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How to Write a Resume for Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can do plenty of good for patients dealing with many concerns. How can you write a resume that showcases your skills?

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 4 minute read

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Physical Therapy Resume

Physical Therapy Resume Example

Physical Therapy Resume Example

Physical therapy is a medical process that can help return function to patients who have lost a range of motion, whether from disabilities, surgery or accidents. If you want to get a physical therapist job, you need to have special training that makes you the ideal candidate for the job role. Here’s what you need to know to write a physical therapist resume.

Jobs for Physical Therapy Resumes

There are many specialties that may fall under the umbrella term of “licensed physical therapist.” Here are some job roles that can benefit from a physical therapy resume:

  • Outpatient physical therapist
  • Pediatric physical therapist
  • Geriatric physical therapist
  • Physical therapist assistant
  • Orthopedic therapist

Generally, if you’re looking to be hired for any one of these job positions, you can use a physical therapist resume sample as a base to build your own resume. Your new job in this industry will likely draw on many of the same skills and educational requirements.

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Elements of a Physical Therapy Resume

You need to start your resume with the resume header, which provides all of your contact information and social media links, including your LinkedIn profile link. From there, you can create the following resume headings.

Resume Summary

The first section of your resume should be the resume summary. This is a short 2-3 sentence paragraph where you highlight your best skills, your job title and your key achievements. While technical skills are definitely very important in your job search, an experienced physical therapist knows that it’s just as important to showcase your knowledge of people. In your resume summary, you can discuss your connection to individuals, not just the field of healthcare.

Work history

If you have previous work experience, you can include it in this section. Lead off with professional work you’ve had, most recent job first, and add in any related academic, internship and volunteer experience if it applies to the job you want.

Skills

Your skills section needs to include both hard skills and soft skills. The best resume will balance both of these elements, no matter what job title you’re looking for. List at least 5-6 relevant skills, which may include:

  • Treatment plans
  • General patient care
  • Specific physical therapy treatment regimens
  • Exercise programs
  • Therapeutic exercise processes
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Treatment modalities
  • Sports injuries
  • Measuring patient progress

Education

Your education section is often very important in physical therapy. If you have a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, include it here. You’ll also probably want to include DPT after your name in your resume header. This helps hiring managers know immediately that you have a DPT designation, even before they get to your education section.

Certifications

If you have any certifications that a job might be looking for, you can list them in their own Certifications section. Many physical therapists in the United States, for example, are part of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), which is something important to highlight.

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Physical Therapy Resume Examples You Can Use

If you’re looking for an example to craft your own perfect resume, look no further than ResumeHelp. We have over 50,000 resume examples available on the ResumeHelp website covering a variety of jobs. Plus, the resume builder is a great starting point for any resume, including a physical therapy resume.

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Tips for Creating Your Physical Therapy Resume

  • Don’t include your GPA when listing your education, unless requested. List graduation honors, if applicable.
  • Proofread your resume before you submit it. Nothing is worse than having a typo in your resume and having it rejected just for that.
  • Include all information that shows you’re legally licensed to practice physical therapy in your state.
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FAQ: Physical Therapy Resume Examples

Have questions? We’re here to help.

It’s always a good idea to submit a cover letter with your resume, no matter what job you’re applying for. ResumeHelp has a physical therapy cover letter example that you can use to write your own cover letter. Combining a physical therapy resume with a cover letter puts you ahead of many other job seekers who might only submit a resume.

An entry-level physical therapy job often doesn’t require years of experience, but it’s still best to fill out your work experience section to the best of your abilities. Leverage elements like academic experience, internship experience and even volunteer work.

This is a great choice no matter what job you’re applying for. Resume keywords are unique for every job listing, and hiring managers often use them to set up applicant tracking systems (ATS), which scan every resume and cover letter coming in and ensure they’re qualified before passing them on to the manager. Your best option is to read the job description carefully and note keywords (phrases related to important skills and job requirements), then match those keywords with your own abilities, and feature them in the resume and cover letter you submit.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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