Writing a good resume to get noticed and stand out can be challenging. The bottom line is to make your Resume look clean, simple, and professional. It should show your best self, and give your new employer as least work as possible.
Here are 5 tips on what you should include in your Occupational Therapy Resume, and how to make it stand out.
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5 Tips to include in your OT resume
Erin Brennan’s (OTR) best tips for writing a killer Resume:
1 – The one page rule is no joke! Keep it simple and summed up for ease of reading.
Writing a one page Resume is still a thing. If your employer has a pile of resumes on a desk, it’s easier to look at the one page Resume.
If they have to print two pages, you just gave them the extra problem of finding a stapler or paperclip.
Stick to one page. It’s the best first impression you can give to your future employer.
2 – Your fieldwork is all you have as a new grad but shouldn’t still be included once you have legitimate experience.
It may be tempting to include your fieldwork when you don’t have a lot of experience, but it’s better to fill the page with other important content.
Share the content that makes you stand out. This can include certifications, scholarships, awards, volunteer opportunities, or achievements. In other words, share your best self.
The goal of your resume isn’t to show how many jobs you’ve had, it’s to show a little about your character and how you stand out from the other applicants.
3 – Noting the documentation systems you have experience with assists in demonstrating your range.
If you want to make your next employer more interested in hiring you, show them your experience with documentation systems.
If you have experience with a documentation system that is used by your next employer, you’re giving them a financial reason to hire you.
Not only will you save them money on the time it takes you to learn their software, you’ll save them money on the person who has to train you on it.
4 – Active licensure and/or certifications are crucial.
If your resume doesn’t show that you’re qualified to work with the required license or certification, the employer will have to contact you or look it up.
This gives your employer one more thing to do.
5 – Choose the Right Format
When in doubt use a PDF
In general, a PDF is an easy to use and clean file format to share with your future employer. In some circumstances, it’s fine to use a word document, but you can’t always assume that your employer will have access to Microsoft word.
They may be able to open it with a different program, but there’s no guarantee that the file will keep the correct format.
PDFs are best, because the format doesn’t change, and anyone can open a PDF.
Make Fonts Professional
The font size and type is important, because your resume needs to be easily read and look professional. Absolutely do not use cursive or bubbly fonts. You don’t have to use Times New Roman, but there are plenty of fonts that look professional and attractive.
Paragraph vs Bullet Points
I prefer bullet points, because they are easy to read and they get to the point. However, if you want to show off your professional writing skills paragraph style may be better..
For most OT jobs, you don’t need to show that you can write well, so stick with the bullet points, so your resume is easier to read.
I hope this helps make your Resume look more clean, simple, and professional. Remember, less is better, and giving your next employer as little work as possible will help you stand out.
If you’re stuck or need help, don’t forget to send us your Resume by contacting us here.
And don’t forget to check out our page on OT salary.
David is the lead editor of OT Focus. He has been practicing as an Occupational Therapist since 2013. He specializes in acute care, hand therapy, and ergonomics.