as the medical professionals who often (quite literally) get patients back on their feet, occupational therapists are more in-demand than ever as society’s healthcare needs grow and shift. whether you’re an assistant seeking a first toehold in the field or an experienced professional on the lookout for new challenges and opportunities, you’ll need a great resume. let’s look at the occupational therapist resume for different levels of experience: one entry-level, one mid-career, and one occupational therapist who wants to shift specialties.
first up is mikaela, who just finished her training program and is looking for her first job in the industry.
14 caton ave
carroll, md 45454
certified ota passionate about working with patients of all ages (from children to seniors) to develop fitness and regain skills.
- ota certification
- clinical experience working with patients
- strong knowledge of anatomy, fitness, and therapeutic methods
certified occupational therapy assistant
american occupational therapy association
a.s.in occupational therapy, may 2016
university of eastern delaware school of allied health, newark, de
occupational therapy intern
sunnydale health center
september 2015 – june 2016
- treated recovering stroke patients on a daily basis according to treatment plans, including assisting with fine motor skills, movement, and daily life skills.
- worked with the occupational therapists and patients to create at-home follow-up care plans.
- educated patients and families on follow-up care.
mikaela’s resume is basic, but to the point. she wants a job as an occupational therapy assistant as the next step in her career. as such, she focuses her resume around that goal—she doesn’t include any extraneous jobs she’s had that don’t necessarily apply to her current career path. she also breaks out her experience to put her occupational therapy internship first, even though the personal trainer gig is her current job. this allows her to put her ot experience foremost in the reader’s mind. her job as a personal trainer is important, because it allows her to show how those skills would apply to her job as an ota, but it’s not the role she wants to prioritize. the structure of her resume matches the qualifications bullet points she lists up front, because those are the points (and the priority) she wants to convey to the hiring manager.
looking for occupational therapy assistant jobs? search thejobnetwork to find ota jobs in your area of the country.
next up, let’s look at rob, who’s an experienced occupational therapist.
321 contact street
paramus, nj 75757
certified occupational therapist with 15+ years’ experience providing comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care and rehabilitation for patients suffering from strokes, injury, and disabilities, with a focus on teamwork and problem solving.
hope rehabilitation center, newark, nj
october 2010 – present
provide evaluation, intervention, education, and discharge plans for adult patients in an acute care inpatient setting.
- evaluate and treat patients in conjunction with physicians, patients, and families.
- communicate with patients and their families to facilitate understanding of the rehab process at all stages of treatment.
- oversee patient scheduling, planning, and progress for occupational therapy assistants, interns, and new employees.
- gather patient data and monitor patient progress at all stages of therapy.
- develop post-discharge plans and outpatient care plans for patients, and educate patients on next steps.
mercy general hospital, newark, nj
june 2005 – october 2010
provided occupational therapy to patients as part of a team of physical and speech language pathologists in a large urban hospital.
- provided occupational therapy services for a variety of patients, including stroke patients, acute care patients,
- communicated consistently with physicians, nurses, social work, and families on patient progress.
- worked with patients and families from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, as well as provided care in conjunction with translators as necessary.
- coordinated staff meetings and patient conferences on a weekly basis.
rob’s strength here is his experience, which he mentions right away. the traditional reverse-chronological resume structure works well for him, because he wants to emphasize the time he’s put in, and the level of care he’s offered his patients over the years. because he has such a long history, he doesn’t necessarily need to list older, possibly unrelated jobs, or specific coursework that he’s taken over the years—he wants his experience to convey the breadth of his knowledge. (plus, he can add any necessary context in an interview, but right now his priority is establishing his history as an occupational therapist.)
rob is also smart to give a short summary statement for each of his listed jobs, so that the reader can see that he has worked in a range of medical environments. otherwise, the reader wouldn’t necessarily know that one clinic is outpatient while another is inpatient; and this gives them a sense of what the work environment was like, even when the job responsibilities were fairly similar. and although many of the points are similar, rob also makes sure not to copy and paste over and over. that just makes the reader’s eyes glaze over, so it’s important to make sure that every single bullet point on your resume either conveys new information, or finds a new way to underline your experience, or a skill you want to convey.
looking for occupational therapist jobs? search thejobnetwork to find ot jobs in your area of the country.
last but not least, we have elise, who has experience as an adult occupational therapist, but wants to work as a pediatric occupational therapist.
456 4th avenue
queens, ny 22222
**experienced certified occupational therapist seeking to bring strong patient care skills to a pediatric therapy role.**
- committed to providing the highest standard of care for patients and their families
- great with children of all abilities
- sensitive to patient and family care needs
- bilingual (english and spanish)
occupational therapist december 2009 - present
queens hospital queens, ny
- provide one-on-one, client-centered therapy with wide range of conditions using multiple approaches
- maintain a schedule of 6-8 patients per day
- conduct daily standup meetings on patient progress, and coordinate regular patient conferences to monitor patient care and progress
- developed therapeutic plans for patients, both for inpatient therapy and post-discharge care
elise is an experienced occupational therapist—but much of her experience is working with adult patients. so how does she frame this so that she can make herself marketable as an occupational therapist with a pediatric focus? she does this mainly in two ways: (1) by using the skills up front to emphasize that she works well with children; and (2) by finessing her resume bullets a bit so that she doesn’t offer as many specifics about her adult patients. she talks about her responsibilities and tasks, but doesn’t mention the age of her patients. this way, she shows that she has extensive experience working with patients on a general level, without pigeonholing her experience in a single age group. elise also includes her previous internship, even though she already has years of experience as an active occupational therapist, because it took place at a school, and she wants to re-establish her bona fides as a therapist who has worked with children. these are important distinctions because although she’s not really changing careers, she’s changing focus, and wants to rebrand herself as a pediatric-focused professional.
looking for pediatric occupational therapist jobs? search thejobnetwork to find pediatric ot jobs in your area of the country.
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