How to improve my resume?
August 12, 2013 9:40 AM   Subscribe

What should I do to my resume to improve it and highlight the PA/good with people/usually calm in tense situations parts for PA/office work type jobs?

My girlfriend can format it once we get the content all good, but we are unsure if we need any more details/expanding bullet points/ anything else.

address, phone, and street

Employment History

Medical Lab January 2013 – Present
Medical Laboratory Assistant
file laboratory reports
report locating
billing research
produce and scan order forms
document proofreading
data entry
maintain chain of custody on medical samples.
Interact with patients to acquire samples and required information

PA for a guy who did consulting February 2008- November 2010
Personal Assistant
correspondence, including telephone and e-mail,
meeting preparations, including location and catering arrangements,
travel and lodging arrangements,
data entry,
document editing and proofreading.

Marriage and Life Enrichment Boot Camp April 2004 – Present
Lead small groups in life enrichment seminars, analyze traumatic past events and provide constructive feedback.

University of Houston, 60 credit hours completed, Psychology emphasis August 2008 - May 2011


Licensed civilian pilot
SCUBA certified

posted by Jacen to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And, just to clarify, by PA I mean Personal Assistant vs physicians assistant, sorry.
posted by Jacen at 9:43 AM on August 12, 2013

In my experience, it's reasonably common to include both a "personal statement" and a paragraph about your hobbies and interests.

The personal statement should include what you consider your strengths to be, so you can highlight the stuff you mentioned in your question header here. You should also talk about times you've taken on particular challenges and been pleased with the outcome, as well as lessons learned along the way. Be sure to make absolutely sure that the standard of writing and grammar here is tip top, to also demonstrate your attention to detail.

The hobbies and interests bit is less important, but it can be good for two things - firstly, showing that you have a life and are a well-functioning human. Keep it brief, but things like sports that you do, creative hobbies, and peculiar* interests work well to show you as a well-rounded individual. The other side of this is that it can help to make you more memorable to the person deciding who gets interviewed.

but not too weird, ie. probably leave out pet taxidermy
posted by greenish at 9:59 AM on August 12, 2013

The best advice I could give you is to quantify all of the information on your resume.
What you've written above is fine, but it is very generic. How will it help you to stand out amongst all the other resumes they receive?

By quantifying the information I mean, tell them specifics about your job.

How many Managers were you working for?
How many phonecalls were you dealing with on a daily basis?
What computer systems are you using?
How many people do you schedule for?
If you're doing any invoicing, how many invoices do you deal with each day and what kind of values are we talking about?
That sort of thing.

You should absolutely tailor your resume for every single job you apply for.

Read the job descriptions you are applying for and absolutely move stuff around on your resume to ensure that if they need someone with good Excel Skills, in the very first thing they read on your resume, they can see that you've used Excel... (i.e. Responsible for maintaining confidential client and employee reports using Excel) etc.

memail me if you want some more information, I write resumes for my friends all the time and my success rate is pretty high!
posted by JenThePro at 10:01 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would make the first bullet point on each job about working with people, if that's what you want to emphasize. If each entry is more than a few lines, it seems to me that people who are sorting resumes are just going to quickly scan them for key information. So maybe something like:

Medical Assistant
-PT interaction aspect (especially if it's blood draws or awkward bodily fluids - being able to do that and keep the pt happy is an important skill!)
-other paperwork/routine aspects

-interacting with customers and vendors
-other paperwork/routine aspects, etc

Good luck!
posted by Beti at 10:04 AM on August 12, 2013

Don't forget that you can emphasize specific skills/accomplishments in a cover letter as well.
In my experience (industries include: education, law, non-profit management, sales, office admin, and food service), personal statements/career objectives are out of favor for the resume; no paragraphs, nothing narrative, just headings, sub-headings, and bullets are needed.
posted by Schielisque at 1:33 PM on August 12, 2013

What country are you in?

The best advice I can give if you're doing this yourself is to focus on your accomplishments, not just your job description. So instead of "packed widgets" you'd put "packed 100 widgets per hour with 98% accuracy" or something like that.

Also read everything Ask a Manager has to say about interviews.

A few notes:
- Education before experience
- Avoid "objectives" like the plague, but a "summary of qualifications" at the top is helpful, like "Experienced widget packer with 6 years of experience in packing automation, widget analysis, and packing supervision"
- Resume should be easy to read by a person but also have keywords that are going to be picked up by an electronic system
- Agree with jenthepro that you should tailor your resume to each job. Even just using the same wording that they do in the job description.

In my experience, it's reasonably common to include both a "personal statement" and a paragraph about your hobbies and interests.

Um no, just no. This above is bad advice.

Honestly though, it's worth a couple hundred bucks to hire someone to help you, especially if you are so far at the beginning of this. I highly recommend Resume to Interviews.
posted by radioamy at 2:02 PM on August 12, 2013

I read hundreds of administrative resumes a week. Here's my favorite format for your work history:

Company Job Title Dates
One Sentence job responsibility description.
*Bullet point of quantified skill or relatable responsibility - most relevant at the top
*Another bullet point like above
*Bullet point again - less relevant as you go down

So your resume might look like this:

Address, Phone, Email

Experienced widget packer with 6 years of experience in packing automation, widget analysis, and packing supervision. Well developed command of wiget-eeeze Software, Microsoft Word, Exel, Whatever. Working knowledge of ICD-9 coding, Medical terminology, and some other thing you learned somewhere.

Employment History

Medical Lab Medical Laboratory Assistant January 2013 – Present
Managed patient samples and medical records for busy downtown Gallbladder Clinic.
* Coordinate specimen collection and insurance verification from all incoming patients, maintaining 100% document accuracy and (quantify the chain of custody accuracy here, I guess) blah blah
* Effectively manage laboratory reporting procedure to include report location, filing, blah blah
* Assist medical billing department with billing research using xxx program or skill
* Also bring all of your related bullet points together if you can, so this line might be about how you do all manner of clerical, data entry, proofreading and scanning.

(insert more work history here)

University of Houston August 2008 - May 2011
Candidate for BA in Psychology
60 credit hours completed

Licensed civilian pilot
SCUBA certified

PLEASE do not include your personal statement or paragraph detailing your hobbies or interests on your resume. Save that for the cover letter. And absolutely under no circumstances should your objective appear on your resume.

Good luck! I LOVE writing administrative resumes, so please feel free to MeMail me for more specific advice or feedback on your progress!
posted by waterisfinite at 5:02 PM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]

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