Search
Advice » Job Hunt Strategy» Getting Started » Find Your First Medical Assista ...
Find Your First Medical Assistant Job

Find Your First Medical Assistant Job

Are you a new medical assistant (MA) who's ready to dive into the working world but can't seem to get off the starting block? Jump-start your job hunt -- and land your first MA position -- with these tips.

Ace Your Externship

Excelling as an extern can greatly improve your chances of finding a job after graduation. "Many, many students are hired at their externship sites just by showing they have a good attitude, are eager to learn and get along well with the existing staff," says Mary C. Dyer, a certified medical assistant-specialization in administration (CMA-A) and president of the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA).

Even if your externship site doesn't hire you, you still need to make a good impression while you're there. Externship colleagues will be your best references when you apply for other jobs and can alert you to openings elsewhere.

Talk It Up

Besides checking classified ads for positions, talk to career counselors at the school where you completed your medical assisting program. Networking with established MAs at monthly meetings of your local AAMA chapter is another good way to learn about opportunities, Dyer says.

Present Yourself Properly

Follow all the standard advice when applying for an MA job:

  • Keep your resume and cover letter direct and concise, and be sure to spell-check both.
  • Address your letter to the proper person at the hiring organization, usually the office manager or practice manager.
  • Be slightly early for interviews.
  • Listen carefully to questions, and don't interrupt.
  • Turn off your cell phone.
  • Dress appropriately.

"Little things tell you a lot about a candidate," says Dyer, who in her 25 years of experience has interviewed dozens of aspiring MAs.

Clarify Your Credentials

Because of the wide range of educational paths to becoming an MA, hiring managers may be unclear about what your degree encompasses or what you're trained for. Make those facts clear on your resume and in the interview.

AAMA-certified MAs should emphasize their versatility, Dyer recommends. "Explain to the interviewer that you are multiskilled and that you have learned how to function interchangeably on the administrative and clinical ends," she says. "Showing you have a good attitude, are excited about what you do and have a love of the profession will be factors" in an employer's hiring decision.

Question Your Questioner

Be sure to ask questions during an interview, says new-graduate CMA Tonya Tabor, who began working for two Virginia physicians specializing in pain management in 2005. "Find out about the practice and what they do," she says. "If you pick a specialty you don't like or don't care about, you're not going to give 110 percent to the practice."

Look for Other Ways In

If you aren't getting job offers or interviews, apply for positions in medical assisting-related fields, says Cathy Kelley-Arney, CMA, institutional director of healthcare education at the National College of Business & Technology in Bluefield, Virginia.

"Many times an LPN position is posted in an ad, but the employer is more than willing to talk to a medical assistant," she says. "And on the other hand, if you see an ad for a receptionist job in a medical office, don't be afraid to apply for that."

Broaden Your Horizons

Kelley-Arney sometimes advises graduates who are having trouble finding jobs to take a few additional courses -- such as medical coding -- to become more marketable to physicians.

Also, graduates may have to venture to a new location to find their first job. "You may be able to get a job if you move 50 miles down the road or are willing to drive further to work every day," she says.

Believe Someone Will Give You a Chance

Lack of experience won't necessarily doom new grads, says Sabine Von Metzger, a Colorado-based CMA who has been in the field since 2000.

"Be honest," Von Metzger says. "Tell a prospective employer, ‘Yes, I am fresh out of school, but I'm willing to learn.' A lot of employers out there will give a fresh grad a start. After all, someone gave them a chance."

Latest Jobs

Private home care
Posted: 09/02/2014
Anacortes, WA, 98221
Amazon
Posted: 09/02/2014
Seattle, WA
Enterprise
Posted: 09/02/2014
Nashua, NH
Principle Solutions Group
Posted: 09/02/2014
Charlotte, NC, 28202
Manpower
Posted: 09/02/2014
Pontiac, MI, 48341

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.45.50-207
eTrustLogo