Looking for help with writing your Physician Assistant resume?
We had an HR expert put together a sample resume for you, so you can get your own resume to look exactly the way hiring managers will appreciate. Review the sample below and read on to see some expert tips from HR professionals.
Before we go over the sections on the sample resume above, let’s take a look at some general information about the job of a physician assistant (PA). What will you be expected to do as a PA? How much money will you make when working in this field? What type of offices hire physician assistants?
Physician Assistant job description
Someone working as a Physician Assistant is generally expected to provide essential professional medical care while working directly with patients, interviewing and ordering tests for diagnostics, prescribing treatment and handling basic medical procedures, such as stitching wounds or setting bones. They will usually be supervised by a physician or a general surgeon, but in certain places or situations the position may be independent. Physician assistants may work in areas like pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery, dermatology and similar. They may work with group medical practices, in hospitals or government agencies.
How Much Does a Physician Assistant Make?
To give you an idea of what kind of salary you might expect in this job, take a look at some statistical data for the US market below. In the United States, a physician assistant makes an average of $92,800 to $130,530 per year, with the median salary at about $112,260, according to 2020 stats by the U. S. News and World Report.
Want to get the best PA job that would pay at the top of the range? Writing an effective resume is a good first step in securing one! Let’s review the sections you would include on your Physician Assistant resume to make it look professional and provide all the required details a hiring manager might be looking for.
It’s a no-brainer that your resume should start with your name and contact information, so that the hiring manager will know right away whose job application they are looking at and how this person may be contacted for further consideration. Here is how to fill out this section:
- Write your full name and add your educational and professional credential abbreviations, such as MMS, MPAS, PA, PA-C, etc.;
- Write your home address and the best phone number you can be contacted at;
- Specify your email address, so you can get a response to your application;
- Although this is not mandatory, it won’t hurt to list your LinkedIn profile link so that your potential employer may see your career history, references and recommendations, or other details on who you are.
See below what this section may look like on a physician assistant resume.
Right after the name, write a brief summary of your professional career, listing the most important skills and achievements that will be relevant to the position you are applying for. This summary is what the hiring manager will look at first on your resume. Therefore, they should be able to get a clear picture of why your previous work experience and education make you a good fit for the position.
The summary should not repeat the same information that’s detailed further below under Experience and Education, but rather get the HR interested in reading further. This is where you need to present yourself as a qualified professional. Be sure to list numbers if you can, and use specific instead of general wording. HR experts recommend keeping the summary down to 3-5 sentences, and making them all concise but packed with relevant information.
As a PA, you may list the areas you specialize in and the areas you have the most experience with (see the sample below).
Get more tips to help you write the perfect job resume summary in our article here.
Did you know that the way you list your work experience on your resume can cause your application to be rejected, while listing the same experience correctly may raise your chances of getting hired? And that has nothing to do with discrimination of any kind or the notorious human factor. You might not be aware of it, but the majority of large companies and a good portion of smaller ones are using automated Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) these days. Knowing how these systems work and making your resume ATS-friendly is a must for a successful job search.
What is an ATS? An applicant tracking system helps the HR sift through hundreds of resumes and create a shortlist of applicants to interview and/or test further. Thanks to this system, over 70% of applications may not even make it onto the hiring manager’s desk, as they get rejected by the ATS at the first stage. Your goal should be to get your resume into the remaining 25+% and give yourself a chance to be considered for the job you want.
How do you accomplish that? The ATS is usually set up to screen resumes based on the specific position and its requirements. The HR will enter the job requirements into the system and all incoming resumes are then compared to the list. If no matches, or very few matches, are detected, the resume is rejected even if the applicant may in fact be a good fit for the job. You see, the system may not be able to understand that “the language of love” is actually French, or that “a magician of the word” is actually copywriter. So, when it comes to writing an effective and ATS-friendly resume, being too creative will usually do you more harm than good.
Now that you know what NOT to do, let’s focus on what you CAN do to improve the chances of your resume passing the ATS screen. Customize your resume to the job you are applying for. The best thing you can do is use the same wording as you see in the job description, since that’s what the algorithm will be looking for. Also, be sure to use standard names for resume sections, such as “Professional Experience” and “Education”.
For instance, if the requirements listed in the Physician Assistant job ad say “Orthopedic and occupational medicine experience”, write exactly the phrase “Orthopedic and occupational medicine” when listing previous work experience on your resume.
The format you use is important too
- Recruiters read your resume top to bottom and left to right, and they most likely won’t read every word, but rather skim over the resume contents looking for keywords and the info they need. Knowing this can help you place the most important details you want the HR to pay attention to in spots that will definitely get noticed.
- Highlight your confirmed skills and use numbers whenever possible, so that the recruiter’s eye will catch these details.
- Use a bulleted list when writing about your experience to make it easier to read.
- Don’t use bright colors that might be too distracting or fonts that may not be read correctly by the AST.
- Using columns, tables or other elements that will complicate the document structure may not play well with the AST, so keep the format simple.
Licenses and certifications
This is where you need to list the most relevant information on the licenses and certifications you hold, which may help you stand out in a pool of dozens of applicants. Look at the job description and see which licenses are required and which are listed as a potential advantage, then see which of these you have and specify their details in this section. In situations when you may have quite a few certificates, listing all of them may not be a good idea, unless you believe they are all truly relevant to the position you are looking to be hired for. If some of them aren’t, feel free to skip them instead of overloading your resume with irrelevant data.
The Education section should also contain just the relevant courses and degrees. It is pretty obvious that listing a cooking class or a driving school won’t make any difference to your chances of getting hired as a physician assistant, so why take up valuable space on a document that must be kept down to one page? It’s okay to list your schools all in one paragraph to save space, but in that case, highlight school names with bold font to make the info easier to read.
This is a great place where you can specify information that can help you stand out. List any publications you’ve had, commendations or awards you have received, hobbies, languages you speak, or any other details which will tell the potential employer that you are curious, enthusiastic, ambitious, active, or otherwise a good match for their workplace culture. Be sure to list any medical volunteer or charity work you may have been involved in. Medicine is an area where empathy is valued, so this will shed some extra positive light on your personality.
HR professionals recommend mentioning your references in this section too, as it is an important element that is expected on a Physician Assistant resume.
In addition to the above, here are a few other tips from HR experts you need to take into consideration. When writing your resume, do your best to keep it down to 1 page. Hiring managers are busy people, especially when they have more than one position open and applications arrive in dozens or even hundreds. They will appreciate a concise one-page document that is well-structured, with important details highlighted. Of course, you may have over 10 years of professional experience and all of it might be relevant to the job you are looking to get. In that case, it’s okay to make your resume a bit longer, up to 2 pages, but be sure to list the most important details on the first page.
An ideal resume is a combination of content that would allow you to stand out and format that is ATS-friendly, neat and comfortable to read. Learn more about writing the perfect resume here, and be sure to check out expert tips on creating an effective Physician Assistant cover letter to go with your resume.
Physician Assistant cover letter
An ideal resume is a combination of content that would allow you to stand out and format that is
ATS-friendly, neat and comfortable to read. Learn more about writing the perfect resume here, and be sure to
check out expert tips on creating an effective Physician Assistant cover letter to go with your resume.
Go to cover letter
Alex Miller is a writer, editor, and HR manager who specializes in education and counseling. He was born in Slovenia and moved to the USA as a teen. Alex loves to travel and explore old towns. He is passionate about psychology, literature, and good food.