Medical Assistant can't find work because of lack of Experience any advice

Jamie - posted on 01/11/2012 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hi ladies I am am Certified Medical Assistant, CPR/AED and First Aid Certified and I can't find work because of lack of experience. I have tried everything from volunteering to observing and no luck. I graduate in May of 2010 from a school with not a great reputation didn't find that out until it was to late. Not to mention the program was only eight months so does that play a part in not finding a job. So now I am in the position of taking any job I can find. Now I feel like I wasted time and money on a career that I can't find work in .Now I am going to have to refresh on the material I learned because it will be two years in May that I have been out of school. I really need advice !

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Michelle - posted on 01/14/2012

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Hi Jamie!

One thing I did not anticipate myself. Now we have loans to pay but no one will hire us because we do not have enough experience to apply the knowledge we have learned.

Always a Catch-22 in life it seems. Have you tried signing up with an established temp agency in healthcare? Hang in there and yes always keep yourself refreshed. Best of luck to you! Perseverance really pays.

Margaret - posted on 01/16/2012

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Planned Parenthood often posts positions for certified medical assistants. The jobs are from all over the country, but it could be a good source if you're willing &/or able to relocate. Continue with volunteering (if I'm reading your statement correctly). In the end, the accumulated hours will add up to usable experience.



Also, make sure your resume and applications are grammatically correct. I realize this is an informal venue of communication, but you do have a couple mistakes in your post. Those inaccuracies could spell disaster on a resume or in a cover letter if you don't proofread. Prospective employers look for any little thing to whittle down their piles of resumes.



Good luck.

Ginger - posted on 01/16/2012

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I did the same program and had the same problem.... It was either needed 2 yrs experience or I needed to speak spanish. I ended up just having to find work else were and now I do accounting with no cert... How about that?! And now I make more $ doing accounting then I would for the CMA. I still look at ads and stuff cause that's where my passion is but if your like me and have kids, the income can't wait. But good luck!

MaryAnn - posted on 01/15/2012

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When you send your resume, are you also sending an introduction letter? That can go a long way in attracting an interviewer's attention. I graduated from college a year and a half ago at 49 yrs old. I applied for jobs that said 2 years experience required and got one anyway.



My resume only told part of the story; the letter of intro showed my personality and I could stress my work ethic, desire for excellence, etc. Basically, it shows a potential employer why you'd be an asset to the company.



Another important issue is what to include in the resume and the letter. Go online and research several websites. The bottom line is that you are selling yourself and your abilities. As someone else said, you also need great references.



I know the economy is bad, and jobs are hard to get. That just means you have to work harder and do everything you can to succeed in your search.

Jamie - posted on 01/14/2012

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Hey Michelle I am listed with some temp agency but no luck . Thank You so much for the advice and I will try to remain positive

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Goldie - posted on 05/08/2014

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I am also a Certified Medical Assistant and Certified Medical Biller and Coder been out of school now for almost a year and I haven't been able to get hired either in either position. Need Experience I been told. And no one will give me the chance. I have done working interviews and than been told they don't have any openings . And they will keep my resume and application on file .They keep bringing new externship students in and so far the places I've been haven't hired none of them been told.

Dara - posted on 01/14/2012

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Leah - posted on 01/14/2012

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i have thought about it. I have tried, but the RN program i want to go to has a waiting list that has been closed since 2010

Lori - posted on 01/14/2012

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You could work at a hospital as a patient care tech. You have the same credentials. Most hospitals have openings for this. Have you considered going back to school to get your R.N or LVN? There are a lot of positions open for nurses and pay very well.

Doris - posted on 01/14/2012

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Any mom looking to re-enter the workforce should check out gajgal.com. It's specifically for moms: posting jobs local and virtual, ie: work from home positions with major corps as well as smaller companies. Check it out!

Leah - posted on 01/12/2012

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well i am thinking about school for either hair or writing. Unless everyone in the world magically goes bald, someone is going to need their hair or nails done

Leah - posted on 01/12/2012

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i have my certification but places around here want you to have experience. I was also told to try working in a place like Habcore( a halfway house for the mentally disabled ) or an adult day care or an assisted living place. I even tried looking at a VA clinic or hospital. no luck yet

Leah - posted on 01/12/2012

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i am in the same boat you are in and it is very fustrating. I started school when i was four months pregnant. I did not want to sit at home and not do anything so I went to the unemployment office and found out they have a program that will send you to school for a trade or even college.

I was given a choice of medical assisting or business. I was also told what i wanted to do was not in demand, so i was told to pick medical assisting.

Here it is 2012 and instead of Medical Assisting, I am stuck in Freaping retail. Out of all the students in my class only about five actually found a job Medical assisting.

Chelsey - posted on 01/12/2012

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I'm really sorry to hear that. I've heard - and read - many things about how some of these "fly by night" colleges are just taking people's money and not giving them the education or 'credibility' they need to find a job. Which sounds like what you've been stuck in.



Unless you love being a CMA, I'd suggest just chucking the whole thing and start over. I know that's a long haul, but as you've said, your education/certification from that school is darn near worthless, so what have you got to lose?



Secondly, you'll know to research the schools and job market prospects for whatever it is you want to study for next. Here's a great site to learn about jobs, what the entail, average salary, education required, etc.:



http://www.onetonline.org/



They also have a 'find out what I wanna be when I grow up' section that may be useful.



For the time being, I wouldn't worry about finding a job in the CMA area. If you're just looking for a job, find one you can do while deciding what you're next career move is.

Alica - posted on 01/11/2012

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I was in the same boat!! I am a certified Medical Lab assistant and I looked for work for two years. I went to CDI college which is now called Everest. I had many interviews but when they herd the name of the College I went too, the interview was done. I don't know if you would consider going to a community College. I know it takes longer but it is worth it in the end. I am now currently at Conestoga College taking Biotechnology.

Medic - posted on 01/11/2012

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You will never make enough money to be good being a MA you will always just make enough to scrape by. I would just start networking with all the dr's offices and clinics you can. You can also work at the blood bank with your MA.

Jamie - posted on 01/11/2012

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Hey Tam if I could afford to go back to school I would. I took out a loan already so I doubt if I could get another one. First How would I go about finding the marketability of that Occupation? I was using Chronological Resume

Tam - posted on 01/11/2012

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I'm not the most well informed on the subject, as I am not actually in the medical field yet by any stretch of the imagination. But if you are able to pursue it, you might want to look into getting into another field, such as Medic Mommy mentioned above.



If you are not willing to go back to school, I'd recommend sending your resume out of state. Look up the states that might have a need for an MA - again, I have no idea as to the marketability of that occupation, and it could be that employers are looking for someone with more school under their belt. It sounds bad, but I don't know how else to really say it - a year of schooling doesn't really amount to much these days. I don't have a degree, for instance, but I have nearly 9 years of experience under my belt that helps me get jobs. It seems to be either experience, or four year degree these days unless you have a lot of luck on your side. That's not to say getting a job is impossible, but you'll probably be better served by going back to school at this point. There are a lot of jobs that require some of the basic qualifications that I noticed listed in your original post - I am CPR, first aid, and AED qualified too, and I am not affiliated with the medical community yet.



But going over your resume, making sure it is the type of resume your employers are looking for, researching a company before applying, and keeping your head up is the rudiments of job search, I have found. What sort of resume do you have? Chronological, historical, combination, or targeted? I find targeted resumes work best.

Medic - posted on 01/11/2012

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I got my MA when I was 18 and let me tell you it was the biggest waste of time and money ever. The jobs here in Texas for MA hardly ever pay much over minimum wage and they suck. I went back to school and am now finishing up my paramedic/fire fighter degree and the jobs are much easier to come by. I had 3 friends that went through the school with me and they all had issues finding a job and are also back in school 2 for nursing one for physical therapy assistant.

Jamie - posted on 01/11/2012

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Hi Tam I have been sending my resume but no interviews. I live in South Carolina you think I might need to relocate ? I would really appreciate your help Thank You

Tam - posted on 01/11/2012

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I don't know if it is similar, but I am going to be embarking on a career change soon. I'll be going to school for my nursing degree, and the nurses I have spoken to before selecting my school and course of study told me that unless you have a four year degree as a nurse, then you likely won't be hired or be hired at a higher salary. It could be that the same applies to your field.



I'd recommend to keep pounding the pavement, as finding a job is hard these days. It may also be your location - I am here in Texas where there is a serious lack of nurses (again, speaking with what I know, hoping it helps your situation too) and they can start out in the mid-60k salary wise. However, a friend of mine in California mentioned that a lot of nurses start out in the 20k's.



Also, have you re-evaluated your resume? Resumes serve as an introduction to the employer and in this market, you need to make it sound absolutely fantastic. Even if you don't have experience, you can find ways to sell yourself in another fashion. And on your resume, you don't have to state what school you went to. All you HAVE to state is your qualification - you were qualified as a Certified Medical Assistant. And if I remember correctly, an interviewer shouldn't ask what school you went to. Most wont, they'll be more interested in your ability to do the job at hand.



Have you gotten any interviews? Or has it just been shooting a resume out into space without a reply?



I can help you out further if you like - I've already been offered a job in my current field based on my resume and one interview. But these days, the interview is the hard thing to get, and almost wholly dependent on a well written resume. And networking, of course.

Cassandra - posted on 01/11/2012

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I am assuming you did an externship as part of your schooling. Seek a position with them. If none are available ask for a recommendation letter to submit with perspective employers.

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