Writing a resume for a new career can be an intimidating process, it is easy to fumble while trying to highlight competencies when your work experience is limited to practicals and internship experience.

While an experienced medical assistant may use the standard chronological resume when applying for a first time job, or making a career transition after completing medical assistant training, a skills-based or functional resume provides the proper format to demonstrate knowledge, training, and skills.

Instead of listing previous work experience in reverse chronological order like a traditional resume, choose instead to your career object first followed by a list of relevant skills.

Take care with planning the contents of your resume. Rather than banging out a last minute document, allow yourself time to plan and execute a crisp and considered portrait of yourself.

Read the job description of the job that you wish to apply for carefully. Assess the skills required and on a separate sheet of paper write out the skills that you possess. List these skills in the same hierarchy as listed in the job posting.

Use tight action-based language. Do not be tempted to use overly flowery language to flesh out competencies, keep each line simple and to the point. Avoid using personal pronouns like I and me.

As many hospitals and other large organizations utilize resume scanners to generate one simple text document with minimal formatting. You may layer on simple font changes, switches in alignment, and other rich text in a separate file for print.

Analyze the job description for key words. Make certain that words listed within the job qualifications also find their way into your resume.

Take extra space on the resume to represent any computer, interpersonal, or foreign language experience you might have. While something like Adobe Photoshop skills might seem irrelevant to your sought position, technical skills and training provided added value to your resume.

Foreign language skills of any kind prove a useful tool for medical offices and hospitals who like to have a stable of employees fluent in a variety of languages.

If you have previous but irrelevant work experience, feel free to list your previous jobs at the bottom of resume in reverse chronological order. While not directly relevant to the employment you seek, demonstrating a solid work history lets hiring managers know you are a committed and trustworthy employee. It is possible that previous jobs skills from an administrative or customer service position have relevance in the current role you are seeking.

While you resume does not require personal demographic information like marital status or height and weight, be sure to include your name, address, and phone number. You should also have an e-mail address. Make certain that your address is work appropriate. Using the format firstname.lastname@domain.com provides a professional and identifiable e-mail address.

Be certain to proofread your resume and even ask a friend or family member to evaluate your work with a second set of eyes. Typos and errors often mean the difference between getting a phone call back and never hearing from your dream position. Human resources departments, bogged down by thousands of resumes for multiple positions, look for any reason to eliminate a candidate from the pool and whittle down the pile.

When you are confident in the contents and the quality of your resume send your resume off with your application materials digitally. It is rare that human resource departments accept paper documents, however use your printable file to make copies on nice paper to bring on the day of your interview. While you interviewer will probably already have a copy, it’s good protocol to have a spare. Store and carry any printed resumes in a portfolio large enough that corners do not get bent or torn.

Good luck on your new career endeavor!