Your resume is the first step to creating a powerful impression that lands you the job you want. How you translate your strengths, skills and work experiences onto a sheet of paper will often determine whether or not you get that call for an interview. This article will highlight 3 important steps to creating a powerful and compelling entry level occupational therapy resume that gets you noticed and hired. Below is a sample resume I created just for you.
Step 1: Know the Essential Components
Highlight Key Accomplishments
For Level II placement, include 2-4 bullet points that describe your key accomplishments. Don’t overdo bullets. As an entry level new grad, it may be wise to keep your resume to a single page to ensure your most relevant and notable accomplishments stand out. However, if having a one-page resume means you’re leaving out key relevant information that could determine whether you ultimately get the job, then opt for that second page.
Optional: Professional Summary | Membership & Affiliation | Research and Publication | Reference |
Show what you know, what you accomplished and how those things translate into value to the organization.
Step 2: Avoid Common Mistakes
Use Action Verbs
Start every bullet point line with an action verb that demonstrates your skills, initiative and leadership. Examples of action verbs: Executed, Facilitated, Conducted, Demonstrated, Collaborated, Measured, Initiated.
List your education and experience in the most recent order.
Step 3: Enhance Your Resume
Use a Resume Optimization Tool
Use a resume optimization tool such as Jobscan to optimize resume keywords. In this day and age, most resumes are placed into a keyword-searchable database, like the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to search for applicants whose qualifications match up with what the company wants in an employee. So an effective and easy way to do this is to look at the job description in detail, highlight all the keywords and incorporate them into your resume. Then use Jobscan to see how your resume compares against the job description.
Don’t be duty-driven. Meaning, don’t just list what you did, but how well you did it by emphasizing meaningful results and outcomes that highlight your skill sets and demonstrate the value you brought to the organization in a measurable, quantifiable way.
- Did you demonstrate initiative by creating the facility’s first sensory gym?
- Were you recognized for problem solving a complex situation and overcoming challenges?
- Did you demonstrate leadership by presenting at the AOTA conference?
- Did you achieve high quality outcomes through implementation of evidence-based care?
Distinguish yourself by demonstrating your commitment to learning and advancing your clinical skills by including any specialized training or certificate programs you are participating in. I personally use MedBridge along with its Certificate Programs as a way to advance my clinical skills and differentiate myself from other new entry level candidates.