I'm sure, as you've read postings on this board, you have learned that certification does not guarantee employment. So...you have to either shine, or think outside the box.
Make sure your resume is top-notch. By that, I don't mean scads of experience: I mean is it well put together? Have you outlined your past experience and related as to how it could benefit you as a coder? I threw out a resume yesterday, there were three typos, and then a comment "excellent attention to detail". Excuse me???!! I had to laugh.
Think outside the box. Send your resume to nursing homes, insurance companies, ambulance companies, billing agencies, home health agencies. Don't limit yourself to hospitals and physician offices. And be willing to start as a front desk person, because you'll gain experience, and you never know where it will lead. Twenty years ago, I was answering phones and posting payments.
If you get an interview (and hopefully you will), remember appearance counts. Healthcare is not the place for artistic individuality. If you're sporting pink hair and fifteen piercings, perhaps advertising might be a better fit! Make sure your outfit meets the dress code. (no kidding, someone showed up in capris and flipflops...both of which are prohibited in most hospitals). Learn about the company that you interview with, because they might ask you, "What do you know about XYZ Hospital". And "nothing" is a bad answer.
If you've been on interviews, but haven't been selected, ask why. Sometimes it's simply that you're not the right fit. But occasionally, it might be because you unwittingly did something that took you out of the running. I've 'disqualified' applicants for a number of things that made me think that they wouldn't be good employees:
Cancelled and re-scheduled the interview because of personal issues. Red flag.
Cell phone rang during interview.
Used a 'bad' word during an interview. Hey, I can swear like a sailor, but not during a job interview!
Couldn't tell me the difference between CPT and ICD-9.
Didn't ask questions.
Network. Join your local AAPC chapter. I've said this before, but my last entry level hire was someone I remembered from a meeting. Contact your local MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) and ask if you can post a resume.
You say that you are currently volunteering. You might want to know the answer to this (or maybe not), but ask why you've not been able to secure full time work with them. Maybe they truly don't have an opening, but maybe it's something else. Nobody wants to be told that they're not the 'right' fit, but it's feedback you can use, and information is always valuable.
I did want to make one more comment: This is a professional, public board. If you rant, whine and rave, you're setting yourself up for failure, because I (and other managers) check this board before we call people for interviews to see if you're a reasonable applicant. Also, if your screen name is something foolish like CannabisBabe, or DumbBlonde, guess what?! I'm not interested. I've seen some doozies on here.
I hope this helps. I have seen the bazillion posts about coders unable to find work, and I wish I could help you all.... Good luck~!
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