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Physical Therapist Resume Example & Writing Guide

  • Why use this physical therapist resume example?
  • How to write a great physical therapist resume
  • Which key skills are relevant for a physical therapist resume?
  • Physical Therapist resume example

A physical therapist (PT) is a healthcare professional who treats diseases, injuries, and other conditions through various methods, such as heat treatments, massages, and exercise. The PT seeks to improve mobility, alleviate pain, or reduce the effects of other ailments for patients with chronic conditions. Some specialties in this field focus on the cardiopulmonary system (heart and lungs), musculoskeletal system (bones and muscles), neurological systems (brain), and integumentary system (skin). Physical therapists work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, and sports facilities. They assist people of all ages and provide advice on maintaining healthy habits and preventing future problems.

Why use this physical therapist resume example?

It is important to begin your physical therapist resume with an introduction that will grab the attention of employers by briefly highlighting your skills, experience, and accomplishments as a physical therapist. Your resume summary should show your PT expertise clearly and concisely because you only have a few lines to convey your message. 

The qualifications profile in this example serves the purpose of a resume summary, and it does a great job of showcasing key skills. The bullet list makes it obvious which skills are being explained, and each bullet point has two sentences that cover a lot of ground with examples demonstrating various skills. The objective is to give employers a preview of what you can offer before they continue reading your resume. This may be your one and only chance to convince them your resume is worth their time.

Education for a physical therapist is very important. This example emphasizes the education section by moving it ahead of the professional experience. Certifications are also crucial for professional physical therapists. When adding your education and certifications to your resume, you don’t need to include descriptions, just the name of the degree or certificate and the issuing organization. It is okay to include relevant recognitions or awards; just keep them short by including the name of the award and the issuer.

How to write a great physical therapist resume

Many people who suffer injuries or experience mobility issues seek the services of physical therapists, but you will have to compete with other qualified candidates even if the demand for PTs is high. By using relevant keywords and well-written, concise descriptions, you can move your resume to the front of the line.

Highlight your physical therapy expertise by weaving your skills and specialties into your job descriptions and accomplishments. For example, communication and interpersonal skills are important when working with patients and their families. Those skills also help you collaborate with other health professionals to accomplish therapy objectives. You can call out these attributes in your resume skills section to grab the attention of hiring managers, but use real-world examples (in your professional experience section) of how you have demonstrated these skills in your work.  

Another important thing to do when writing your resume is to include industry keywords. Just like when you use online search engines, an applicant tracking system (ATS) that many companies use to review resumes will search for keywords. If your resume does not include the right keywords, then it will probably be rejected.

You can make your resume ATS-ready by looking at applicable job descriptions for any skill-related words that match your work history and including them in your resume summary, skills, and experience sections.

Examples of physical therapy-related keywords to include in your resume are:

  • Clinic

  • Home healthcare

  • Injury

  • Manual therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Patient care

  • Physical dexterity

  • Physical therapist

  • Physical therapy

  • PT

  • Rehabilitation

  • Sports medicine

  • Treatment planning

The above keywords are non-specific. If you have any specialties, make sure that you include appropriate keywords for those, such as neurological, pediatric care, or sports rehabilitation.

Which key skills are relevant for a physical therapist resume?

For your physical therapist career to meet your objectives, you need to include skills in your resume that employers are seeking. 

Here are great examples of important skills to have as a physical therapist: 

  • Communication

  • Interpersonal

  • Adaptability

  • Physical stamina

  • Problem solving

  • Collaboration

  • Therapy intervention

  • CPR/AED and first aid certification

  • Patient care

  • Therapy and counseling

Physical Therapist resume example

Summary example

Collaborative, results-focused physical therapist.

  • Physical Therapy: build and manage care plans, and provide high-quality patient service. Adept in basic exercise prescription concepts, graded motor control training, pain science, fall prevention exercise programs, balance, and vestibular exercise training programs. Proven skills in efficiently operating and applying ultrasound, electric stimulation, and hot / cold modalities, laser and instruct patients in exercises. Skilled in recognizing patients’ physical limitations.

  • Communication & Presentation: Exceptional ability to deliver empathetic and professional client service to diverse patients while displaying cultural and age sensitivity. In-depth experience assessing individual needs and providing client education. Deliver clear and concise training to new staff.

  • Administration & Recordkeeping: Accurate and detailed to input patient health history and medical records into data systems. Trained in importance of documenting patient information and progress to submit to insurance companies. Skilled in writing comprehensive reports.

    Key Strengths: Dedication to highest quality patient care and personal performance. Highly organized and able to maintain exceptional rate of productivity, accuracy, and efficiency within fast-paced environments. Talent for forging relationships with team members, supervisors, and clients. Excellent mentoring skills to motivate team members in leadership role.

Employment history example

Physical Therapist, ABC Physical Therapy Locust Valley, NY 2016 - Present

Provide physical therapy services according to PT’s plan of care and treat patients throughout session, including applying hot and cold modalities, electric stimulation, ultra sound, and cold laser, as well as performing soft tissue massage, myofascial release, and stretching and joint mobilization exercises. Ensure updated information regarding patient conditions and identify solutions to help restore patients to prior functioning levels and daily living activities. Interact with patients throughout therapy session, including greeting and gathering subjective information from patients to better support therapy session. Train new PT Aides. Modify patient therapy program within outline of original care plan as patient advances to recovery.

  • Explain and illustrate how to perform therapeutic exercises for maximum patient benefit.

  • Write detailed and comprehensive SOAP notes regarding patient progress.

  • Effectively communicate with PTs, aides, and diverse patient base and provide compassionate care and information regarding their current medical condition, resulting in patient cooperation and higher recovery rate.

Physical Therapist Assistant, ABC Physical Therapy Locust Valley, NY 2013 - 2016

Supported PTs during therapy sessions and instructed patients in therapeutic exercise techniques. Greeted patients, setup exercise equipment and provided patients with cold and hot modalities.

  • Established and fostered productive and trusting relationships while delivering quality care.

  • Effectively applied skills from education as PT Assistant and experience as personal trainer.

  • Accurately documented patient arrival for therapy and completed flow sheet to track session and patient progress.

  • Trained new PT aides in daily work procedures.

  • Continually collaborated across PT team to meet daily objectives and goals.

Education example

Associate of Applied Science / Physical Therapist Assistant Garden City, NY Certification, Nassau Community College

Profile Garland Brewster

Garland Brewster

Garland is a writer and technology consultant that lives in far west Texas, USA. He is semi-retired from a successful 25-year career in the Information Technology industry, and now spends his time writing for various websites (mostly career development related). Garland holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance, and a master’s degree in Economics and Computer Information Systems.

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