Preparing a Medical Coding Resume

Job hunters need a calling card and that is precisely what a resume is used for. This simple piece of paper lets a prospective employer know, in a nutshell, what skills and knowledge an applicant brings to the table for consideration. There are numerous resume writers out there and an almost equal number of workshops, help books, and videos on how to write a good one. As such, combing through all of these resources to find the few tips that make the most sense can be a daunting and frustrating task.

Advice on how to write a good resume is as common as green grass. Everyone has a suggestion and employment advisers coach students on how to write an effective resume. The length of a resume is influenced by the skills and experience the job seeker offers. Someone with brief work experience applying for an entry-level medical coding position does not need a resume of several pages; one or at most two pages will do. Personal information is at the beginning of the resume. There is no need to indicate birth date because that can invite age discrimination. There is also no reason to give the date of graduation from a school on a resume; just the fact that the job seeker has received a degree or certificate. Dates, however, may be asked on an application and that is different. Please remember that any information put on an application must be correct. Lying on an employment application will disqualify any candidate. Skills such as the knowledge of given medical codes should be noted on the resume in the education section, but under a “skills” subheading.

The work experience part of the resume lists the jobs a person has held in the past. The description should begin with an action verb or noun (e.g. “Implementation of such and such…” or “Preparation of this or that…”). The work experience must be no more than two or three sentences per job. References may be posted on a resume, but if there is not enough space, rather than adding an additional page simply put “References available upon request” at the bottom of the page. Be sure that permission has been sought and received from any person who will be used as a reference. Regardless of whatever is said otherwise, no one needs to type a resume in a fancy script or use colored paper. The important thing is that the text be legible and easy to read. Normal, white typing paper and Times New Roman font at ten or twelve point is sufficient.

Here is a little secret: no one gets hired on the strength of a resume alone. A health care facility may get as many as several hundred resumes for every publicized opening. That’s a small book which few employment recruiters are going to read carefully. Ordinarily, it is a weeding out process. Resumes and applications that do not create a possible job match are eliminated from consideration, and perhaps no more than twenty are carefully considered. From this group that survived the first cut, approximately five or six are drawn. These will be called in for an interview. How a person performs in the interview will determine whether or not a job offer is made. It is important to write a concise resume, but even more important to draft a good cover letter. This is the first document that catches an employment recruiter’s eye, and if it has the information that professional is looking for, the recruiter will turn the page to the resume.

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