7 Physical Therapist Resume Examples for 2024

Crafting a resume as a physical therapist means showcasing your skills, experiences, and certifications clearly. Here, find examples of resumes that have landed jobs, along with tips to make yours reflect the expertise hiring managers seek. Expect guidance on presenting your clinical rotations, professional accomplishments, and continuous education in a way that connects with employers in healthcare. This article provides the tools to create a resume that speaks to your strengths in rehabilitative care.

  Compiled and approved by Liz Bowen
  Last updated on See history of changes

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At a Glance

Here's what we see in standout physical therapist resumes.

  • Quantifying Your Impact: The best resumes show what you've achieved with numbers. They may include how you reduced patient recovery time, increased patient load, improved treatment efficiency, or lowered rates of re-injury.

  • Match Your Skills To The Job: Include skills on your resume that you have and that are mentioned in the job description. Popular ones are manual therapy techniques, patient assessment, rehabilitation protocols, clinical reasoning, and equipment utilization.

  • Showcase Relevant Certifications: Good resumes include important certifications. Add phrases like licensed physical therapist or orthopedic specialist certified if they apply to you.

Order of education section

Put your education section near the top of your resume if you are new to the field of physical therapy or have recently completed a degree. This will show employers your fresh knowledge. If you have been a physical therapist for a while, list your work experience first. Your hands-on experience is what most employers will look for.

Always list your highest degree first. For example, if you have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, place that above a Bachelor's degree. Remember to add any special certifications, like a board certification in orthopedics, which are valued in this profession.

Highlighting relevant skills

In your resume as a physical therapist, show your clinical experience clearly. For example, mention specific types of therapy you have done like 'sports rehabilitation' or 'pediatric therapy' as they are unique to this field. List the types of patients you have worked with too, like 'geriatrics' or 'professional athletes'.

Do not forget to include soft skills that are important, like 'good communication', which is valuable when explaining treatment plans to patients, or 'empathy' for understanding and supporting patient needs.

Ideal length of resume

For physical therapists early in their careers, your resume should be one page long. This helps you keep your resume clear and to the point. If you are a physical therapist with more than 10 years of experience, it's okay to use two pages. Your depth of experience is important to show.

Use good use of space with a clean template. Cut out old or less relevant information to meet the ideal page count. For example, you may remove your undergraduate education if you have a DPT and years of work experience.

Professional affiliations and development

For a physical therapist, active professional memberships stand out. Include these in a special section. For example, a membership in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) shows you are involved in the field.

Also, mention any recent development courses you have completed, like a new technique in manual therapy or a certification in dry needling. This shows you are keeping your skills up to date, which is critical in this changing field.

Understanding resume screeners

Many employers use software to help with hiring. This software is called an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). When you apply for a job as a physical therapist, your resume might be screened by an ATS before a person sees it. Here are tips to help your resume pass this first step.

  • Include keywords from the job description. For a physical therapist, words like 'rehabilitation', 'therapy', 'patient care', and 'physical therapy techniques' are important.
  • Make sure your license and certifications are clear. List your physical therapy license and any other certifications you have in a section where the ATS can easily find them.

Tailoring your resume for success

When applying as a physical therapist, it's key to show your hands-on experience and skills. You need to make it easy for hiring managers to see you fit the job. Focus on what matters for this kind of work.

  • List the types of therapy you're skilled in, like muscle re-education or joint mobilization.
  • Show outcomes, such as how your therapy improved patient mobility.
  • If you're moving into therapy from another career, match your past skills to therapy tasks. For example, if you were a coach, say how you developed physical training programs.

Show treatment success rates

Using numbers to show your impact is key. Instead of saying you are good at helping patients, show it with success rates. For example, you can say you improved patient mobility by 80% within a specific time. This helps hiring managers see your real impact.

Common metrics in physical therapy include patient recovery time and reduction in pain levels. You can estimate these by reviewing past patient records or asking for feedback. If you helped someone recover in six months when it usually takes a year, that is a strong metric to show.

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