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    Physician Assistant Resume—PA Template & Examples in 2024

    You’re great with patients, you’re fast, accurate, and efficient with diagnostics and treatments. Here’s how you end up with a physician assistant resume that gets all this across.

    Bart Turczynski
    Bart Turczynski
    Career Expert
    Physician Assistant Resume—PA Template & Examples in 2024

    So much of what makes you a great physician assistant—

    The medical knowledge, the compassionate patient interaction—

    Does nothing to prepare you for writing a physician assistant resume.

    But—

    There is a way to harness those skills, play to your strengths, and—

    Write a winning resume for a physician assistant job.

    In this guide:

    • A physician assistant resume sample better than four out of five out there.
    • How to create the perfect PA resume job descriptions.
    • How to write a resume for physical assistant jobs that stands out.
    • Expert tips and professional examples to boost your chances of landing a PA job.

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    Not yet a physician assistant or thinking of a side-step? Check out our guides:

    Physician Assistant Resume Sample

    Clara Kelley

    Physician Assistant

    Personal Info

    Phone: 864-239-1489

    E-mail: clara.j.kelley@reslab.com

    linkedin.com/in/clarajkelley

    Summary

    Detail-oriented physician assistant with 6+ years’ experience in busy surgical and dermatological clinics. Seeking to use proven medical skills and compassionate bedside manner to help ZappCare maintain its high standards of patient care. At MediPlus Services, performed 330+ procedures and reduced diagnostically redundant testing by over 10%.

    Experience 

    Surgical Physician Assistant

    MediPlus Services

    April 2017–present

    • Ordered and evaluated appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies, reducing diagnostically redundant testing by over 10%.
    • Performed 330+ procedures including transnasal flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, nasal endoscopy, binocular microscopic ear procedures, and biopsies.
    • Prepared 180+ preoperative data sheets.
    • Monitored patients undergoing neoadjuvant protocols, raising the alarm 13 times, 11 of which were true positives.

    Dermatology Physician Assistant

    Lakeside Medical Center

    May 2015 – January 2017

    • Performed 50+ surgeries to remove skin cancers, cysts and other skin lesions.
    • Helped 11 patients overcome complications by diligently following up with them after discharge.
    • Performed 500+ intralesional injections.
    • Triaged patient telephone calls and provided consultations, cutting patient wait times by over 15%.

    Education 

    MS in Physician Assistant Studies, Medical University of South Carolina, SC

    2013–2015

    • Pursued a keen interest in urgent care and emergency medicine.
    • Volunteered at local family planning clinic.

    BS in Biology, Clemson University, SC

    2009–2013

    • Pursued a passion for human physiology coursework.
    • Worked as part-time phlebotomist in campus clinic.

    Certifications

    • NCCPA CAQ (Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery)
    • NCCPA CAQ (Emergency Medicine)
    • ACLS, MedTrain Center
    • BLS, American Red Cross

    Professional Memberships

    • South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (SCAPA)

    Key Skills 

    • Pre- and post-operative care
    • ChartWare EMR
    • Chest tube insertion
    • Electrocardiography
    • Nasogastric intubation
    • Adaptability
    • Independence
    • Teamwork
    • Compassion
    • Detail orientation

    Now here’s how to write a resume for physician assistants, stat:

    1. Choose the Correct Physician Assistant Resume Format

    Things you wouldn’t do:

    • Haphazardly scrawl patient notes
    • Improvise what sections go on preoperative data sheets
    • Write five pages when one is enough.

    So don’t make your physician assistant resume the exception—

    Make your resume format as clean and orderly as an OR. Here’s how:

    Physician Assistant Resume Format

    Saving or exporting your physician assistant resume in PDF seems like a no-brainer—

    But when it comes to whether PDF or something like *.docx is better for a resume, the deciding factor is always what the job ad requires.

    Expert Hint: In your resume header add only your name and surname, telephone number, and email address. Don’t waste valuable resume space for your address.

    2. Write an Attention-Grabbing Physician Assistant Resume Objective or Summary

    Knowing how to start a resume is a lot easier than starting a difficult conversation with a patient.

    Do it with a resume profile

    Got experience?

    Then your resume profile will take the form of a career summary.

    Use:

    1. One adjective (efficient, empathetic, energetic)
    2. Job title (Physician Assistant, PA)
    3. Years of experience (4+, 5+)
    4. What you have to offer (provide excellent patient care)
    5. Two or three of your most relevant achievements (treated 8–10 patients a day, maintained patient satisfaction ratings at 4.78 / 5.00)

    These career summary examples show how:

    Physician Assistant Resume Summary

    Good Example
    Detail-oriented physician assistant with 6+ years’ experience in busy surgical and dermatological clinics. Seeking to use proven medical skills and compassionate bedside manner to help ZappCare maintain its high standards of patient care. At MediPlus Services, performed 330+ procedures and reduced diagnostically redundant testing by over 10%.
    Bad Example
    Personable physician assistant with 6 years’ experience in surgical and dermatological clinics. Seeking to gain new experience and broaden skill set with ZappCare. At MediPlus Services, independently performed various procedures and reduced diagnostically redundant testing.

    What do you think?

    The second example isn’t bad at all—

    But there’s a lot that’s missing:

    The first example is concrete and everything is quantified.

    It’s also focused on what the candidate can do for the company, not the other way around.

    Both examples, though, are good with using resume power words.

    Short on experience? Just got through the PANCE?

    Start with a career objective and put the focus on non-PA jobs that show relevant skills in action.

    Physician Assistant Resume Objective

    Good Example
    Detail-oriented, newly certified physician assistant with placement experience in busy surgical and dermatological clinics. Seeking to use medical knowledge and compassionate bedside manner to help ZappCare maintain its high standards of patient care. During Master’s studies, pursued a keen interest in urgent care and emergency medicine.
    Bad Example
    Inexperienced physician assistant, just graduated and passed PANCE on first attempt. Looking for a clinic with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to gain hands-on experience.

    Once again—

    Concrete and focused on what the candidate can do to help.

    Struggling to piece together the perfect resume profile? Here’s a neat trick:

    Write it last—

    It’ll be so much easier once you have your job descriptions and skills section done. 

    Expert Hint: Make sure your resume profile mentions the name of the company you're applying to. This is a key feature of an ATS-friendly resume.

    3. Create the Perfect Physician Assistant Job Description and Skills Section

    Your physician assistant resume has one job:

    To get you an invitation to a job interview.

    The best way to do that is to show you’ve handled it all before.

    Your resume work history section is where you do that.

    How to write a job description for PAs:

    1. Put the job ad under a microscope.
    2. Mark all the physician assistant resume skills.
    3. Go over times you’ve used those skills to nail your duties.
    4. Write resume bullet points that describe and quantify those things.

    These physical assistant resume examples show how:

    Physician Assistant Job Description for a Resume

    Good Example

    Surgical Physician Assistant

    MediPlus Services

    April 2017–present

    • Ordered and evaluated appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies, reducing diagnostically redundant testing by over 10%.
    • Performed 330+ procedures including transnasal flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, nasal endoscopy, binocular microscopic ear procedures, and biopsies.
    • Prepared 180+ preoperative data sheets.
    • Monitored patients undergoing neoadjuvant protocols, raising the alarm 13 times, 11 of which were true positives.
    Bad Example

    Surgical Physician Assistant

    MediPlus Services

    May 2017–present

    • Ordered and evaluated appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies.
    • Performed procedures including transnasal flexible fiberoptic laryngoscopy, nasal endoscopy, binocular microscopic ear procedures, and biopsies.
    • Prepared preoperative data sheets.
    • Monitored patients undergoing neoadjuvant protocols.

    Significant difference.

    The first example is packed full of resume achievements, fully quantified.

    But what if you’re writing a physician assistant student resume with no work experience?

    Probe your non-PA experience for relevant achievements.

    Expert Hint:How to show promotions on a resume? List each job in a separate entry under the company name umbrella.

    One more thing

    Include skills for a resume.

    The trick—

    Be very selective about which PA skills you add.

    Let the job ad be your filter. It’s called targeting a resume to the job ad and makes it easier for your document to pass the ATS scan.

    Here are some examples to get the ball rolling:

    Key Physician Assistant Resume Skills

    Hard Skills

    • Pre- and post-operative care
    • Ultrasound
    • ChartWare EMR
    • MEDITECH software
    • Anoscopy and proctoscopy
    • Blood collection
    • Arterial line catheters insertion
    • Chest tube insertion
    • Electrocardiography
    • Nasogastric intubation
    • Computer and software skills

    Soft Skills

    • Adaptability
    • Independence
    • Teamwork
    • Compassion
    • Detail orientation
    • Communication
    • Stress management
    • Critical thinking
    • Diligence
    • Interpersonal skills

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    4. Make Sure Your PA Resume Education Section up to the Task

    There’s no downplaying the importance of education to being a PA.

    Make your education section clear and concise—

    Degree, school, years attended.

    That’s all you need.

    Include your NCCPA CAQs in a separate section.

    For extra effectiveness:

    Add extra bullet points that point to key PA skills.

    This physician assistant resume example shows how:

    Physician Assistant Example—Education

    Good Example

    MS in Physician Assistant Studies, Medical University of South Carolina, SC

    2013–2015

    • Pursued a keen interest in urgent care and emergency medicine.
    • Volunteered at local family planning clinic.

    BS in Biology, Clemson University, SC

    2009–2013

    • Pursued a passion for human physiology coursework.
    • Worked as part-time phlebotomist in campus clinic.

    Short on PA experience? 

    Add more bonus bullet points that cover projects, classes, relevant coursework, and accomplishments—

    Anything that speaks to your physician assistant resume skills.

    Expert Hint: Short on experience or writing a new grad physician assistant resume ? Add scholarships to your resume. Create a separate “Awards” section and list them there. 

    5. Supplement Your PA Resume With Additional Sections

    The resume sections discussed above are must-haves of every physician assistant CV. But—

    They don’t paint a full picture of your candidature. Not to mention other physician assistants also include those things in their resumes. There’s a way to make your resume more original:

    Add one or two extra sections. You can choose from:

    If you don’t have much experience under your belt, you can add volunteering to your resume, too.

    These two physician assistant resume examples show yes vs no:

    Physician Assistant Resume—Sample Extra Sections

    Good Example

    Certifications

    • NCCPA CAQ (Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery)
    • NCCPA CAQ (Emergency Medicine)
    • ACLS, MedTrain Center
    • BLS, American Red Cross

    Professional Memberships

    • South Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (SCAPA)
    Bad Example

    Certifications

    • NCCPA CAQ x 2
    • ACLS & BLS

    Interests

    • Cryptocurrencies
    • Aromatherapy
    • Lock sports

    The second example looks ridiculous—

    But people do this all the time.

    The two guiding principles are:

    Keep it concrete, and—

    Make sure it’s relevant to the job.

    One last thing:

    A resume and a cover letter go together like a cannular and ultra-strength tape.

    You’ll need to write a physician assistant cover letter, unless you’ve been specifically asked not to include one. Fortunately, we have a guide that shows you how to write a cover letter.

    Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter generator and make your application documents pop out.

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    Want to try a different look? There's 21 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

    Key Points

    For a physician assistant resume that gets interviews:

    • Use the physician assistant resume template given at the beginning. It has a clean bill of health.
    • Put PA achievementsin your summary/objective, work history, and education sections to show you’ve already got what it takes.
    • Pick the right physician assistant skills. The right skills are first and foremost those that are mentioned in the job ad.
    • Write a physician assistant cover letter. Use it to demonstrate your passion for the job and make a case for why you’re the best person for the job.

    Got any unanswered questions about writing a PA resume? What about state-specific advice for our readers? Leave a comment down below, we’ll be happy to get back to you.

    About ResumeLab’s Editorial Process

    At ResumeLab, quality is at the crux of our values, supporting our commitment to delivering top-notch career resources. The editorial team of career experts carefully reviews every article in accordance with editorial guidelines, ensuring the high quality and reliability of our content. We actively conduct original research, shedding light on the job market's intricacies and earning recognition from numerous influential news outlets. Our dedication to delivering expert career advice attracts millions of readers to our blog each year.

    Bart Turczynski

    Bart Turczynski’s career advice and commentary have been published by Glassdoor, The Chicago Tribune, Workopolis, The Financial Times, Hewlett-Packard, and CareerBuilder, among others. Bart’s mission is to promote the best, data-informed, and up-to-date career advice through numerous online communities and publications. Bart’s lifelong passion for politics and a strong background in psychology make all the advice he publishes unique and supported by detailed research.

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