Occupational Therapy Resume Sample
When searching for a job as an occupational therapist, prospective employers will want to see a strong resume filled with significant experience, a variety of well-honed skills, and extensive training. Additionally, they will expect evidence of specific educational accomplishments that are required by the profession. Here is a comprehensive guide to assist you in creating the perfect resume to land your dream job in occupational therapy.
Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your Occupational Therapy Resume
When reading your resume, employers want to quickly confirm evidence of your qualifications for the posted position. Therefore, your resume should have:
Arrangement: Include essential information about skills, work experience, and education into sections with clearly labeled headings. Try to make your resume fit on one page, but it should not extend beyond two.
Thoughtful language: Do your best to avoid cliches or repetition of the same language. Use keywords from the job description in an authentic way to describe your skills that qualify you for the position.
Adapted to the Job: While the majority of your resume will be consistent for each job you apply to, you will want to tailor the skills and summary for each specific position. Be sure to include your aptitude for any requirements or responsibilities detailed in the job description.
Verifiable: Do not claim to have skills or experience that you don't possess in order to get through the first round. Make sure that everything detailed in your resume can be corroborated in an interview and reference check.
The way that you set up your occupational therapy resume is important, as it helps the reader to quickly find the information that they deem important to the open position. Here is a breakdown of what to include in each section to increase your chances of getting asked in for an interview.
Section 1: Your Contact Information
Though it may seem obvious, the very first section of the resume should lay out your contact information including name, home address, telephone number, and email. You may also want to list less conventional means of contact or showing off your experience. Do not forget to include a professional social media account, such as LinkedIn, to highlight your experiences and skills.
Additionally, make sure that your email address is professional and any links or social media that you include are appropriate.
Section 2: The Summary
The goal of a summary section in a resume is to link together your strengths and professional aspirations with the goals of the company. This is the section in which to underscore your most relevant skills and experience to demonstrate that you would be a good fit for the job. Typically this section will include 2-4 succinct sentences that incorporate the most crucial information from the other sections of the resume.
Keep in mind that a summary is not the place to go into elaborate detail. More specific information will be expounded upon in the subsequent sections. The sole purpose of the summary is to get the attention of the reader and make them want to read and learn more about you
Section 3: Core Competencies
In this section, you have an opportunity to highlight the skills that best illustrate your training and experiences as an occupational therapist. About 12-15 concisely written competencies should be bulleted to allow the reader to quickly comprehend your most employable qualities.
The primary way to make your resume one that gets passed onto the next round is to include skills and training that are emphasized in the job posting. It is very likely that the hiring organization is using ATS, or applicant tracking software, to support a human reader in identifying resumes that meet the criteria. If you tailor this section to the keywords that were laid out in the posting, it increases your chances significantly of passing on to the next round. Just be sure that you only include skills and training that you truly possess.
Section 4: Professional Experience
The largest section of your resume will be the list of your occupational therapy work history. You should always state your current or most recent job first, and then list the other experiences in descending chronological order. For each position, on the first line, detail the name of the organization, their location with city and state, and the dates that you worked there, including month and year.
On the line below, describe your job title succinctly. For example, "Lead Occupational Therapist" or "Occupational Therapist and Clinical Advisor" to be specific about the role(s) that you held at the organization.
Next, provide a list of your primary and most impressive responsibilities, achievements, and skills that you developed and demonstrated in the role. This is the place to highlight the ways that you benefitted your organization and also how you grew and developed professionally. For example:
You performed assessments and developed treatment plans for patients with neurological deficits
You ordered necessary equipment and trained the care staff in its proper use
You developed a new protocol for discharge to ensure seamless transition of care
While you may feel tempted to list every position you have held and to provide a long, thorough list of roles and responsibilities, aim to keep the information as relevant and concise as possible. For example, if you have experience in a school setting and are applying for a healthcare position, place more of an emphasis on your medical training and jobs and highlight the experiences from working in education that can be applied to a hospital or care facility. If you are applying for your first job, use your practicum experience as relevant work experience.
Section 5: Education and Licensure
The final portion of the resume should list the college degrees obtained as well as information about professional licensing. When listing your education experiences, begin with the degree you achieved, the school at which you obtained it, and the year you graduated.
Since OT licensure is almost always a requirement, you will want to provide this information as well. Be sure to tell whether you are registered and licensed, and the dates and locations. If you have any additional certifications that you've earned through training or education, include these in this section as well.
Putting It All Together
As you look at your resume as a whole, it should appear visually attractive and organized. Additionally, carefully proofread to ensure there are no typos or spelling errors. Seeking feedback from a trusted friend, family member, or colleague can also help to ensure that you land an interview for the occupational therapy position of your dreams.
To help guide your final review, ask yourself these questions:
- Did you use strong, action-based language throughout?
- Were you consistent with the tense?
- Did you use proper grammar from top to bottom?
- Are there area where you could cut out words to make things simpler and easier to understand?
- What bullet points still include unquantified activity? Can you add some numbers to those?
Finally, the BIG question... does your occupational therapy resume tell your story, clearly and concisely?
If the answer is an unqualified "Yes!" then you should be good to go.
If not, then perhaps now would be a good time to reach out for some professional help.