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Craft Your Medical Transcription Résumé

By Anne Martinez

The sharper your medical transcription (MT) résumé is, the better. However, don’t pull your hair out over creating a one-of-a-kind, knock-their-socks-off document. Potential MT employers will primarily be looking for three things:

  • Appropriate training and/or experience.

  • Professional attitude. (You’d be surprised how many new graduates take a casual, inappropriately friendly approach to job hunting.)

  • Attention to tiny details, a highly necessary trait for medical transcriptionists. That means not one single typo, misspelled word, or grammatical error.

Concise, clear, accurate descriptions paired with traditional fonts and a super-simple layout are highly recommended. Avoid fancy graphic designs, lots of tabbing, and bullet points — they’re likely to throw some applicant-tracking technologies for a loop and make the résumé look messy after it’s been mangled by the system.

It’s a good idea to prepare two versions of your résumé: one nicely formatted and the other in plain text. In some cases, recruiters will ask you to paste your résumé into an e-mail or directly into an online application form instead of submitting it as an attached document.

Before submitting it to anyone else, paste your résumé into an e-mail and send it to yourself — you should know what it’s likely to look like when it comes out the other end.

Be sure your résumé includes the following sections:

  • Contact information: Include your street address, phone number, and an e-mail address that doesn’t sound ridiculous. If your phone number changes, be sure to update your résumé with the new one, or you definitely won’t get “the call.”

  • Work history (how much, when, and what kind). For medical transcriptionist jobs, mention specialties and report types by name. For example:

    Magnificent Transcription, Beautiful, NC        Jan 2012–Present

    Medical Language Specialist

    Transcription of acute care reports for hospitals in Illinois and Maryland, including H&P, discharge summaries, operative reports, consultations, cardiology tests, pulmonary tests. QA score 98%–99%.

  • Education, with medical transcriptionist training at the top: Include school name and graduation date, and describe the curriculum. If you’re proud of your GPA, include it; if it’s not what you’d hoped for, leave it off, but be prepared to answer questions about it in an interview. Here’s a short curriculum summary:

    Trained in advanced medical language, anatomy and physiology, human disease processes, laboratory procedures, technology for the MT, HIPAA laws, formatting and editing using the AHDI Book of Style. Extensive hands-on practice with transcribing beginning, intermediate, and advanced dictation, including foreign accents/ESL and using word expanders and productivity software.

  • Certifications and memberships: This is where you list your AHDI student membership and perhaps your RMT credential.

Make sure to incorporate words a recruiter will use when searching a database of candidate résumés. Your résumé may be a beacon of formatting and organizational perfection, but if it doesn’t contain the terms recruiters use to search a résumé database, it may vanish into digital oblivion anyway.

You probably already have a pretty good feel for trigger words to include. There are a couple easy ways to bolster your starting list:

  • Read recruiters’ minds by reviewing current MT job listings for likely terms.

  • Search MT résumés on sites such as Indeed to see what your competitors are writing on their résumés.

If you need a little help with formatting and layout, there are lots of books and online articles about crafting résumés. Don’t get sucked into the pursuit of a perfect résumé, though; polishing résumés is nice, but time spent prepping for interviews and employment tests matters more.