Avoid “Email Fail” Seeking Medical Billing Specialist Jobs

Soon, another class of medical billing specialists will complete their medical billing classes online with the Allen School and gear up for the tasks of landing their first job in their new career.  They’ll be well prepared to perform at a very high level, having been trained by one of the top medical billing and coding schools in the country.  What they may not have been taught however, is how to avoid making mistakes in their approach to hiring managers. For example, the very first step in a job hunt is to send email queries to hiring authorities, offering a resume and trying to get noticed over the other respondents to advertised job openings.  But did you know that this seemingly simple first step can truly hobble your efforts if done improperly?  Yes, it’s true.  There are some very common mistakes job candidates frequently make when sending out job search emails.  Learn what they are and avoid shooting yourself in the foot from the get-go! Here are the four email fails reported by the folks over at the SavvyIntern blog.
  1. Your Resume Filename is… “Resume”
  2. Your Email Makes No Reference to the Open Position
  3. Your Email Has No Text
  4. You Tell Me You Have “All of the Right Qualifications” (Wrong!)
Visit their piece here for all the details on why each of these four common screw-ups make for bad job hunting mojo!

Get Your CNA or Medical Billing Résumé Past the Machines

Résumé writing is not what it was even five short years ago.  Did you know that with so many people in the job market, HR professionals and other hiring authorities now use software to pre-screen résumés?  Its true!  Known in the human resources field as “ATS” for Applicant Tracking Systems, these “résumé robots” scan each and every résumé and employment application submitted, looking for keywords relevant to the job opening. If your cover letter, application and résumé contain the right keywords, then your materials are delivered to an actual human being in the hiring department. The correct keywords to use in your résumé can be gleaned from the job listing itself.  If the job listing for a medical billing and coding position includes language like, “Extensive experience with CPT, ICD-9 and medical insurance”, then you should be sure to include those same words in your materials (assuming you have those skills).  That way when the ATS scans your documents, it flags them as “relevant” and boosts the chances your materials will be passed along to a human. This is important information to understand because even if your résumé shows ample experience and healthy employment history, it may not ever even be seen.  Insufficient inclusion of keywords is only one pitfall.  Another is formatting.  Since most of these ATS rely on Microsoft Word, those sending PDF files of their résumé are also very likely to be passed over since the “bot” doesn’t read PDF.  It’s functionally the same as sending a blank sheet of paper. Monster.com has a great article about how to write your resume for the robots and improve your response rates when job seeking.  Read it and say goodbye to the days of sending resumes out and getting silence in response.

Get Your Resume Past the Electronic Screeners

With so many people looking for jobs in this tough economy, hiring authorities are getting buried under mountains of resumes.  Many have turned to automation software to scan and screen paper resumes and sort out the relevant ones from the rest.  As a result, most resumes aren’t reviewed by a human being until they have been selected by the algorithm of a sophisticated “applicant tracking system” software.  Wanna know how to game that system and make sure that your resume is actually viewed by the hiring manager?  I BET you do.  Let me hook you up with some pretty savvy, tech-based, Human Resources secret knowledge.  Visit this awesome article from the cool nerds over at Lifehacker.com.  It tells you the whole story on how to use keywords and other techniques for getting past the robot screener.

Don’t Believe the Hype – 10 Job Hunt Myths

We’ve all heard them.  Seemingly solid tips on how to land the gig of your dreams.  “Don’t send your resume out during the holiday season because HR is slackened off at the holidays.  Wait ’til January and start your hunt again in earnest.” Or my favorite, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” Well, it would seem this advice is nothing more than well-worn hogwash.  According to an article published in US News and World Report, the holiday season is among the best times of the year to get hired and it most definitely does matter what you know.  Should your resume be no longer than one page?  Should you price yourself lower than the position typically pays in order to beat out competition?  Does a cover letter really matter?  All these answers and more in this “10 Myths About Job Searching” article. There!  Now, don’t say I never gave you anything for Christmas!

Sample Resumé

Writing a resumé can be a task that is quite difficult to begin.  Especially if you don’t have a point of reference from which to begin .  Do you ever wish you could take a peek at what other people have done with their resumés so that you could at least get an idea of how to structure/format your own? There’s no shame in cribbing from the work of others when it comes to writing resumés.  In fact, there are lots of resumé sample sites out there (here, here and here) where you can review the CV’s of people in the exact same field as you. Or, click “read more” to see a particularly good example of a medical billing CV I found online. Continue reading…

The Modern Resumè What’s “In” and What’s “Out”

The ongoing unemployment problem in the US has effected many changes in  the way Human Resources departments deal with hiring.  With 6 applicants for every single available job, the dynamics of how an applicant gets noticed have changed.  In fact, much of what was once the conventional wisdom with regard to resumè writing has been turned upside down.  So US News has prepared a list of the top 10 most outdated resumè strategies and practices.  The top 5 are: 1. You must use a land line for a phone interview. 2. Your resumè can only be one page.” 3. Every job has to go on your resumè to present a complete account of your professional history. 4. Include “references available upon request” on the bottom of your resumè. 5. Include an objective at the top of your resumè. To read the details of the thinking behind these tips and for the rest of the top 10, visit this excellent article from US News.

Resumè Samples

Getting ready to capture the return on your investment into online job training and education?  That means you’ll be taking your newly earned certification out to the market to land yourself a j-o-b.  The first step in that process is to line up some interviews.  And that means putting together a new resumè.  This is a task that a lot of people find daunting.  But, have no fear.  The best way to understand how to structure all the job history and qualifications information into a memorable resumè is to see some examples of other peoples’ resumès.  Here’s a great list of about 90 resumes from the folks at Monster.com, collected from people seeking many different kinds of positions.  Even if some of the samples are for jobs in other industries, it is still very instructive to see how people structure the information they include.  Have a look at some of these and remember, what you leave off a resumè is just as important as what you include.

Ten Cover Letter Don’ts

How to keep your resume and cover letter out of the wastebasket

Online job aggregator Monster.com’s Kim Isaacs developed this list of 10 common cover letter mistakes: Mistake No. 1: Overusing ‘I’ Mistake No. 2: Using a Weak Opening Mistake No. 3: Omitting Your Top Selling Points Mistake No. 4: Making It Too Long Mistake No. 5: Repeating Your Resume Word for Word Mistake No. 6: Being Vague Mistake No. 7: Forgetting to Customize Mistake No. 8: Ending on a Passive Note Mistake No. 9: Being Rude Mistake No. 10: Forgetting to Sign the Letter Click here to read the details behind each of these common errors and make your cover letters rock solid!

50 Worst Resumé Clichés

Resume ClichesUS News and World Report published the 50 most overused phrases job seekers include in their resumés.  Trying to avoid them all seems like a difficult challenge.  However, if you succeed in avoiding them all, your resumé will be undeniably different and that is exactly what catches the eye of the recruiter!  Make the jump to see the full list: Continue reading…

More Ways to Improve Your Resumé

One of our regular themes here at the Allen School Blog is resumé help/tips/ideas.  As our students graduate and make their way into new careers, the resumé takes on greater significance.  So here’s another in that series courtesy of Lifehack.org.  For the details on each of the eight tips below, click here for the full article.
  1. Make a great first impression.
  2. Select specific industries, businesses, and disciplines
  3. Highlight your expertise, capabilities, skills, and successes.
  4. Improve readability
  5. Quantify your career job, and work life accomplishments.
  6. Polish and showcase accomplishments.
  7. Resume length.