Craft Your Medical Transcription Résumé
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.