, though, what information should be included?

Standard details include your email and phone number (yes, you should be prepared for a phone call). It’s still standard practice to include your address.

It’s up to you whether you want to include any social media links. If you have a nice LinkedIn profile, then this can differentiate you from other applicants.

4. Craft your executive summary

The very top section of your medical assistant’s resume should be your resume summary, also known as the executive summary or resume objective.

The reason for the different names is because this section aims to do two things: give a summary of your resume and state your objective in submitting your resume.

Here's what an objective for a medical assistant resume might look like:

Certified medical assistant (CMA) with 5+ years of experience seeking a challenging role to further my career in patient care. My strengths in time management, communication, and organizational efficiency have made me a great fit in the medical office during my career.

Note that the summary section is short, concise, and to the point.

In the above example, the first sentence shows our objective and describes how we are qualified for the job. The second sentence briefly discusses what makes us a great applicant.

5. Add relevant work experience

If you have professional experience working as a medical assistant, then this section is going to take up the bulk of your resume.

This is known as the reverse chronological resume format, where you list out your previous jobs in healthcare, starting with the most recent.

Under each position, you’ll want to discuss:

  • Your achievements in the role

  • Any promotions or commendations you received

  • Duties you performed (ideally over an above expectation, as your recruiter will already know what’s involved in the role)

Here’s an example of what an experience section should look like on a medical assistant resume.

(Image Source)

On the other hand, if you’ve just graduated as a certified or registered medical assistant (RMA) and don’t have any relevant work experience, you might wish to opt for the functional resume format.

This type of resume is more focused on the relevant skills you bring to the table. You’ll still list out your work experience, but this skills section will take priority and therefore take more space on the page.

(Image Source)

6. Develop a skills section using keywords

When you’re crafting a medical assistant resume, the skills section should receive extra focus.

Why?

Because nearly 100% of professional recruiters are using ATS software to process applications.

ATS (applicant tracking system) software helps recruiters weed out resumes and the least relevant applications.

In a nutshell, these programs scan your resume for a selection of required keywords, as dictated by the recruiter.

It’s a super helpful system for them, as it means only a percentage of those 250-some resumes actually reach their desk.

But it’s quite troubling for the applicant, whose resume might never be seen by the hiring manager.

The best way to ensure your resume successfully passes the ATS test is to include as many relevant keywords in your resume as possible, many of which will sit in the skills section.

By the way, this is exactly why step one is so important, so if you skipped that stage, you might want to head back and gather the relevant information.

The specific skills you include in your resume will depend largely on what you’ve pulled from the job description.

That said, here is a selection of medical assistant skills that are likely to be a good fit across the board:

  • Knowledge of common medical procedures such as EKGs and venipunctures

  • Ability to measure vital signs such as blood pressure

  • Understanding of OSHA regulations

  • Front office skills such as Microsoft Office

  • Interpersonal skills (you’ll be helping people, after all)

It’s usually best to display your skills as bullet points for the sake of visual appeal, but you can also use some handy design elements like this one to demonstrate your proficiency in each area.

(Image Source)

7. Don’t forget to include your education

The last section of your medical assistant resume should be the education section.

Here, you’ll describe any relevant education you have, such as where you got your high school diploma and your Certified Medical Assistant (AAMA) certification.

(Image Source)

2 examples of medical assistant resumes

Let’s look at a couple of medical assistant resume examples to give you a better idea of what your own resume could look like.

1. Entry-level medical assistant resume

This medical assistant resume sample shows how to format your resume if applying for your first job.

Because this applicant does not have experience in the industry, they highlight several special skills that a recruiter would find relevant to the position right at the beginning. This is also where you should put your research to work regarding specific keywords that will light up automated systems.

(Image Source)

2. Experienced medical assistant resume

If you already have some work experience working as a medical assistant, then a format such as this would be a better fit.

This person’s resume features their industry work experience right at the top, including the duties they have performed throughout the years. This is another place to include important keywords to help you land an interview.

They should be easy to weave into your past job duties.

(Image Source)

Ready to start applying?

Now that you’ve got all the inside tips and you’ve written the perfect resume, there’s only one thing left to do:

Start applying for jobs as a medical assistant.

Get started today by checking out the Jobcase job board for medical assistant vacancies.

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