As one of the first impressions you make on an employer, resumes play a vital part of the job application process. A good resume can ensure an interview by proving your competence as an employee. Providing a concise, legible, and professional resume is key.
For a medical billing and coding professional, a resume shows potential employers what you know and what you can bring to the team. This complex field contains many specializations. Therefore, showcasing your relevant skills can help you stand out to hiring managers. This guide offers helpful information on how to put together a successful medical billing and coding resume.
How to Write a Resume for Medical Billing and Coding
- Do Your Research: Tailor your medical billing and coding resume to different employers by doing some research. Scour the job posting and search for information on the organization to see what they value most in employees. Examine the experience necessary for employment, and tailor your resume to highlight the skills you possess that best fit their requirements.
- Write Down the Key Points: Decide the key points you want your resume to showcase, and use them to write an outline. Determine how to organize these points in a way that your strengths make the right first impression.
- Format Your Resume: Expand your outline into the full resume. Be sure to use full sentences and make use of headers to divide information into coherent parts. Pay attention to formatting, as this affects readability that may give your resume an edge over others. An organized and legible resume can attract the attention of hiring managers.
Types of Medical Billing and Coding Resumes
Different resumes call for different organization. Resumes act as a snapshot of your professional experience, and the way you organize your resume tells employers something about you. What you put first determines what recruitment reads as the most important. The following list details the most common resume formats.
- Reverse-Chronological: This style places your most recent work experience near the top, followed by your work history in reverse order. This format benefits applicants with relatively little field experience.
- Functional: This model focuses on relevant job skills, organized in order from most to least relevant. Functional resumes focus less on past employment and education and can compensate for large gaps in employment.
- Combination: Fusing features from both reverse-chronological and functional resumes, combination resumes usually start with a section on your professional skills, before including some of the most relevant work experience. This benefits experienced professionals with well-developed skill sets and significant experience.
Required Vs. Preferred Qualifications
Many job postings include required or preferred qualifications, which applicants should note while compiling their resumes. Required qualifications consist of skills, education, or experiences an employer mandates in order to fulfill job duties. Preferred qualifications include those that the employer would like candidates to possess for the job opening.
If possible, address both preferred and required qualifications on your resume. In the case of preferred qualifications eclipsing required qualifications, such as holding a master’s degree over a bachelor’s, focus more on the preferred. However, when you apply for a job, meeting required qualifications holds the most importance.
What Should I Include on a Medical Billing and Coding Resume?
- Education and Training: Include all education and training relevant to your medical billing and coding resume and where you received your education. You may leave off graduation dates to avoid age discrimination, which can be a problem for candidates who might be considered too young or old for the position. Your GPA and specific details beyond where you studied are not necessary. If currently enrolled in a program, be sure to list education as “pending.”
- Experience: When including your work experience, do so in reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent (or current) job. Include the dates of your employment with each position to help potential employers understand the timeline of your experience. Each job should include a list of the specific duties performed and experiences obtained in the position. For a medical billing and coding resume, include relevant information, such as the total number of beds or patient demographics of your previous departments. With limited space on a one-page resume, stick to the most relevant duties and experience. Use verbs and positive adjectives in your descriptions of past work experiences, but be concise. You can always expand on the information in your resume during the interview, so only include details that seem especially important or impressive, such as projects undertakings.
- Skills: Highlight any useful skills you possess in medical billing or coding. Some skills will be obvious to include, while others may not be directly relevant but still useful. In these cases, explain why these skills matter as they pertain to the job opening. Any unique skills, talents, or experiences that lend themselves to the job can help you stand out.
- Licensure, Certifications: Include any licensure or certifications held, especially if the job posting lists these as required or preferred. When highlighting these areas, use the full names of certificates instead of acronyms, and include license numbers and expiration dates.
- Awards, Accomplishments, Affiliations: If you received any awards relevant to medical billing and coding, be sure to include them with a brief description. Include other accomplishments directly related to the field, especially with the functional resume format. If you choose to include your affiliations with professional organizations, use full names instead of acronyms.
- Volunteer Work: Only include volunteer work on a medical billing and coding resume if it relates directly to your work. If your volunteer work improved your professional skills or knowledge, it may enhance your credibility.
What Should I Put on My Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Resume If I Don’t Have Any Experience?
If you lack the work experience necessary for an advanced medical billing and coding position, you may be better suited for an entry level position.
For these positions, focus your resume on your education, skills, licenses, and other qualifications. Include your degrees, pending or otherwise, and make note of projects you did as a part of your education. Holding degrees and certificates indicates your training and knowledge needed to do the job.
If your past work experience helped you develop skills that could transfer to medical billing and coding, be sure to mention this in your resume. This principle applies to volunteer work as well, which you should keep in its own category. Experiences, such as volunteering in a hospital, should be your main focus in a medical billing and coding specialist resume, but any volunteer work can help make up for minimal work experience.
What Is A Resume-Reading Robot?
What is ATS?
ATS, or applicant tracking systems, have become increasingly common in HR departments at larger employers. These systems, sometimes referred to as resume-reading robots, narrow the field of possible applicants in order to make the hiring process easier on the recruitment team. These tracking systems scan resumes looking for keywords chosen by hiring managers in order to find those that best match the job requirements. Once these systems create a smaller, curated selection of resumes, hiring managers review the options to determine which candidates will receive an interview.
Tips for Outsmarting an ATS
|Simple Headers||Stick to straightforward headings, such as “Skills” or “Education.” Complex headers can confuse an ATS and lead to rejection.|
|Clean Format||Use a simple layout void of graphics, which an ATS may read as incomplete.|
|Keywords/Phrases||Try to include keywords or phrases relevant to your field, such as clinical rotations, so that the ATS notices more terms relevant to the job.|
|Industry-Specific Jargon||Like keywords, terms specific to your industry can help you pass the ATS scan by making your resume more relevant.|
Resume Writing Tips for Medical Billing and Coding Professionals
|Tailor your Resume||Create a unique resume for each position and each employer, since they vary in desired job qualifications. Do not use a generic resume for every application.|
|Save your Resume under a Professional Name||When sending an uploaded file, potential employers see the file name. Use a clear and professional document title, such as firstlast_speciality_resume.doc.|
|Make it Easy to Read||Use simple fonts, a clean layout, and avoid changing the color of your text.|
|Include a Cover Letter||Cover letters allow you to express yourself. Be sure to include a well-written cover letter, even if a posting does not ask for one specifically.|
|Keep it to One Page||Resumes longer than one page may be ignored, especially for jobs that can expect a lot of applicants.|
Common Mistakes Medical Billing and Coding Professionals Make on Their Resumes
- Typos: Proofread your resume to eliminate any typos, spelling, or grammatical errors. These mistakes can cause confusion and are unprofessional.
- Including Personal Information: When including contact information, only list your email address and phone number. Never include your home address or social security number.
- Including Salary Information: Unless prompted by the job posting, leave out past income or your expected salary for the new position. This information may be addressed during the interview.
- Using Nicknames: Avoid nicknames for yourself, past employers, colleagues, or hiring professionals.
- Using an Unprofessional Email Address: If your email address reads unprofessionally, set up a second email specifically for your job search. A professional email usually includes your name to provide clarity for employers receiving your application.
- First Person Pronouns: When referring to yourself within a resume, use the correct first person pronoun, but avoid referring to yourself in the resume if possible.
- Unprofessional Voicemail: Make sure your outgoing voicemail message states your name and addresses the caller in a professional manner. Humor can take away from the serious nature of your job inquiry.