Write the ideal medical assistant resume with this quick guide

This resume guide is designed to help medical assistants create effective resumes that land interviews and jobs. Topics covered include resume formats, resume summaries, key medical assistant skills, work experience, and education. 

As a lower and often entry-level position within healthcare, becoming a medical assistant means you will have a heavy amount of competition to beat for the job. Luckily, this easy-to-follow guide in combination with our resume builder, will help you in creating a masterful resume that helps you stand out from other candidates and land the medical assistant position of your dreams.

In this guide, we will be covering several key topics that will help you in writing and formatting your medical assistant resume. Keep reading to learn all about:

  • Choosing a resume format that suits your experience level
  • Writing an eye-catching medical assistant summary
  • Using your skills section to show off your relevant talents 
  • Focusing on your ability to collaborate within your work experience section
  • Listing your education and certifications properly and separately

1. Choosing a resume format that fits your experience level

As a medical assistant, you may be a seasoned professional or this may be your first time entering the field. Choosing a resume format is highly dependent on this experience level, as certain resume formats will focus on different elements of a resume.

In general, there are two main types of resume formatting options to choose between: the reverse-chronological resume and the functional resume. 

When to use the reverse-chronological format as a medical assistant 

If you have a healthy amount of previous work experience, then the reverse-chronological format is for you. This format focuses on work experience, listing your most recent position first and working backward from there. 

The reverse-chronological format is also great if you have several examples of quantifiable accomplishments you want to showcase on your resume.

When to use the functional format as a medical assistant

The functional resume format deviates from the reverse-chronological’s focus on work experience, instead emphasizing education, skills, and unpaid experience. 

There are 3 main use cases for the functional resume for medical assistants:

  • You’re a student. Students don’t always have a ton of work history upon graduating, but they do have a lot of relevant educational experience, coursework, and internships. 
  • You’re changing careers. Changing careers can be tricky – the key is to highlight your overlapping skills and talents. For instance, a former office assistant will have many administration skills that are useful as a medical assistant. 
  • You have a resume gap. If you have taken time away from work resulting in a significant gap on your resume, a functional resume can help you re-focus the document on your relevant experiences and qualifications. 

2. Writing an eye-catching medical assistant resume summary

As a medical assistant, you want to emphasize on your resume the many different qualifications that make you the best candidate for the job. Your resume summary is the perfect place to hook the reader with compelling information about your professional work, qualifications, and accomplishments.

Here is an example of a weak medical assistant summary, followed by an explanation of how to correct it:

Incorrect medical assistant resume summary example

"Medical Assistant seeking a long-term opportunity in the healthcare industry. Strong administrative and customer service skills, as well as previous experience in a medical setting."

What's wrong with this example? In this example, the applicant is a bit too passive in expressing their career goals and fails to provide specific examples of their skills that make them a well-qualified candidate for the job. 

Corrected medical assistant resume summary example

"Detail-oriented Medical Assistant with more than 5 years of experience working in a medical office performing administrative tasks and assisting in patient record-keeping and scheduling. Specialized in medical administrative technologies that help automate essential front-end tasks."

Why is this better?This corrected example offers more specific information in regards to the number of years the applicant has worked in the field and the types of responsibilities they have specialized in (medical administration and related technologies). 

3. Use your skills sections to show off a wide range of talents

As a medical assistant, you will serve a wide range of responsibilities and complete a large assortment of tasks. This means that on your resume, you want to show off that you have a diversified skill set and are capable of many different essential activities. 

When creating your skills section, you should include both hard and soft skills, as your ability to deal with patients is equally important to your more technical talents. 

Best hard skills to include on a medical assistant resume

  • Medical Terminology
  • Patient Preparation
  • Scheduling and Appointment Setting
  • Patient Electronic Medical Records
  • Accounting Software
  • Inbound/Outbound Calling
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Patient Record Management
  • Drawing Blood and Preparing Samples for Lab
  • Giving Injections 

Best soft skills to include on a medical assistant resume

  • Compassionate Communication
  • Team Work
  • Active Listening
  • Time Management
  • Multitasking
  • Customer Service
  • Problem-Solving
  • Empathy
  • Organization
  • Emotional Support

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4. Focus on your ability to collaborate in your work experience section

Being a medical assistant requires you to collaborate and work effectively with many different people within the workplace, peers and patients alike. 

For this reason, emphasizing your ability to work in a team in your work experience section can give you the boost you need to stand out from competing applicants. Not only does this show you understand the importance of collaboration in medical settings, but it will also indicate to an employer that you are a team player. 

Example of an effective work experience entry

Medical Assistant | Happy Hearts & Lungs

Chicago, IL | November 2016 to December 2020

  • Worked alongside a team of 30+ medical professionals, organizing department-wide meetings and maintaining appointment schedules. 
  • Reduced employee onboarding costs by 15 percent after implementing a new digital onboarding platform that enables virtual orientations and check-ins. 
  • Reacted calmly and assumed a role of leadership in emergency situations when other medical professionals were unavailable. 

5. List your education and certifications separately

Becoming a medical assistant often requires you to become a jack of all trades. As a result, you will have a diverse range of skills and a colorful education background that will often have additional training and certifications involved. 

If this is the case for you, knowing how to organize your resume is critical. We recommend splitting off your certifications and training outside of your degree program into a separate certifications or qualifications section

As for your education section, your best bet is to keep it simple. While you can become a medical assistant through a four-year university, many choose to seek alternative paths such as vocational school or community college. 

No matter how you came to be a Certified Medical Assistant, be sure to include the formal title of your degree or certificate, what organization you earned it through, and when you graduate or completed your education. 

Published on Dec. 1, 2021

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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