Coders: Take Charge of Your Job Search with These 3 Essential Steps

Coders: Take Charge of Your Job Search with These 3 Essential Steps

by Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC

Do you have anxiety or apprehension about the daunting task of finding your first coding job, or looking for a new position in medical coding or health information management? You’re not alone! When I started looking for a job after I finished my education, I felt lost, and was plagued by questions like: Where do I fit in? Do I want to work in a hospital setting, or a private physician’s office? Can I find a position that will let me move forward in my career, and continue my coding education? Am I qualified for any of these job listings? I truly felt like I was looking out into a seemingly endless abyss of job qualifications, job postings and job market confusion—and I was overwhelmed.

What made the situation worse was a feeling that I was “flying blind” in my job search, without a focused effort or organized process. I was sure I was missing out on opportunities due to my own lack of understanding of who I was, what I wanted to be, and how to find my place in this grand landscape of healthcare careers. After several job searches, and several years working to recruit talent, I was able to organize some action items to complete before my job search began. Preparing these action items allowed me to make the most out of my time and energy:

  • PREPARE FOR THE PROCESS: Create an email address that is professional and can be used solely for the job search. Update your resume to reflect your complete and detailed job history and education. Create an outgoing voicemail message that is simple and respectful.
  • ASSESS YOUR PRIORITIES AND GOALS: What do you ultimately want to accomplish in your career? Are you looking for a position that offers a broader range of opportunity in the future? Do you need to find a job that has stability and a steady upward projection, such as a large hospital group, or would you rather work in a fast-paced, upstart environment at one of the many new coding ventures?
  • ORGANIZE YOUR SEARCH: Make a list of potential employers, including hospitals, health insurance companies, and privately owned practices and companies. Track when you apply to open positions, and create a calendar to follow your application process.


We’ve all heard the saying “Searching for a job is a job in itself.” This phrase may be overused, but the job search is a professional endeavor, and should be treated as such. These steps will help you to create a professional environment for you to establish an efficient job search process. Executing a productive and successful job search will allow you to feel comfortable in your search, in control of the details, and confidence in your abilities.

Don’t let the process intimidate you; take control, and you’ll find the perfect job!


Certified Coding Associate (CCA) Exam Review
The CCA credential exhibits your commitment to the coding profession and demonstrates your coding competencies across all settings – including hospitals and physician practices. This course provides valuable study and test-taking strategies. Those who successfully complete this course are eligible for 8 AHIMA CEUs. For more information, click here.

About the Author

Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC
Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC, is the Founder and Managing Director of Project Resume, a company that provides professional development, education, and career counseling to medical coders and HIM professionals. Ann began her professional journey when she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Policy and Administration as a student at The Pennsylvania State University. She earned her first coding certification in 2005, and has enjoyed a rich coding career ever since, in medical coding and billing, recruiting, training, education, and management of medical coding teams. Ann’s vision for Project Resume is to ensure that every healthcare professional fulfills their own career dreams. Project Resume can be found on the web at, and Ann can be reached at [email protected]

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