If you google “Occupational therapist resume template”, you’ll find a lot of resume models filled with roles and responsibilities such as:
- Conducted patient home evaluations and family training.
- Evaluating and treating patients as well as documenting procedures.
- Attended weekly rounds with physicians, nursing staff and physical therapists.
- Practice proficiency in fabricating static and dynamic splints including pressure garments and assistive or adaptive devices.
- Contributed to team meetings and assisted in discharge planning.
That seems about right, no?
But there’s a problem. A huge problem, actually. Think of the occupational therapists that you know. How many of them have done similar things? Probably most of them. Because that’s pretty much what practicing this sort of therapy is all about. There are differences here and there, but roles and responsibilities will often overlap. So if your resume is very close to a typical “occupational therapist resume template”, how is that helping you get interviews? After all, the best resumes are distinctive. They make you stand out, not blend in!
So here’s a little something to help you make your resume stand out. It’s based on the 3 Laws of Resume Writing. And it’s not material that I made up. I found it by carefully studying good occupational therapist resumes.
5 Occupational Therapist Accomplishments to Make your Resume Distinctive
- Took on a higher and complex caseload without diminishing effort on non-clinical duties.
- Worked closely with IT department to integrate all forms onto an online system, which reduced time spent on administrative tasks by the whole team.
- Provided intense OT intervention in the home for 6 weeks which helped to reduce unnecessary hospital admission.
- Provided sensorimotor/sensory integration information and workshop to occupational therapists and coworkers.
- Entrusted with research, design and equipment set up of facility’s first sensory gym, which was ready one week ahead of schedule.
The benefit is the key component of each accomplishment: improved processes, more money, demonstrated leadership and reliability, … Accomplishments like these are the most critical pieces of your resume. Now read that last sentence again, because that’s the best resume advice you’ll get this month.
If you’re a fantastic employee but your resume is silent on many of your accomplishments, you’ll end up behind a good employee whose accomplishments are all clearly laid out.
And for that matter, an average employee with weak accomplishments better know how to network, since the resume alone won’t pull its weight. (Actually, networking skills are critical to everyone’s job hunt. But let’s stick with the topic, if you don’t mind.)
Accomplishments are where it’s at. When you solve a problem, reduce costs, make something better/simpler/faster, when you show initiative, it has to be on your resume, without being drowned out by too many roles and responsibilities (i.e. the “we’ve-all-done-it” resume template material). In my view, half of the energy and time spent on your resume should be focused on your accomplishments. To write good accomplishments, you need to think of what your potential employer is thinking about (problems solved, better results, and so on) and emphasize that. If you go through 20-30 resumes of your peers, you’ll certainly find great accomplishments that you could adapt on your resume. I truly believe that is time well spent.
Many More Accomplishments, Just for You
However, I’ve already done that research… The 5 ideas above are just a glimpse of the full list of accomplishments I’ve assembled. If you’d like that well-rounded, unique list of real-world occupational therapy accomplishments, for just a few dollars, check out our e-book, Occupational Therapist Resume Hacking, on Amazon. You can read it even if you don’t have a Kindle device.