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Physical Therapy Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

You can dry-needle with the best of them, plus assess, educate, and build a plan of care. But can you get them to hire you? You can with this expert physical therapy resume sample.

Tom Gerencer
Career Writer at ResumeLab
Physical Therapy Resume—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips

“Oh, you’re a physical therapist?”

 

“Can you give me a massage?”

 

Eye roll.

 

You’re a doctor, not a spa employee.

 

Plus, you were smart enough to pick a field that’s growing 22% every 10 years.

 

That’s much faster than average.

 

But—

 

To get high-salary PT jobs, you need a high-level physical therapist resume.

 

You’ll get there fast with a little professional help.

 

In this guide:

  • A physical therapy resume sample better than most.
  • How to write a resume for physical therapy jobs that gets things moving.
  • How to make the perfect physical therapy job description for resumes.
  • Why you can’t just list physical therapy skills (and what to do instead).

 

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physical therapy resume example

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Physical Therapy Resume Sample You Can Copy and Use

 

Leslie Leighton

Physical Therapist

 

Personal Info

 

Phone: 408-421-9621

E-mail: lesliezleighton@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/lesliezleighton

instagram.com/lesliezleighton

 

Summary

 

Effective, licensed physical therapist with 6+ years of experience. Seeking to improve quality of life at Walker Recovery. At Parker Lane Pediatrics, maintained 50 regular clients with 95% positive scores and 53 5-star reviews on HealthGrades. Used patient education and dry needling to attain 35%+ mobility increase for 90%+ of patients.

 

License

 

 Licensed Physical Therapist: California State License #PT00000

 

Experience

 

Physical Therapist

Parker Lane Pediatrics

2014–2019

  • Pediatric DPT in urban clinic. Maintained client list of 50 regulars. Received 95% positive scores in parent evaluations.
  • Developed plan of care for 250+ patients.
  • Achieved 80% patient-goal success rate through patient education.
  • Increased mobility by 35% for 90%+ of injury patients.
  • Attained 53 5-star ratings on HealthGrades with interpersonal skills.
  • Lowered pain scores an average of 30% through dry needling.

 

Physical Therapy Experience

Various

2013–2014

  • Volunteer PT, Alajuela Nursing Home. Recognized for compassion.
  • Personal Trainer, Mobile Fitness & Recovery. Served 150+ clients.
  • Volunteer PT, Seton Clinic. Assessed 15 patients.
  • Rehabbed father to 95% mobility after total paralysis from stroke.

 

Education

 

DPT, Chapman University

2010–2013

  • Excelled in movement science.
  • Performed doctoral project in dry needling.

 

BS Health Science, UC Riverside

2006–2010

  • Pursued a passion for pediatrics.

 

Certifications

 

  • Pediatrics Specialist Certification, ABPTS
  • First Aid & CPR, American Red Cross

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Member, APTA, mentor 20+ physical therapists annually.
  • Teach yoga 2x monthly for fun & fitness.

 

Hard Skills: Patient assessment, therapy interventions, creating plan of care, dry needling, patient education

 

Soft Skills: Interpersonal skills, active listening, communication

 

Here’s how to write your version of that sample physical therapy resume:

 

1. Choose the Best Physical Therapy Resume Format

 

They won’t hire a sloppy-looking physical therapist.

 

Or read sloppy physical therapy resumes.

 

Get the format of your resume in line.

 

And warm up with the reverse-chronological format.

 

Physical Therapy Resume Format

 

  • Set one-inch margins on a one-page resume.
  • Leave white space so your words can breathe.
  • Include a resume font like 10–12pt Cambria or Avenir Next.
  • Write common resume sections like Heading, Summary, Work Experience, Education, and Skills.
  • Save a PDF resume. They move well from machine to machine.

Expert Hint: Physical therapy jobs will grow 22% in the next 10 years. But we both know there are lots of bad PT jobs. That’s why your physical therapist resume has to shine.

2. Make a Physical Therapy Resume Objective or Summary

 

Sad but true.

 

Dozens of physical therapist resumes stand between you and your dream job.

 

To clear that hurdle, get noticed fast.

 

Write an agile career summary or career objective.

 

That’s a fast rundown of why you matter to them.

 

Add:

 

  1. An adjective or two (licensed, effective)
  2. “physical therapist”
  3. Years of experience (2+, 7+)
  4. How & who you’ll help (improve quality of life at Walker Recovery)
  5. Best physical therapy moments (maintained 50 regular clients...)
  6. Some key job skills (patient education, dry-needling...)

 

Write it last to make it easy on yourself.

 

These physical therapy resume examples show how:

 

Physical Therapy Resume Summary—Example

Good Example
Effective, licensed physical therapist with 6+ years of experience. Seeking to improve quality of life at Walker Recovery. At Parker Lane Pediatrics, maintained 50 regular clients with 95% positive scores and 53 5-star reviews on HealthGrades. Used patient education and dry needling to attain 35%+ mobility increase for 90%+ of patients.
Bad Example
Experienced physical therapist, skilled in patient assessment, therapy interventions, and dry needling. Physically fit and recognized for high level of skill in patient and family education. Specializes in pediatric physical therapy. Well-liked by patients.

Look at that.

 

Both of those reference dry needling and pediatrics. But—

 

One adds “50 clients, 95% positive scores,” and other energizing factors.

 

But even an entry-level physical therapist resume needs proof.

 

Let’s say all you’ve done is volunteer and work as a personal trainer.

 

Check out how this physical therapist assistant resume sample does it:

 

Entry-Level Physical Therapy Resume Objective

Good Example
Compassionate physical therapist with skills in patient assessment and stroke rehabilitation. Seeking to improve patients’ lives at Stout Lane Medical. Recognized for compassion as volunteer PT at Alajuela Nursing Home. Assessed 15 patients at Seton Clinic. As personal trainer at Mobile Fitness & Recovery, served 150+ clients.
Bad Example
Hard-working physical therapist seeking full-time work. Skilled in patient assessment, stroke rehab, and assessments. Highly compassionate and good with clients. Ready to start ASAP.

See that?

 

The second of those entry-level physical therapy assistant resume examples lists compassion and assessment.

 

But the first one proves them.

Expert Hint: Most physical therapists work in private clinics. To get hired, your PT or PTA resume must show your contribution to the clinic and its patients.

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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Nail it all with a splash of color, choose a clean font, highlight your skills in just a few clicks. You’re the perfect candidate and we’ll prove it. Use the ResumeLab builder now.

 

3. Write a Meaty Physical Therapy Job Description and Skills Section

 

A physical therapist resume can’t be generic.

 

So—

 

Target your resume.

 

You need to fit the job like a wraparound brace.

 

To write a physical therapy job description for resumes:

 

  1. Find the resume skills (known as resume keywords) in the online ad.
  2. List times you used them to make things happen.

 

Write yours like the first of these physical therapy resume samples:

 

Pretend the job ad wants a pediatric DPT with these physical therapy skills: developing plan of care, patient education, dry needling.

 

Physical Therapy Job Description for Resume [Sample]

Good Example

Experience

 

Physical Therapist

Parker Lane Pediatrics

2014–2019

  • Pediatric DPT in urban clinic. Maintained client list of 50 regulars. Received 95% positive scores in parent evaluations.
  • Developed plan of care for 250+ patients.
  • Achieved 80% patient-goal success rate through patient education.
  • Lowered pain scores an average of 30% through dry needling.
Bad Example
  • PT in urban clinic. Performed assessments and physical therapy interventions.
  • Increased mobility of injury patients.
  • Worked with patients long term to lower pain through exercise.
  • Created reports after all patient visits.

Ouch, that hurts.

 

The second of those physical therapist resume examples is like a shoulder impingement. It doesn’t target the job.

 

Plus—how did that applicant help? There are no numbers.

 

Now for an entry-level resume:

 

Say the job ad wants these physical therapy skills: compassion, assessment, stroke rehab.

 

Entry-Level Physical Therapy Resume Job Description [Sample]

Good Example

Physical Therapy Experience

Various

2013–2014

  • Volunteer PT Alajuela Nursing Home. Recognized for compassion.
  • Personal Trainer, Mobile Fitness & Recovery. Served 150+ clients.
  • Volunteer PT, Seton Clinic. Assessed 15 patients.
  • Rehabbed father to 95% mobility after total paralysis from stroke.
Bad Example

Waitress

New River Burrito Bar

2014–2015 

  • Provided customer service.
  • Used active listening skills with customers.
  • Developed reputation for efficiency.

Freeze.

 

The second sample isn’t awful—if they want skills in customer service, listening, and efficiency.

 

They don’t. (See the job skills in yellow above.)

 

What physical therapist skills work best? Here’s a list:

 

Physical Therapy Skills for Resumes 

 

Hard Skills

Soft Skills

Patient Assessment

Interpersonal Skills

Plan of Care

Customer Service

PT Interventions

Listening

Patient Education

Collaboration

Heat Treatment

Communication

Patient History

Problem Solving

Documentation

Compassion

Pediatric

Persuasion

Sports

Time Management

Orthopedic

Physical Stamina

Expert Hint: In a physical therapy resume for new grads, focus on soft skills. Then, give evidence of the hard skills you learned while earning your doctorate.

4. Make the Most of Your Education

 

Your doctorate is no joke.

 

But your education section can’t be like all the rest.

 

If it is—

 

You’ll get rejected like them, too.

 

So put a few key details in your schooling to catch the eye.

 

This physical therapist resume sample shows the routine:

 

Physical Therapy Resume Example—Education

Good Example

Education

 

DPT, Chapman University

2010–2013

  • Excelled in movement science.
  • Performed doctoral project in dry needling.

 

BS Health Science, UC Riverside

2006–2010

  • Pursued a passion for pediatrics.

If they listed movement science, dry needling, and pediatrics in their ad, you’re in.

 

In a physical therapy student resume, your education can fill most of the page.

 

5. Add “Other” Sections to Your Physical Therapy Resume

 

Quick quiz:

 

What if the other physical therapist resumes show similar experience and education?

 

Whatever makes you different in a good way can get you hired.

 

So add a couple “other” sections like:

 

These physical therapy resume examples work it out:

 

Front-End Web Developer Resume—Extra Sections

Good Example

License

 

Licensed Physical Therapist: California State License #PT00000

 

Certifications

 

  • Pediatrics Specialist Certification, ABPTS
  • First Aid & CPR, American Red Cross

 

Additional Activities

 

  • Member, APTA, mentor 20+ physical therapists annually.
  • Teach yoga 2x monthly for fun & fitness.
Bad Example

Additional Activities

 

  • Sea kayaking.
  • Going to festivals.

Oh, and—

 

Put your license in its own section, near the top.

 

You don’t want the hiring manager to miss it!

Expert Hint: Write a cover letter. Your resume for physical therapy jobs will get more special care. Why? Most managers read those letters. Some insist on them.

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

 

Here’s how to write a physical therapy resume:

  • Use the physical therapist resume template up top. It lets you match your hard-won skills to the job.
  • Get resume keywords (skills and duties) from the physical therapy job description.
  • Pump up your resume sections with your skills. Show proof you’ve used them to help patients.
  • Add “other” sections that show you’re not just another PT who needs work.
  • Need more info about writing resumes? Check out the full guide on how to write a resume.  

 

Got questions on how to write great resumes for physical therapy jobs? Not sure how to show physical therapy on a resume? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. Tom has been featured on BBC News, NBC, The Economist, Business Insider, Fast Company, and dozens of other outlets. His insights, commentary, and articles reach over a million readers every month. With inside knowledge of key industry players and in-depth research, Tom helps job seekers with advice across all professions and career stages. Tom holds a degree in English from Colby College.

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