Getting a Job as a Medical Biller and Coder
Getting a job as a Medical Biller and Coder can leave you feeling accomplished in your career and giving you a reliable source of income for years to come. Once you’ve done your research, found the right school, and gotten certified, it’s time to finally get employed; but how? How do you get a job as a medical biller and coder?
Get Certified as a Biller and Coder
Obviously, you have to get certified as a biller and coder before you even attempt to get a job. The world of medical billing and coding holds up the medical industry and it requires handling very sensitive information. Walking into a position and messing up someone's coding or billing the wrong procedures can leave you, patients, providers, and even insurance companies with a mess to clean up. Gaining the skills to bill and code professionally that come with your degree are necessary to even begin searching for a position. So step one on the journey to getting a job as a medical biller and coder professional is getting certified at a credible and reliable institution to begin saving lives.
Using Career Services
One thing to look for before you choose your school and get certified is making sure that your school has a helpful career services center. Career services centers are designated to help students and graduates find a great job related to their schooling focus once they finish their courses. From resumes to job interviews, the staff in career services should keep your career and well being in mind the whole time. A great department will tailor their assistance to your specific skill set and progress and should leave no student behind. Schools that are accredited properly should have to meet a specific quota of students that find jobs in their field after they graduate to even stay open so chances are if your school has a career services department, they are sustainable and reliable.
To double check, you can inquire about this at the admissions department before you formally enroll. You can ask questions like: How many students go on to find jobs in their field after they graduate? What percentage of students stay with their employer for more than a year after graduating? Do you have an alumni association I can reach out to and inquire about their experience? Truly, any questions you have simmering in your mind about how students can attain a job after graduating are on the table. After all, the point of going to school is to get a job so all of your questions should be answerable which can give you a sense of how reliable this institution is.
Use Your Connections at School
Another aspect of career services is their extensive list of connections. Sometimes, after graduating, it’s as easy as a quick phone call to get you through the doors of a reputable company for an interview. Companies love to make connections with schools because they provide them with a steady stream of reliable employees. Career services reps spend their time making these connections and meticulously calculating when and where to recommend you to based off of your experience and skill set. Do not hesitate to get close with your career services reps because they are one of the keys to your success. The more they know about you, the more they will be able to help you. If you happen to graduate and want to work more at an institution that bills insurance companies they can help you with that, or maybe you would like to be the sole biller and coder at a private doctors office; either way they can dive into their rolodex and begin to set up meetings for you.
Perfecting Your Medical Billing and Coding Resume
Another great thing to have in your tool kit is a great resume to show off all of your skills. A resume is a crucial part of the job hunt, without it, employees won’t know what you bring to the table. You can always utilize your career services department and discuss the best ways to set up your resume. Oftentimes representatives will have a resume on file and can guide you through the process of filling it out. It’s good to get help from your career services department because it obviously wouldn’t be the first time they would be assisting someone with finding a job. With years of experience and getting first hand testimony and reviews from employers and students, they know how to best represent your talents on a resume.
Making a resume seems like a hard task, but it’s pretty easy! The one issue people have with resumes it’s finding a way to brag about themselves, but guess what, feel free to brag! Employers want to know how great you are and it’s the best way to get you to speak with them face to face and continue to show off in a professional way.
To start your resume you can head to any resume making software or even researching resume templates. There’s no need to start from scratch, but that is your choice if you prefer that. Make sure the resume template you choose is not too flashy to turn them off, but also not too dull to be looked over. The best medical billing and coding resume will be organized and show off your experience in a professional way that’s eye catching. If there is any color involved it should be extremely simple, but we urge students to avoid any graphics since finding the professional balance is hard and varies from employer to employer.
Once you have your resume you can begin to fill out the basic stuff you know like your name and contact info. Once you get to your education list your school, so the employer you’re applying to knows that you got focused and hands on experience from a great school. This next part is usually looked over, but it is in fact a game changer.
As you may know, most people go to get certified in medical billing and coding because they want to hop in the field and have had no prior positions related to that field. This scares students because they feel like it’s hard to get a job without showing off experience. We get it, but guess what! You will have experience if you get certified. The hands on experience you get while getting certified should be shown off and displayed proudly to let employers know you won’t be out of the loop when you begin to get to work. Use the education section in your resume to let your interviewer know that you do in fact know what you’re doing and you can do it successfully. Look through your curriculum and begin to present specific skills you’ve picked up that will stand out to employers. Something as simple as stating that you know the “guidelines for diagnostic and procedural coding from medical reports for the following IDC-10, CPT and HCPCS classifications'' can let them know that you mean business. Even just listing skills in an orderly fashion like “proper claim form preparation, submission, and payment processing, following up” would suffice and relay the same message.
It’s not uncommon to hear that the push that recruiters received to employee perspective candidates was the cover letters. Cover letters are a short letter written to the person reading your resume to let them know in depth about your experience and how you would be a good fit for the job. You might be thinking? Isn’t that what my resume is for? Technically, yes, although, cover letters should push even past just statistics. They should give your statistics a story. Below is a run down of how you can write your cover letter.
Your first paragraph is your intro where you can logically state facts about yourself. Start with a brief introduction about yourself. You can mention where you went to school and your major or maybe where you currently work (or have worked if it’s relevant). Proceed to talk about how you heard about the position. Was it on an online job board? Were you referred? These are important things to mention, especially if you’ve been referred since employers will get the sense that you already have some trust within their team. Now, state why you are interested. Simply stating that you are interested is not enough; make it interesting. What are you looking for? Professionally let them know what path you’re on and why you are looking to advance in the field of medical billing and coding. Do not state that you need the money, needing money in society is obvious and it will turn off your employer. Remember that the employer doesn’t just want to hear about what you want from them, but also how you can serve them. That being said, before you end your intro, be sure to briefly state your skillset and how that can help them meet their company goals.
The second paragraph is unique to every cover letter, the only key is to effectively convey how the skills you stated above can assist them in detail. This can be a story that shows that you’ve learned something or even an explanation of what you can offer in depth. If it’s going to be narrative based be sure to catch their attention. This can be anything from an issue you ran into at work and overcame, a project you were nervous about, a task you mastered all on your own or basically anything that shows that you have grit and commitment. If you’re going to mention an issue you overcame, be sure to be results based when explaining your skillset. Just saying you can bill and code is not that creative. How complex, how fast, and under what constraints may be something that catches an employers eye. All in all, make sure to convey that you have learned or you now know something about yourself that can be highly beneficial to the person reading the cover letter.
The last paragraph should tie everything together and present yourself as a credible candidate. Since your resume and cover letter are the only markers that represent you, it’s good to build yourself a credible reputation in that short amount of time. This intro can even call back to the previous story you told in the intro sentence if you’d like. Go on to summarize how you fill fit into their company seamlessly and be a great contribution to their staff. Using words like “family” and “team” show employers that you are ready to dive into a committed team for a long period of time. The last thing they want is an employee that can’t handle their work load or will leave their team in a short amount of time. Before you sign off, mention that your resume has more info about your history and skill set and how you can be reached. A good tip would be to let them know that you will follow up in a week's time which will show that you have the skill of following through. Extra tip to piggyback off of that last tip: actually follow up. You don’t want to say you’re going to follow up and not. At the end of your cover letter you should sign off politely and thank them for considering you for the position.
If you’re stuck about how to show yourself off in a resume or a cover letter, refer back to the job description they have posted. Remember, they know pretty much exactly what they are looking for and the secret code is in the job description. Read it, study it, and adjust your work accordingly. This isn’t a recommendation to lie, it’s a recommendation to show off the specific detail they are looking for. A resume and cover letter can not show off all of the intricacies of our skillset and our work ethic. A doctor’s office hiring a front desk biller and receptionist wouldn’t really care to know about your short stint at an online photoshop academy, instead they want to know what you can do in their office. Make sure you are tailoring documents you are submitting to parallel their job description.
After a great resume and cover letter, the goal is obviously to get you in the doors and in a seat for an interview. Once you get that call it’s time to start preparing. As stated above, you can always lean on your career services department. If they know this employer or got you through the door, they will know specific tips and tricks to make sure the interview is a breeze. Even if they don’t specifically know the employer, there are still sure fire ways to be successful.
Dress code is highly important. Do not dress too casual. No open toed shoes, t-shirts, or flashy clothes. Anything that you would go to the mall or a party in would probably be the wrong choice. Business casual is the aim here. Professional clothes with solid colors or a simple pattern will look like you came prepared. Just because the goal isn’t to be casual, this doesn’t mean you should rent a tux or gown. Look online for business casual looks and emulate what suits your style. Anything out of the line will show the employer you are not prepared to be in a professional environment. Unfortunately, something as simple as a uniform can leave you out of the running for the position so be sure to prepare a nice outfit with no wrinkles.
Etiquette in an interview is pretty straight forward. Speak in a relaxed tone and stick to what you know. The interviewer will be asking you questions to see if you’re prepared for the position so be ready to show them that. There are questions that are simple like if you have a reliable mode of transportation and others that will test your knowledge in the field. Just because you got invited to an interview, it doesn’t mean your research is over. Look up the company and find out what you do and be sure to look back at the job description. Be prepared to answer questions that prove you have the proper skill set to get the job done with flying colors. There’s no way to prepare you for every question since every interview is different, but there is one tricky question that may set you off. “Tell me about yourself”. This may seem simple, but it's a test. The employer wants to get a quick rundown of your motive and skillset all in one question. Don’t go on a tirade about your personal life, instead let them know about your career journey. Be honest. Let them know about your education, how you found out about them, and why you feel this is the right path for you. Make sure it’s short, sweet and prepared. Any long tirades will let them know that you are not ready.
Networking as a Medical Biller and Coder
Although a big portion of looking for a job is looking on online job boards, that is not the only way. While you were studying, there were plenty of others right by your side on the same career path as you. Be sure to lean on your classmates during your job search. Be strategic and find out which ones got hired or are currently applying at places. Many see their classmates as competition, but looking at them as teammates and lifting each other up will get you in the right doors. Oftentimes we look to upward momentum at a vertical scale in the short term, but it’s good to make horizontal connections. Someone who was a study buddy may be close to the HR representative at that agency you want to work at and can manage to get you an interview. Going on with this thought process, don’t be afraid to reach out to past instructors. If anyone knows your skill set best, it’s them. Who better to ask to help you make connections at credible institutions other than someone advanced enough to teach groups of people and send them off into the field. You’d be surprised how far a quick email and recommendation from an instructor can go. If you’re out of school and don’t seem to have a large rolodex of phone numbers from past classmates, LinkedIn is a great tool to get in touch with people in the professional world. Not only can you reach out to classmates and instructors on LinkedIn, but you can also make connections with recruiters in the field of medical billing and coding.
Researching Health and Wellness Schools
This last recommendation about finding a job is clearly the most simple one so we saved it for last. Google it! A simple google search of “Medical Biller and Coder jobs near me” can open up a slew of options you can dive into. Online job boards like Indeed and Monster can list hundreds of employers near you that are hiring. Times have changed since we can walk into buildings with our resume and talk to a rep, now we go through the internet. Build your online presence and submit your resume and cover letter to online job postings. It’s as simple as setting your filters of distance, key words, and skill set to get you the job of your dreams.
When looking for a position as a Medical Biller and Coder we recommend you market yourself as professionally as possible, build up your skillset to be as prepared as possible, and lean into your connections and communicate with prospective opportunities. The process can be disheartening to some and exciting for others, but it’s important to remember that the right position is out there for you. Once you clock in on your first day, you’ll know that it was all worth the hunt.