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How to Develop an Effective Medical Coder Resume

By DeVry University

The information presented here is true and accurate as of the date of publication. DeVry’s programmatic offerings and their accreditations are subject to change. Please refer to the current academic catalog for details.

March 27, 2024

7 min read

If you’re preparing to pursue a career in medical billing and coding, or advance in the one you already have, an effective resume is an important tool that can help you attract the attention of recruiters and might help position yourself as an appealing candidate for your next job. The principles of building a powerful medical coder resume are similar to what you might find in general resume guides, but there are some key areas where attention to detail can make your resume more effective.

In medical billing and coding, precision is crucial. The precision you bring to your work should be reflected in your professional resume.

In this article, we’ll examine what it takes to build a persuasive medical coder resume. We will discuss each section, it’s goal and why it plays an essential role in making your resume a strong tool to have in your job search arsenal.

The main sections of your resume include your contact information, a professional summary, your work experience and technical skills, education and any certifications you’ve earned.

Include Your Contact Information

Your resume for medical coder should have your contact information right at the top of the page. Begin with your full name, followed by your city, state and zip code. Include your phone number and email address as well. You also may want to include a personalized URL for your LinkedIn profile as a hyperlink to help people access more information about you with a single click.

Write a Professional Summary

The first thing you will want recruiters and hiring managers to see after your contact information is a professional summary which highlights why you're a good fit for the job you are applying to using your skills, education and/or experience as examples. Your summary should be 3-5 crisp, concise bullet points that highlight your specific skills, education and achievements and the impact they have made, either in a professional environment or in the classroom.

To keep your summary brief, consider using bullet points rather than paragraph-style text. List the number of years of experience you have, along with any significant professional accomplishments. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, listing volunteer experience, milestones or recognition you earned while in school can be effective.

The summary can include a Core Competencies section.

Core Competencies

This section should focus on capturing both your technical (hard) and workplace (soft) skills. Be sure to match the competencies listed in the employer’s job description in your medical coder resume but be careful not to embellish. List only skills you actually have in relation to medical billing and coding or health information technology.

Technical skills for medical coders include knowledge of diagnostic and procedural medical coding systems, medical terminology, knowledge of insurance policies and procedures, and medical coding software. Workplace skills, such as customer service capabilities, attention to detail, communication and time management should also be included here.

Optimize For ATS

This is another important tip to keep in mind as you prepare your medical coder resume. In addition to positioning yourself as a suitable candidate for the role, you should try to include keywords found in the description of the job you’re applying for throughout your summary and resume. Why is this important? 

HR departments use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to streamline the hiring process and manage several recruitment components. Think of your resume as a web page that you want to be optimized for best search results. Making your medical coding resume ATS-friendly by using terms and phrases found in the job description can help your resume find its way to the right people. ATS software scans your resume, comparing it to the job description, and then sends it along to the hiring manager if it’s a match. This helps them focus their time and energy on the candidates that most closely align with what the company or particular department is looking for.

While this may require some extra work each time you spot a position you’d like to apply for, customizing your summary and resume to align with the job description for each position you’re going after can make a big difference. If you’re submitting a cover letter along with your resume, it should also be customized using the same keywords.

Include Your Experience

Even if your professional experience in medical billing and coding is limited, you may have gained transferable skills through other work experience, volunteer work, or classroom assignments and projects that could help you stand out despite any formal medical coding experience.  

Begin with your current position, then proceed in the traditional reverse-chronological order. If you have a long work history, keep things brief and save space by including only the most recent 10-15 years of experience.

Share Your Education

Next up on your medical coder resume should be your education. When highlighting your education, make sure you list the following details:

  • Graduation date (or expected graduation date if still in school)

  • Name of your academic degree or certificate

  • Name of the school

  • GPA (if it’s above 3.5)

  • Any academic honors or projects

If you have multiple academic credentials, list them in reverse chronological order like in your work history.

Share Any Certifications You’ve Acquired

Certifications are something hiring managers will be looking for. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers may prefer to hire medical records specialists like medical billers and coders who have earned industry-relevant certifications such as:

Considering a Medical Coding Career?

At DeVry, our 100% online Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding programs allow you to gain first-hand experience applying a range of health coding systems to simulated medical records in a web-based learning platform. You’ll learn about medical terminology, anatomy, electronic health records (EHRs) and digital health best practices as you prepare to pursue a variety of career roles in the medical billing and coding field.

Driven by our Digital Health Core curriculum, you’ll have the chance to not only practice working with some of the technology used in the medical coding field but gain vital insight into many of the principles that govern our healthcare system such as ethics, patient privacy, regulatory requirements, healthcare laws and more.

At DeVry, you can earn your Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding in as little as 10 months on an accelerated schedule, or choose a normal schedule and complete your program in 1 year and 2 months.1 This online certificate program can help you begin your medical coding journey by providing you with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to function as an entry-level coding specialist and prepare to pursue the CPC® certification exam.  

You can also earn your Undergraduate Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding – Health Information Coding (HIC) in as little as 12 months on an accelerated schedule, or in 1 year and 2 months on a normal schedule.2 This online certificate program introduces more detailed instruction on related concepts and helps prepare you to pursue the CCS® certification exam. 

Our shared commitment to your success doesn’t stop on graduation day. From resume building to help with your job search, our Career Services team is here to support you every step of the way. 

Classes start soon. Let’s talk about getting you started in the program that suits your goals.

1Normal schedule assumes 2 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 6-13 credit hours a semester per 12 month period. Accelerated schedule does not include breaks and assumes 3 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 6-13 credit hours a semester per 12 month period.

2Normal schedule assumes 2 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 3-13 credit hours a semester per 12 month period. Accelerated schedule does not include breaks and assumes 3 semesters of year-round, full-time enrollment in 3-13 credit hours a semester per 12 month period.

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