Physical Therapist Resume Example, Template & Writing Guide for 2024

Individuals around the world require the experience and knowledge of a great physical therapist. Anyone who has ever twisted an arm, thrown out their back, or sprained their ankle needs your services to get back on their feet. The field of physical therapy might be demanding but it also is endlessly rewarding.

If you’ve found a new job description that offers great pay and amazing perks, you’re going to need an excellent physical therapist resume. Strong resumes can open you up to tons of exciting positions. For those who aren’t sure they know how to stand out in this professional document, we’re here to help. We’ll provide writing tips that make hiring managers want to know more about you.

Throughout this guide, we’ll make sure you create a physical therapist resume that knocks the socks off of recruiters. You’ll be one of the few candidates who ticks all the boxes and has a good chance of making it to the next step. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to crafting resumes or an old hand, our tips and tricks will serve you well.

As you continue reading, we’ll share well-kept secrets about how to create a physical therapist resume that inspires managers. We’ll provide the best format to use and ensure you have a physical therapist sample resume to guide your writing. In addition, you’ll learn how to build a resume objective that grabs attention and how to design the resume to move you to the next steps in the hiring process.

Physical Therapy Resume Example

Physical therapists are tasked with helping patients who have physical disabilities, illnesses, and injuries control pain and regain their range of motion. The many resume examples for physical therapists take that into account and highlight the ways you are better than the next candidate at all of these critical skills.

As a physical therapist, you use your experience and education to properly understand the cause of trauma for your patients. You’ll also work in tandem with patients to create an individualized rehabilitation plan. These are the many things you’ll find in physical therapist resume examples, which can give you a leg up on creating a professional document of your own.

Some of the plans that physical therapists make involve physical strength training, stretching, and manipulation exercises. You’ll find in PT resume examples that some are geared toward specific environments, such as schools, home health agencies, outpatient clinics, private practices, nursing homes, sports and fitness facilities, and hospitals. No matter where your dream job is, there’s a sample resume for a physical therapist that will work for you.

Below is one of many PTA resume examples you can use to help craft your physical therapist resume. It will give you insight into the type of information you want on your resume, how you might choose to lay it out, and what formatting looks professional when it ends up in front of a hiring manager.

Physical Therapist Resume Example

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As you can see, there are several key areas you want to include on your physical therapist resume. In most resume examples for a physical therapist, the following sections will be covered:

·       Contact information

·       Resume objective

·       Work history

·       Education

·       Skills

·       References

While these sections are seen on a wide range of resumes, you want to tailor each resume based on the opening you are applying for. When you invest a bit of time into customizing a resume, it can give you a higher chance of hearing back from a hiring manager. Keep reading to learn more about how to put together the best physical therapist resume possible.

How to Write a Good Resume for Physical Therapist in 2024: Fully Physical Therapist Resume Guide

Anyone who is creating a new resume for a physical therapy job can use the example above as guidance. However, even with this help, it can feel daunting to start creating physical therapy resumes. After all, it’s not something you do regularly and may not be something you feel particularly skilled at.

The good news is that we will guide you through every part of your PT resume to ensure it looks fantastic when someone reads it. The first thing you should think about when crafting a resume for a physical therapy job is the inclusion of keywords. This means digging through the job advertisement and seeing what the employer prioritizes.

When you use keywords, it shows that you aren’t simply shooting out the same resume for every job you see. You prove that you read the job description and feel you have skills that hit the mark to be a competitive applicant. This can go a long way when it comes to whether you get a job or end up with a resume that is barely skimmed. However, it’s not the only reason we recommend adding keywords.

What is the second reason to introduce relevant keywords? The answer is applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS is used to go through the resume before a human ever sees it. The computer program looks for appropriate phrases and keywords in the resume to see if you might be a good fit. If you aren’t, your resume may never make it to someone’s desk.

We shared what sections are on a physical therapist’s resume, but we want to say again that every part of the resume should be customized. You need to show why you’re a great fit for a specific position. As you do so, you’ll want to share your licensure, education, and clinical experience. The ability to provide fantastic patient care in various settings alongside clinic coordinators, nurses, and other professionals is also crucial to include.

A physical therapist should know how to work with patients to create and implement customized therapy plans to meet their desires and needs. You also want to indicate that you can handle setbacks and injuries using industry standards and best practices. We’ll dig deeper into this as we provide you with details on how to set up each section of the resume.

The final thing to consider before you start writing is which format you should use for a physical therapist resume. Since experience matters more than it might in other positions, a reverse-chronological resume format is often considered the top choice. This lets you show off all the positions in the past that gave you your current skills.

Of course, experience is only part of what sets you apart. You also want to mention transferable skills, educational experience, and internships that would be useful if you get the role. When selecting a reverse-chronological format, you focus on your most recent roles and move backward. It isn’t the only format to use but tends to be the one most seen in healthcare resumes.

When it comes to the length of your resume, most should choose a one-page resume. If you have decades of experience and are a leader in the field, a second page may be warranted. However, it’s better to go short if possible. This is more likely to keep the manager’s attention and ensure they see all of your information.

Section #1: Contact Information

It doesn’t matter if you work inpatient or outpatient in healthcare, your resume has to have a contact information section. This is where you provide the employer with information about who you are and how to get in contact with you. Thankfully, this is a simple section to start with. However, that doesn’t make it any less important.

This section is where you list your name, address, and two forms of contact information. Without all of that, it’s going to be a challenge to get back to you. So this section may be the easiest to put together but it is also the most important to include in some respects.

Contact Information Example

As you see above, recruiters can easily get in touch with the applicant using the contact information included. You’ll see that this section is simple and doesn’t have a lot of extra detail. The name is prominent with all the other information in a font that makes it easy to read.

How to Format This Section

Jobseekers looking to format this section have two options. The first is to include it at the top of the resume and the other is to utilize the sidebar. In either case, less is more as long as you have your name, address, and two forms of contact. Social media like LinkedIn can be added but isn’t required.

Section #2: Resume Objective

A resume objective, also known as a resume summary, is just as important as the contact information – but for different reasons. You can consider this section a written elevator pitch that provides details about all your skills and accomplishments. This will look different on the physical therapy resume of a new grad compared to someone with experience.

Resume Objective Example for an Entry-Level Physical Therapist Resume

A physical therapy student resume may focus on past positions and education. Perhaps you’ve worked as a physical therapy assistant and bring that to the table. Above you can see an example of an excellent physical therapist objective for those with less experience.

Resume Objective Example for an Experienced Physical Therapist Resume

This sample physical therapy resume objective is designed for those with several years of experience. It digs deeper into your achievements and accomplishments to impress a hiring manager. Think about what you do best that pertains to the role you want and be sure that is included. Using numbers and active verbs is a good way to move forward.

How to Format This Section

The perfect resume objective doesn’t need a lot of extra formatting. In this case, what you put down in words is more important. This section acts as a block of text seen near the top of the resume. It should be no more than four sentences long but two to three sentences is the most common format.

Section #3: Work Experience

Now we get to the experience section, which you can think of as the meat of your resume. It’s generally going to be the largest section you write for your physical therapy resume. In addition, it offers a great deal of information for a hiring manager regarding what you are capable of.

Not only do you share where you have worked and what your role is, but you also give information about how long you worked there and what specific duties you held. This can tell a manager whether you have the kind of experience that will make you a good fit for a specific position.

Work Experience Example

As an important part of the job application, you need to show your past employment. The example above provides an idea of what yours might look like. This should provide all the important details about what you’ve done in the past. It might be only employment or it could include internships or volunteering experiences.

How to Format This Section

The resume format matters for the experience section. Hiring managers expect to see things put down in a specific way. The job title, dates you worked there, and company should be in the headings for each position. Underneath, you can list some bullet points and go into detail on your responsibilities.

Section #4: Education

While work experience is important for a physical therapist resume, so is the education section. This is the area where you share that you are a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), as well as expand on other education you might have. Since training and licensing is essential as a physical therapist, you need to be sure it is noted on the resume.

While a high school diploma is needed on some resumes, it will not be for a physical therapist resume. Anyone who has a bachelor's level education (or higher) only needs to list university degrees and certifications. Ongoing training, organizations, and memberships can also be listed here as applicable.

Education Example

You can see in the example above that the person is educated in physical therapy treatment and everything else that does into this profession. It lists their doctorate followed by their bachelor’s degree so the potential employer can see all the work they have done. This is a good guide for you to include your own educational experiences.

How to Format This Section

You’ll find that formatting the education section for a licensed physical therapist is fairly simple. The main pieces of information that must be included are where you went to school, what degree you obtained, and when you received it. If you’re short on experience, you can also include your GPA, honors, and other items.

Section #5: Skills

Sharing your physical therapy skills on a resume is important. This includes hard skills as well as soft skills. The skills section is a great place to show your interpersonal skills alongside things like knowledge of sports injuries and patient progress. A good blend of skills is a great way to go here.

For your physical therapist skills on a resume, consider what you do best that is relevant to the role. Those are the things that should be highlighted in the skills section. If the skill hits both of those categories, it could be a good addition. Plus it’s a way to add additional keywords from the job advertisement.

Skills Example

Here you see what the skills section looks like on a physical therapist resume. There are skills around communication, therapy, software, and more. You may or may not have the same skills as the person in this resume. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to include, below are a few examples:

·       Home health

·       Manual therapy

·       Exercise programs

·       Acute care

·       Disabilities

·       Neurological disorders

·       Orthopedic issues

·       Geriatric physical therapy

·       Evaluations

·       Patient care

·       Treatment plans

·       Pediatric physical therapy

How to Format This Section

To format the physical therapist resume sample with resume skills, it’s ideal to go with a list. The best resume that crosses a hiring manager’s desk will be easy to read. A list is concise, easy to scan, and provides a lot of important information. In addition to the skills, make sure you note how proficient you are with each. Five to 10 skills are standard to include.

Section #6: References

Now we come to the last section on a professional resume for a physical therapist. This is the part where you put down your references. What you want here is a list of people who know who you are, are aware of what you can do, and will vouch for you if a potential employer comes calling.

The majority of these should be past managers and other leaders from jobs you had in the past. However, it’s also alright to include a personal reference or someone from another part of your life. The only thing to keep in mind is that friends and family members should not be used as references.

References Example

A manager expects your references to know how you are at physical therapy treatment and other parts of the job. As such, this applicant lists two people from their past jobs as well as a professor from the school where they got their terminal degree.

How to Format This Section

There are several ways to format your references but we recommend one above the others. As you see above, you can include the name of the reference and where they work without including the contact information. This retains sensitive information until the employer needs it. At that point, they can reach out to you for phone numbers and email addresses.

Other Related Resume Templates

One of the things that can make it quicker and easier to create your professional document is by utilizing physical therapy resume templates. You can use the physical therapist resume template you’ve seen throughout this guide or choose something that better fits your vision for your physical therapist resume. Below are a few options.

·       Medical Receptionist Resume

·       Medical Assistant Resume

·       Caregiver Resume

·       Nursing Resume

·       Internship Resume

While these resumes aren’t specifically created for physical therapists, they can easily be adapted to meet your needs. Simply choose one that appeals to you and input your information to replace what is included. You can use our Resume Builder function to do everything in a snap. It’s far easier than it would be to create a full resume in Microsoft Word or another word-processing program.

Final Points on Successful Physical Therapy Resume Examples

When you follow the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to an outstanding physical therapist resume. It may not even take as much time as you were worried about. The main thing you should focus on is that the relevant information is included in an attractive format that hiring managers are familiar with. It’s also essential to consider the flow of the resume, watch for grammar errors, and clean up any misspellings.

Below are several tips that will help you create the perfect resume for your job application:

·       Read the resume at least once to consider the flow and how easy the information is to understand.

·       Select a simple background with a font that contrasts with it. One accent color can also be used for more pizazz.

·       Edit the document from top to bottom. Using a program like Grammarly can help catch anything you do not.

·       Look over the resume to ensure it’s well-spaced, organized, and professional.

·       Read the resume aloud to be sure it sounds the way you intend.

Once that’s done, make sure your convert the document into a physical therapist resume PDF. This is the best format to ensure it looks good on computers, tablets, phones, and other devices. Attach it to your application with a thoughtful cover letter and you’re ready to send things in. Now you just have to wait for the hiring manager to contact you. Good luck!

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