Whether you’re looking to start your physical therapy career or seeking to take your career to the next level, your physical therapy resume will play a key role in your ability to secure a future physical therapy position. Upstream Rehabilitation is the largest pure-play outpatient physical therapy provider in the United States, and we’re always on the lookout for passionate and qualified professionals who want to pursue a career in physical therapy or elevate their careers to the next level. Upstream Rehabilitation and our family of brands have over a thousand clinics nationwide and we continue to grow each day and actively seek passionate individuals for clinical and non-clinical roles.

Take a look at some of the simple tricks you can use to improve your physical therapy resume to use for clinical and non-clinical physical therapy job openings.

Start with the Basics

Whether you’re building your physical therapy resume for the first time or looking for ways to elevate it, one of the best things you can do is to make sure you start with the basics. Oftentimes, the basics of your resume can be overlooked which can lead to silly mistakes that can lead to a missed phone call or email from a recruiter looking to contact you regarding a position you applied to.

At the top of your resume, you want to make sure that you include the important basics which start with your name, phone number, address, email address, and LinkedIn profile URL. If you’d rather omit your full address, you can just include the city and state where you’re located.

One important callout is to make sure that your email address is professional. If you need to, make sure to create a professional email address that you will be able to access and review on a regular basis for those emails that might come from recruiters or HR professionals looking to get in touch with you to schedule a future interview.

Avoid Objective Statements

Objective statements on resumes, while once a must-have, are no longer recommended for most resumes. Avoid including an objective statement on your resume due to the fact that they are mostly outdated. Objective statements were used to inform the reader why you were applying to a particular position and what you’re hoping to accomplish in a future role. In the modern job environment, objective statements are no longer needed because there is an assumed interest in a role if you’re actively applying to it and the real estate on your resume could be used for other more valuable information.

Keep a Short and Sweet Summary

Instead of using an objective statement on your resume, you should include a short and sweet summary section. The summary section of your resume should be concise and professional and should be big takeaways that you’re hoping the reader will remember. This can include your experience in relevant positions to the one you’re applying for and professional achievements throughout your career or academic history.

As you’re building out your summary, make sure you thoroughly review the job description and highlight things in your summary that align with the job description if you have had relatable experience in the past.

This section of your resume should ideally be no longer than three sentences, otherwise, it can take up too much room on your resume.

Select the Correct Format and Design

There are a few different resume formats to choose from which include reverse-chronological, functional, or a combination of the two. Most resumes use the reverse-chronological format today as it is the easiest to read for the viewer with your most recent experience being first and progressing towards the oldest towards the bottom of the page.

The next important consideration to make for your physical therapy resume is to select a straightforward design. While using all kinds of fancy designs, colors, or layouts might appear enticing at first, they may not be read properly by applicant tracking systems that parse the information to store it in the applicant database.

Depending on the type of design you choose, certain sections might even be omitted or garbled if the applicant tracking system cannot automatically pull the information and store it in the correct field. To avoid this, make sure that you choose a simple and straightforward resume design that is easy to read without too many complex designs or columns.

Highlight Your Skills

The next section to include on your physical therapy career resume is the skills section. Your skills section will depend on a couple of factors including your education and level of experience. The skills section should focus on hard skills that will be applicable to the physical therapy position you’re applying for, whether clinical or non-clinical. If the job description includes them, be sure to review them and identify any skills that you’re a match for and include them in your skills section.

Avoid going overboard with the skills section, as you ideally want to keep it to less than 9 skills.

Keep Everything Organized

As you’re getting ready to begin populating other sections of your resume, you want to make sure that you keep everything organized in its respective section. You don’t want to mix and match different elements on your resume as it will only create confusion for the reader. Keep everything in the appropriate category/section and make sure that the formatting is consistent throughout. A good thing to keep in mind is that you should be consistent in what you italicize, bold, and the font sizes for different elements.

Highlight Relevant Clinical and Professional Work Experience

Once you’ve created the contact section, summary, and skills section, the next area to begin working on for your physical therapy resume is the clinical experience and professional work experience section. These two sections will play an important role as recruiters, hiring managers, and HR professionals review your resume to determine whether or not to consider you for an interview or advance you through the evaluation process.

As you sort through which experience to include, if you’re applying to a physical therapy position, you want to call attention to your clinical experience and professional experience as it relates to healthcare. Select positions and experience to include on your resume that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. While you may have worked a cashier position in high school, it might not be the most relevant experience to include on your physical therapy resume.

With each position, include a two to three-sentence explanation of your role and responsibilities. Then include three to five bullet points of skills you utilized, achievements you had in previous roles, and other key details which will highlight your relevant physical therapy or healthcare experience.

Whether you’re applying for clinical or non-clinical positions, you need to make sure that you adequately detail your experience, responsibilities, achievements in the past, and how they all tie together to make you a solid fit for the position that you’re pursuing.

Call Attention to Certifications, Licenses, and Affiliations

One of the best ways to stand out from other physical therapy resumes is to call attention to certifications, licenses, and affiliations. Experienced physical therapists who have additional certifications can leverage their continuing education credits, credentials, and clinical experience to highlight their ability to provide exceptional levels of care.

Include Updated Education

Whether you’re a recent physical therapy grad who just passed the boards or you’re an experienced professional, make sure that your education section has the most up-to-date information. Ideally, you should only include the most recent and highest level of education you’ve obtained.

Proofread and Spell Check

Simple mistakes in spelling, grammar, and formatting may cause your resume to be too difficult to read and might even cause your resume to be excluded from consideration. Spend the extra few minutes reviewing your resume thoroughly to make sure that everything is spelled correctly, including your contact information, education, previous positions, etc.

Nearly every version of modern writing software comes with some form of spell check, proofreading tool, or grammar check, so make sure you hit the button to run the resume through it. A few minutes of proofreading your physical therapy resume can help you avoid silly mistakes.

Ask a Friend or Family Member to Review Your Physical Therapy Resume

The next thing you can do to improve your physical therapy resume is to leverage those closest to you, your friends and family members. Oftentimes, you might be struggling with phrasing your accomplishments or calling attention to your skills. We’ve all been in those situations, which is why you should see if your friends and family members would be willing to take a quick look to see if they’d change anything, add additional information, or to double-check your proofreading work from earlier.

Politely ask your friends and family members if they’ve got a moment to spare to quickly review your resume and to get their honest feedback. A helpful tip during this request is to give them a bit more information on the physical therapy job you’re applying for, or to even send the job description/posting along to them so they can review it while reviewing your resume. In doing so, they might be able to help you bolster your resume to make sure your resume aligns with the physical therapy job posting.

Scout Out Other Physical Therapy Resume Examples

Another simple trick to improve your physical therapy resume is to scout out other physical therapy resume examples. This can apply to both clinical and non-clinical physical therapy resumes. If you have friends, co-workers, family members, or connections in your professional network, consider asking them to share their resume with you and let them know that you’re in the process of updating or building out your resume.

You don’t want to copy everything that they’re doing with their resume, but you can use them as a good example when building out your own resume to make sure you’ve included the correct sections, called attention to the right highlights, and you’re doing all you can to set yourself up for success.

Apply to Physical Therapy Job Openings with Upstream Rehabilitation

Upstream Rehabilitation and our family of brands are growing across the nation. As the largest pure-play outpatient physical therapy provider in the country, we’re on the lookout for qualified and passionate individuals who want to make a difference in our patients’ lives through an Upstream career. Whether you’re a new grad looking to start their physical therapy career, passionate about enhancing your career, or seeking a career change, we’ve got physical therapy job openings for clinical and non-clinical positions.

Search and apply to physical therapy job openings at Upstream Rehabilitation today!