Resume Writing Guide for Physician Assistants

healthcareQuick & Easy Resume Tips for the #1 Job in America

On Tuesday, Glassdoor posted its list of the 25 Best Jobs in America for 2015. Congratulations to Physician Assistants, ranking #1 based on earning potential/average annual base salary, career opportunities, and number of job openings. Software Engineers grabbed the #2 spot with Business Development Managers landing at #3.

Other posts on this blog go into detail for the individual sections of a resume, such as the summary, key skills, professional experience, education, etc., so I’ll keep this post brief and focused on specific strategies for PAs.

Summary

Write a brief, 3 to 5 sentence introduction covering your unique qualifications. For example:

Summary: Highly compassionate, resourceful, and versatile Physician Assistant with 10 years of experience providing top-quality care to patients within hospital and post-acute care settings. Adaptable professional who excels in independent, leadership, and team member roles, readily learns new processes and procedures, and successfully manages heavy workloads. Outstanding communicator able to establish strong rapport with patients and family members and collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary medical teams.

Keywords

Create a core list based on your areas of expertise, but don’t forget to review job postings for other ideas as well:

Patient & Family Education

Histories & Physical Exams

Care Planning & Coordination

Charting/Documentation

Quality Assurance

Workflow Control

Process Improvement

Medication Management

Staff Training & Leadership

Patient Advocacy

Regulatory Compliance

Admission & Discharge Planning

Professional Experience & Achievements

Think beyond “I cared for patients.” Describe the work environment, daily caseload/patient volume, and specific patient populations. Include any highly specialized procedures or challenging cases. List team members you supervise, if applicable. If you’re a new grad, populate your “Experience” section with details on your clinical rotations and focus areas.

Now on to the tough part – accomplishments. It can be a struggle to come up with concrete, quantifiable achievements in patient care, but consider the following examples:

  • Receiving formal recognition/awards for outstanding patient care.
  • Contributing to key projects such as new EMR implementations, green or safety improvement programs, and compliance efforts.
  • Bringing a new area of expertise that enables your office to expand its offered services.
  • Heading up a committee or taskforce.
  • Writing/rewriting protocols.
  • Training new personnel or mentoring PA students.

Professional Credentials

Include national certifications, state licenses, and professional memberships (such as AAPA). Don’t forget the basics like ACLS or BLS – these may be keywords an employer’s ATS is looking for.

Education

List all degrees obtained, the college/university name and location, and any honors or extracurricular activities. Training can be included as well, but don’t mention every CEU you’ve ever completed. Focus on specialized professional development, high-level workshops, etc. that will increase your marketability.

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