Once you finish college and earn your certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree it is time to start applying for positions. Unlike previous work that you may have done through school you do not simply go in and fill out an application. Instead, you need to put together a well-written cover letter and resume and send it out to as many employers as possible. There are a number of steps that you can take to make this part of your job search easier and those will be covered throughout this article.
Creating an Effective Resume
Creating your resume is a time-consuming but important step to finding the right job for you. It is wise to start by creating a template of a resume that you can update to target specific employers. To do this you want to create a layout that highlight your strengths and is easy to read. Include the most important information in this template and ensure that it has room to be customized as you see fit for specific employers. There are number of ways to create an eye-catching resume, but simplicity is key. You want to make sure that the reader is able to quickly access any information that is important without having to read information that is not relevant to the job.
While you could create a template from scratch there are plenty of resources online that can give you some premade templates or some ideas to create your own. In most cases you want to highlight your education, any certifications, awards, and educational or work-related accolades. You may do this by using bullet points, creating a boxed in area, or highlighting this information in a slightly larger font towards the top of the resume.
It is also important to make sure the contact information is readily available to the reader. This information should be clear, and a larger and even unique font, and centered at the very top of your resume. Make sure that you include your name, phone number, email address, address, and the best time to contact. This is one of the most important parts of your resume because the reader needs to have easy access to quickly call you if they see something they like in your resume. You cannot be considered for a position if they cannot call you for an interview.
For your work history, try to include relevant information. If you worked retail, it is important to add that information but only highlight the skills and strengths that relate to working with people in the medical assisting field. If you worked in an office setting, that is also fine include but make sure you highlight the work that you did with finances, paperwork, and working with people over the phone or through email. By highlighting these varied skills you are taking unrelated work and showing that you have the ability to work on both sides of the medical assisting field.
You should also spend time researching the company that you plan on sending the resume to. Make sure that you add a few specific pieces of information that would be important to their particular goals. This will not always be easy, and may even be time-consuming, but in the end you will have a targeted resume for the particular employer that will highlight the skills that are relevant to what they are looking for in a candidate.
Creating the Perfect Cover Letter
Your cover letter is essentially an essay about yourself. You want something that is easy to read, highlights the specific strengths that will be relevant to the employer, and shows interest in the company more than the job. By informing the reader about your particular skills and how they relate to the company’s goals you are showing that you are able to bring more to the company than other candidates may. You should also focus on letting your personality come out and cover letter. This does not mean should make jokes or be too casual, but you should let a little bit of your personality show so that you’re a real person more than somebody simply typing out a formatted cover letter.
Most employers will simply skim through a cover letter, so try to keep it short and to the point. Using unique formatting like bullet points will ensure that your strengths are highlighted. Bullet points or other unique pieces of formatting draw the reader’s eyes directly to those specific areas of the cover letter. This is where you should put the most relevant information that is most likely to help you have a job. Remember that the person on the other side is simply reading through countless cover letters and resumes and you want to do everything you can to make yours stand out. While there are some extremely creative cover letter and resumes out there, there is not a lot of room to create something unique in medical assisting field. For example, graphic designers often go very artistic with their resumes as seen in these examples, but they are not necessarily appropriate for medical assisting. That is not to say that you cannot add some kind of creativity or flair but look for something that is subtle but will help you stand out.
Addressing the reader can often be difficult and closing your letter can be even more challenging. “To whom it may concern” or “Dear hiring manager” are often the most common and safe ways to open a cover letter. “Best regards” or “Sincerely” are the best ways to close a cover letter and are not inappropriate in any way. Just like in your resume, ensure that your contact information is available at the top of the cover letter as well as at the bottom. This ensures that you have three different areas that cover all of your contact information within the resume.
There are a few final points to touch on to make sure that you have the best resume and cover letter possible. First highlight any particular certifications or registrations you may have. Make sure that these are completely clear and easy to find as they are likely some of the most important aspects of your resume to your employer. Proofread, proofread, proofread. There are few steps as important as proofreading your cover letter and resume multiple times. Make sure that punctuation, grammar usage, and spelling are all perfect. It would be wise to have somebody else also review your cover letter and resume to ensure that everything is 100% perfect. There is no such thing as too much proofreading. Finally, after you have sent out your resume, wait a few days and then follow up with the potential employer. This shows a dedication to earning the job and a desire to start as soon as possible. This also puts your name out there so when your resume comes up on the list, they will recognize that they have spoken with you before and you have shown a real interest in the position. This can become time-consuming, but sending an effective cover letter and resume are the first and the most important steps to landing the job that you desire.