Occupational Therapy Resume—Examples (+ New Grads)

You help people recover, develop, and thrive after life-changing set-backs. Prove your effectiveness with an occupational therapy resume that’ll make hiring managers take note.

Dominique Goldschmitt
Dominique Goldschmitt
Career Expert
Occupational Therapy Resume—Examples (+ New Grads)

Abstract: Occupational therapists tap into the therapeutic potential of everyday activities to treat people with illnesses, injuries, and disabilities. The purpose of your occupational therapy resume is to show you have both the technical OT and interpersonal skills to make a difference.

The life of an occupational therapist can be stressful—

 

And productivity quotas certainly don’t help.

 

So—

 

OTs too often end up neglecting their own continuing education and even mental health—

 

Let alone career development.

 

An effective occupational therapy resume can be your ticket to a better every day.

 

Make sure yours is up to the task—

 

It’s not nearly as difficult or time-consuming as you might think.

 

In this guide:

 

  • An occupational therapy resume sample better than most.
  • How to create the perfect occupational therapy job description for resumes.
  • How to write a resume for occupational therapist jobs that stands out.
  • Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a job in OT.

 

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occupational therapy resume example

 

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Looking to try your hand at a different job, too? See our guides:

 

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Example

 

Lindsey Wiley

Occupational Therapist

 

Personal Info

Phone: 318-876-8909

E-mail: lindsey.s.wiley@reslab.com

linkedin.com/in/lindseyswiley

 

Summary

 

Dedicated occupational therapist with 5+ years’ experience treating both inpatients and outpatients. Seeking opportunity to leverage proven acute care skills in providing excellent patient care at St Luke’s Medical. At St John Hospital, facilitated post-rehab functional independence rates 17-19% above average while supervising and mentoring two OTAs.

 

Experience 

 

Occupational Therapist

St John Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Aug 2018–present

  • Collaborated with 11 rehabilitation team members daily to develop and carry out treatment plans to best meet patient needs in preparation for discharge.
  • Thoroughly documented 350+ evaluations, patient treatment sessions, and discharge summaries using a robust markdown-based note-syncing platform.
  • Provided discharge instructions to patients and family members, facilitating post-rehab functional independence rates 17–19% above average.
  • Supervised two OTAs, devoting two hours per OTA per week to general mentoring and training activities.

 

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Howard Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

July 2016–Aug 2018

  • Maintained a case load of 7–9 patients a day, including treating, billing, and documenting.
  • Provided individualized treatment to 23 patients ranging in age from 70 to 105 years and whose challenges involved physical and cognitive impairments.
  • Participated in home evaluations and discharge planning for 80+ patients.
  • Developed discharge plans with nursing staff and patients’ caregivers and family, reducing re-hospitalization within the first 28 days by 14%.

 

Education 

 

Post-Professional Master’s in Occupational Therapy

University of Southern California Sunnydale, CA

2018

  • Excelled in OT interventions project work.
  • Completed residency as pediatric occupational therapist.

 

BS in Occupational Therapy

University of Southern California Sunnydale, CA

2016

  • Pursued a passion for pathophysiology coursework.
  • Graduated with a 3.7 GPA.

 

Certifications

 

  • Licensed – National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  • First Aid, CPR, AED, American Red Cross

 

Languages

 

  • Spanish – fluent
  • Yucatec Maya – intermediate

 

Key Skills 

 

  • Behavioral health methods
  • Acute care
  • Preparing treatment plans
  • Clinical skills
  • Record-keeping
  • Problem-solving
  • Patience and empathy
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills

 

Now here’s how to write an occupational therapy resume they’ll love:

 

1. Choose the Right Occupational Therapy Resume Format

 

Imagine the hiring manager pulling up your resume on her screen—

 

All that work you put in is about to pay off.

 

Wait—

 

Where did it go? Did she just shift+delete it straight away?

 

She did too—

 

Your resume didn’t even look the part. The layout was weird, the format illegible.

 

So, first up, you need to make sure your application is clean and logical, using the correct formatting for a resume. Here’s how:

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Format

 

 

While saving your resume in PDF is generally a much better option that using *.docx files— 

 

It’s not always the right way to go.

 

Some OT employers use ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) that can’t parse PDF files.

 

So—

 

Always check the job ad to see if there’s a preferred file format mentioned.

 

If not, then default to PDF.

 

2. Write a Compelling Occupational Therapy Resume Objective or Summary

 

Having your resume format in order will help stop you from standing out in a bad way.

 

Now you need to stand out in a good way, and fast.

 

Do this with a resume profile that’s like the ultimate TL;DR.

 

Racked up a year or more as an OT?

 

Then start with a resume summary. It’ll shine a spotlight on all that experience.

 

Use:

 

  1. One adjective (efficient, dedicated, effective)
  2. Job title (Occupational Therapist)
  3. Years of experience (2+, 5+)
  4. How you’ll help (provide excellent patient care)
  5. Two or three of your most relevant achievements (treated 10+ patients a day, met or exceeded 100% of all productivity quotas)

 

These occupational therapy resume examples show how:

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Examples—Resume Summary

Good Example
Dedicated occupational therapist with 5+ years’ experience treating both inpatients and outpatients. Seeking opportunity to leverage proven acute care skills in providing excellent patient care at St Luke’s Medical. At St John Hospital, facilitated post-rehab functional independence rates 17–19% above average while supervising and mentoring two OTAs.
Bad Example
OT with 5 years’ experience. Seeking opportunity to join a close-knit team. At St John Hospital, provided discharge instructions to patients and family members while supervising and mentoring OTAs.

See that?

 

The first example makes a strong case based on quantified achievements, not lifeless duties like in the second example.

 

Haven’t been an OT long enough to write something like this yet?

 

If you’re a new grad writing a resume with no experience, use a resume objective instead and shift that spotlight onto relevant achievements from your studies, any OTA work you’ve done, and non-OT jobs. 

 

Check out these occupational therapy resume objective examples

 

Occupational Therapy Resume New Grad Objective—Examples

Good Example
Passionate occupational therapist with 2+ years’ experience treating both inpatients and outpatients as an OTA. Seeking opportunity to leverage clinical skills in providing excellent patient care at St Luke’s Medical. At Howard Medical Center, maintained a case load of 7–9 patients a day and participated in the home evaluations and discharge planning of 80+ patients.
Bad Example
No experience working as a fully fledged OT, but some experience as an OTA plus residency during Master’s. Fully licensed. Looking for a relaxed work environment without productivity quotas to meet.

The first example is all about what the candidate can do for their potential employer, not the other way around—that’s crucial.

 

Struggling to get through writing a resume profile?

 

Write it last.

 

You’ll find it’s easier, faster, and much more effective to do it that way.

 

3. Create the Perfect Occupational Therapy Job Description and Skills Sections

 

Talking about your future performance is tricky—

 

And invariably ends up sounding like a bunch of promises.

 

There’s a much better way:

 

Show them you’ve got a proven track record of success in doing just what they need.

 

Make your resume work experience section a showcase of achievements.

 

How to write a job description for occupational therapists:

 

  1. Re-read the job ad.
  2. Focus in on the OT skills and duties in it.
  3. Think of times you’ve used those skills to ace those duties.
  4. Write resume bullet points that describe and quantify those times.

 

These occupational therapy resume examples show how:

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Examples—Job Descriptions

Good Example

Occupational Therapist

St John Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Aug 2018–present

  • Collaborated with 11 rehabilitation team members daily to develop and carry out treatment plans to best meet patient needs in preparation for discharge.
  • Thoroughly documented 350+ evaluations, patient treatment sessions, and discharge summaries using a robust markdown-based note-syncing platform.
  • Provided discharge instructions to patients and family members, facilitating post-rehab functional independence rates 17-19% above average.
  • Supervised two OTAs, devoting two hours per OTA per week to general mentoring and training activities.
Bad Example

Occupational Therapist

St John Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

2018–present

  • Collaborated with rehabilitation team members daily to develop and carry out treatment plans to best meet patient needs in preparation for discharge.
  • Thoroughly documented evaluations, patient treatment sessions, and discharge summaries.
  • Provided discharge instructions to patients and family members.
  • Supervised OTAs, mentored, and trained OTAs.

Big difference.

 

So simple and yet so effective:

 

Putting numbers to duties and focusing on the results of your work really transform a job description.

 

One more thing:

 

You need a skills section, listing the key professional skills that make you the ideal candidate.

 

But—

 

Flooding the page with random OT skills is not the way to go.

 

Check what the job ad requires and aim to cover that plus only a little more.

 

These examples will help with the phrasing.

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Skills

 

Hard skills

 

  • Behavioral health methods
  • Acute care
  • Preparing treatment plans
  • Clinical skills
  • Anatomical knowledge
  • Exercise physiology
  • Patient assessment
  • Documenting treatment progress
  • Acting as a rehab liaison
  • Drafting rehabilitation protocols

 

Soft skills

 

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision-making
  • Time management
  • Organization

 

The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.

 

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4. Turn a Predictable Education Into a Reason to Hire You

 

Occupational therapy isn’t the easiest field to get into.

 

Between the educational requirements—

 

And the licensing procedures

 

You’re very much invested by the time you independently treat your first patient.

 

Do all that effort and expense justice with a strong resume education section:

 

List degrees (with majors), schools, and graduation years.

 

Then:

 

Add bullets that show key OT skills in action.

 

This occupational therapy resume example shows how:

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Example—Education Section 

Good Example

Post-Professional Master’s in Occupational Therapy

University of Southern California Sunnydale, CA

2018

  • Excelled in OT interventions project work.
  • Completed residency as pediatric occupational therapist.

 

BS in Occupational Therapy

University of Southern California Sunnydale, CA

2016

  • Pursued a passion for pathophysiology coursework.
  • Graduate with a 3.7 GPA.

 Short on OT experience? 

 

When writing an occupational therapy resume, new grads can extend the education section with projects, classes, and accomplishments that show OT skills like anatomical knowledge and time management.

 

5. Enrich Your Occupational Therapist Resume With Extra Sections

 

It’s no secret that occupational therapy is booming

 

And that’s the problem:

 

Everyone wants in, and competition for the best jobs is fierce.

 

Give yourself an unfair advantage—

 

Add one or two extra sections:

 

 

These two occupational therapy resume examples show yes vs no:

 

Occupational Therapy Resume Examples—Extra Sections

Good Example

Certifications

 

  • Licensed – National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT)
  • First Aid, CPR, AED, American Red Cross

 

Languages

 

  • Spanish – fluent
  • Yucatec Maya – intermediate
Bad Example

Certifications

 

  • Licensed
  • First Aid, etc.

 

Hobbies and Interests

 

  • Darts (competitive, mostly in pubs)
  • Weaving baskets from extension leads
  • Collecting pasta

Night, meet day.

 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with adding hobbies and interests—

 

But they, like everything else you add, have to be relevant to the job ad.

 

One last hoop:

 

You’ll need to write a convincing cover letter to go with your occupational therapy resume.

 

The only exception is when the job ad specifically asks you not to submit one. Otherwise, write one just to be on the safe side: cover letters are necessary for many recruiters to consider your application. 

 

Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.

 

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Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.

 

Key Points

 

For an occupational therapist resume that gets interviews:

 

  • Use the occupational therapy resume template up top. It’s optimized for success.
  • Put occupational therapy achievementsin your profile, work history, and education sections to show that you’re a proven quantity.
  • Include only the right occupational therapy skills. The job ad should make it clear what those are.
  • Write an occupational therapy cover letter. It’s an invaluable opportunity to put your passion for the job on display as you make an evidence-based case for yourself.

 

Still not sure how to write your best ever resume for occupational therapist jobs? Not sure how you can customize our occupational therapy resume template? Share your thoughts down below. We’d love to read them and we’ll be sure to get back to you.

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Dominique Goldschmitt
Dominique Goldschmitt
Dominique is a career expert specializing in resume and cover letter writing advice. Having worked for both start-ups and corporations, she knows all the ins and outs of the recruitment process. At ResumeLab, Dominique shares her knowledge with job seekers at all stages of their career paths, from interns to directors to C-suite members.

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