Employers looking for an occupational therapist look for someone who is clinically competent in their ability to assist patients with mental, physical and social disabilities. The job market is competitive, so a well-written occupational therapy resume is essential to help you stand out of the crowd.
Here you will learn:
- Different formats for resume building
- Key structure and format tips
- Describing your skills
- Example resumes
Different formats for resume building
According to Cover Letters and Resumes, there are two different formats that are widely used:
- Chronological: This kind of resume is based on past experiences. It usually has limited number of headings and lists your experiences in a reverse chronological order.
- Functional: This format of resume consists of headings (skills, expertise, professional experience and the like). Multiple headings make for easy reading and help highlight core competencies, skills and related experience.
Though both resume formats are used, functional is a little more common. If in doubt, talk to your recruitment agency or employer and ask what style they generally prefer.
Key structure and format tips
- Include contact details
- Check and recheck for spelling and grammar mistakes – and even go so far as to get another person to proofread and check it for you.
- Use the same font and font size throughout your resume – standard fonts are Times New Roman, Calibri, Verdana and Arial. Font size 10-12 with your name in 16-18 font.
- Use sub-headers to make easy reading – sub-headers make it easy for people to quickly look for key things they want to view. For example, you might include: Summary, Licensure & Affiliations, Relevant Skills, Professional Experience, Education, Additional Capabilities.
- Does it look professional? – take an objective look and ask: is everything laid out well with good presentation?
Describing your skills
Without a doubt, being able to succinctly describe your skills in a professional yet compelling way can be a challenge.
Try using examples from other occupational therapy resumes (see below) to help guide your word choices. Or check out this list for work and skill description ideas.
Another great tip is to match your resume to the job description – meaning you would slightly rewrite and individualize your resume for each job application. While this may seem like a lot of effort, it can really pay off with results. Read through the job description that you’re applying for and focus on relevant skills, experience or accomplishments that match up with what the recruiters are looking for.
Example occupational therapy resumes
Browse through the following collection of occupational resumes from around the web:
Several occupational therapy resume examples
Several more examples here
Download some quickstart resume templates here
The most important thing with resumes is to be honest. Never lie about skills you don’t have. However, there are ways to emphasize different areas of your skills and abilities that can help you obtain the job being offered. Therefore, if you don’t yet have the experience, draw emphasis to courses, projects, and life skills instead of the experience section.
And one last tip: ask your colleagues or your Staffing Specialist at Rehab Alternatives. You’d be surprised how helpful those around you can be. At Rehab Alternatives we review dozens of resumes a week. We know what Rehab Directors, Hiring Managers, and HR departments like to see, and we would be glad to help provide feedback to help you secure your next assignment.