Resume Essentials for Occupational Therapists - Hand Therapy Secrets

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Resume Essentials for Occupational Therapists

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Are you an Occupational Therapist or an Occupational Therapy Assistant looking for a job? Whether you are a recent grad or haven’t put together a resume in a couple of years. Keep reading!

There are some key things when it comes to resumes, and I look at resumes all the time.

I looked at resumes before I started my business. I look at resumes now, especially having my own business for all the different positions that I fill. So, what I want to impress upon you is that resumes are not to be read, they are to be scanned. 

Is your resume scannable? 

I run my clinic, and all the resumes come through me. I don’t have an HR person like a small business; you might have that. In a medium-sized business or a giant company, you might have an HR person, and maybe it’s an office manager. They’re not necessarily therapists, and they are not necessarily the owner.

And then you’ve got big corporations, hospitals, and big chain types of outpatient therapy centers, and those go through an HR person before it even lands anywhere close to a therapist. So, when you are writing your resume, keep that in mind. Someone else is reading it. It’s not another therapist reading your resume. You’ve got to make that resume scannable. So some steadfast rules still apply. 

You should still have a one-page resume.

So, think about what you need to cut out from your resume so that it is one page long. Do you need to expand the borders, not to have a ton of dead space? Employers are looking for the most important things that they need to learn. Let’s say you have a little bit more experience, and your resume needs to be two pages. What is the most important thing on that first page?

Because I guarantee you if you’re applying for a big company, they might get to that second page. So there are some still true and tried things about resumes that you still need to keep up with. 

You should have your name and contact information at the top, very easy to read, so if you’re a lead candidate, you can be contacted instantly. Your name, phone number, and email, along with your license number if you are a licensed Occupational Therapist. You’d be amazed, sometimes I get resumes, and I’m like, “Is this person licensed? Where are they licensed?” Because it’s not specific enough.

If you’re not sending a cover letter, you should have a subject line. And even still, the subject line should be one sentence. If you’re applying for an outpatient hand therapy position, don’t say you’re looking for a job and that you’ll be willing to work anywhere. That line should be changed depending on where you’re looking to work. 

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How do you make your resume stand out?

Everyone is applying. You make it stand out because it’s scannable and easy to read. You make it stand out because you are specific.

The next thing employers need to know is your experiences, and the order, you list those experiences is important. Depending on the job you’re applying for as an occupational therapist, there will be certain skills they’re looking for in an outpatient setting.

They’re going to want to look for a certain willingness to learn. So, if you don’t have the experience and you want to get the experience, what are you doing to show them that you are the right person that’s willing to come in there, learn, and step up so you can treat any patient that comes your way.

You’re not applying to be all these other people. So, that’s huge to keep in mind when you’re putting your resume together. I hope these tips help increase the likelihood that someone will call you back for the job interview you’re going for. 

Don’t let a lack of experience stop you. Instead, learn what changes you need to make to get noticed, get called back, and be given opportunities in hand therapy – even when everyone wants the same job.

Ready to Get Started? Get access to my free guide How To Get A Job In Hand Therapy and skyrocket your career in hand therapy!

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Hoang Tran

“I help Occupational Therapists develop their skills and grow their confidence in Hand Therapy. No matter where you are on your journey, build a happy and fulfilling career of your dreams. I’ll help you.”