Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or an established professional, it’s so important to keep your Occupational Therapist resume up to date and make it stand out from the pack.
Keep the following 11 tips in mind when putting together, or revising your Occupational Therapist resume.
1. Make career choices that add value for employers.
While an entry level Occupational Therapist resume or an Occupational Therapy Assistant resume may not be required to show significant past work experience, most jobs want to see that you’ve had prior, relevant time in the field.
In addition, you should start to specialize as soon as possible, since expertise will increase your value to employers.
It’s also beneficial to showcase your expertise:
- maintain your own blog on the topic
- contribute to trade publications
- volunteer to speak at conferences
- offer to mentor younger colleagues
2. Begin with a professional profile.
The correct way to begin your resume is with a professional profile. Use this article to breakdown the key points in a great summary so you can write the perfect one.
This is a short (200 to 250 words) summary of your strongest skills and accomplishments that provide insights into the value you can bring to an organization.
3. Prepare your resume in multiple formats.
When applying to a job online, you’re best advised to submit your resume either a Word document or a .txt file so that it properly goes through the system.
In addition, you should have a hard copy version of your resume that you can take with you to interviews.
4. Get your resume past the ATS.
There are a number of things to keep in mind to get past the ATS.
While formatting is important, it’s not as important as including keywords that are related to the position you want, as well as the keywords in the job posting.
Instead, think of all the keywords and key phrases you can include that apply to your experience and skills, and sprinkle them liberally throughout. You should tailor your Occupational Therapist resume to each position, which means you’ll likely use different keywords for each application.
5. Describe your value-added skills and accomplishments.
Don’t shy away from listing what you’ve achieved in other positions! Whenever possible, express the value you added in measurable terms. If your expertise and communication skills brought in a corporate client for your employer and the client spent approximately $500,000 a year on employee rehabilitation, state that certain amount.
6. Include your transferable skills.
Transferable skills are skills that don’t directly stem from your professional training but that can be applied in your work. These skills can be organizational and managing skills, flexibility, adaptability, and more.
7. List your education.
Your resume for Occupational Therapist jobs must include your schooling, licenses, and certifications. In most cases, this should be enough.
However, if you were an exceptional student, or if you’re an entry-level professional, it’s a good idea to include your grade point average.
Consider how the clubs and organizations in which you participated may highlight your skills. In many cases, showcasing these activities in a way that mirrors the verbiage used in the job listing can help your chances of consideration if you don’t have much prior job experience.
8. Provide recent references.
Include a list of references who can and are willing to speak about your professional skills.
This can include:
Just make sure to always ask for their permission before listing them.
If the job listing doesn’t ask for references, include the references as a separate page and only include them on your actual resume if the job listing states to do so.
9. Keep the entire document to a maximum of two pages.
As a rule of thumb, limit your professional experience to the past 10 years to keep your resume to the desired length.
If you have more to share, you can always fill a hiring manager in about the rest of your experience during the interview!
10. Proofread Your Occupational Therapist Resume!
Do the following diligently:
- Proofread the document carefully.
- Use the spell-check tool in your word processing program.
- Ask a colleague or friend to check for errors.
While this tip may seem so simple, a single error can turn off a hiring manager who is looking for someone highly detail-oriented.
11. Make sure your LinkedIn profile corresponds with your resume.
Not every hiring manager will review your profile, but many will. Update your LinkedIn with your most recent experience and certifications.
It’s also advisable to request skills, endorsements, and recommendations from colleagues, supervisors, and clients. A glowing recommendation can easily sway a hiring manager from “maybe” to “definitely”.
All of these items may seem like a lot, but your resume is the first impression a hiring manager will get.