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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Physiotherapist and Research Scholar, ESIC Model Hospital & PG Research Institute- ESICPGIMSR (Under Govt of India),Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore and General Secretary of Bangalore Physiotherapist Network (BPN) 2017-2020

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11 Oct 2013

Physiotherapy Resume Writing and Interviewing Tips

Physiotherapy  Resume Writing and Interviewing Tips:
Compiled by Physiotherapy Jobs Portal - A registered Job Portal for Indian Physiotherapists for Job Search, Assistance and Career building.

A great resume doesn’t need to follow any rules. Throw out the old notions of resumes having to be one page or follow a specific format. What you really want in a resume is an unique representation of your physical therapist professional qualities. Let’s cut to the chase and show you how to write a great resume!
When you write a resume, it has a specific purpose: to win an interview. A resume is an advertisement, nothing more, nothing less. A resume that is written well will convey what every good advertisement does: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. Understand however, that is not a medium for self-expression, history of your past, or a personal statement. Its intended purpose is to convince the employer that you are the best physical therapist and have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career. The resume has to be so pleasing to the eye that the reader is enticed to pick it up and read it. It should inspire the prospective employer to pick up the phone and ask you to come in for an interview.
What to include on your resume/CV:
1) Complete Contact Information: You need the employer to know exactly who you are from the moment they pick up those pages. So to begin, include your full name in capital letters, complete address, and your phone number. You should preferably list both your home and cell phone both so that you are easily available. These items should be bold, slightly larger than the rest of the details of your resume outline, and centered.
You may find, in a sample resume outline from many years ago, that the next thing you are told to list is your date of birth. In fact, you should never include this information. Also, be mindful that most employers in the United States do not require a picture identification on the resume. The employer has no need to know how you look before he/she meets you for the interview.  A picture can also pose a potential issue the employer may want to avoid. If you have a picture and they choose not to hire you, it’s possible that you could come back with a discrimination lawsuit. In most cases, they’ll throw your résumé away without looking at it, to avoid the issue altogether.
2) The Objective: The way to demonstrate your direction or apparent clarity of your resume is  to include an OBJECTIVE. Ideally, your resume should be pointed toward conveying why you are the perfect candidate for that physical therapy job or job title. Good advertising is directed toward a very specific target audience. A good objective indicates that the applicant has thought about what qualities would make them stand out and starts communicating it from the moment an employer reads the resume. What’s more, they are communicating from the point of view of making a contribution to the employer; what you, as a physical therapist, can contribute to the prosperity of the business.The employer is interested in hiring you for what you can do for them, not for fulfilling your private goals and agenda. A good guide of how to structure an Objective would be:
OBJECTIVE: To gain employment as a insert name of position you are applying for position in an organization (or put type of facility or setting) where I can use my insert skill or abilities and insert skill or abilities to improve insert what you would do for the company.
The name of the position would be “physical therapist” or “facility manager and physical therapist.” The skill or ability can be what you learned during school, CEU’s, or other training.  The fact  that you are “full-loving” is NOT a skill or ability you should list.  Want to really impress and stand out?  Be even more specific and name the company. This shows them that you do not just want to work for any company as a therapist, but you want to work for them.
Here is an example of an objective statement:
To earn an entry-level physical therapy position at Fast Times Physical Therapy where I would be able to offer quality treatment to patients using my acquired clinical skills as certified manual therapist and training in advanced orthopedic conditions.
3) Education Details:The next thing you’ll find on a basic resume outline is the details of your education. Generally it is not necessary to include high school if you have college education to list. However, you should include all the degrees you have earned and where you earned them. If your GPA is impressive include that number. If not impressive, but the grades you earned in your major or area of concentration, assuming it is the field in which you are applying for a position, are high, do include these.
3.5) If you are a new graduate seeking your first professional job:The next heading of your resume outline is for your physical therapy training/ clinical affiliations or other education. List all of your affiliations with the company you did your training with, where you your training was located, the duration of # of weeks, what the setting was (ie: Ortho outpatient, Inpatient, Acute, etc.), what your duties were, what you learned, and who your Clinical Instructor was. But set yourself apart by listing things you did during those internships that every other intern did not do (ie, inservices, studies, projects). For many of you seeking your first  physical therapist job, this is perhaps the most crucial part of your resume.
4) Work Experience:Your outline resume will next include your physical therapist clinical work experience. This is the section of your resume outline in which you list all your prior and current jobs, generally starting in reverse chronological order. This means that this part of your resume outline starts with the most recent job and ends with the first job you held. You may not include details about your first summer job at a fast-food restaurant if it has no relevance to the current job you’re applying for. This is strictly an outline of pertinent experience for a resume in chronological format. There are times and formats that don’t necessarily require the reverse chronological order – in fact, recommend that the order not be strictly chronological. This part of the resume outline, no matter which format, still calls for your work experience to be listed.
5) Activities:The next item on your basic resume outline should be pertinent activities and interests. This is not the place to mention that you like to read or you are an avid scuba diver, but rather the place to mention that you are taking Spanish classes or are a member of Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills. It is even encouraged to put your athletic activities if you are applying for a position that treats those athletes. If your clinic commonly seeing running injuries, the fact that you run 2 or 3 marathons a year will give you added credibility with those patients, therefore making you more valuable to that clinic.
In this part of the resume outline, or in any part, you should refrain from mentioning such prone-to-injury activities such as hang gliding and skydiving, for example – unless, of course you are applying as a physical therapist at an X-Games training facility.
6) References… Or Not:What some older outline resume guides might suggest next is the heading for references.  Were you to include this information you would want to include the name, address and job title of people who can offer references. You would explain how you know them and how long they have known you. Nowadays, however, your resume outline can leave out any reference section. This is material that an employer will request should you get to the point of a job interview. No employer will actually check references prior to the first interview.
We at Physio 4 Hire, hope to provide the best support we can to our therapist candidates. Please let us know if there is anything you would suggest or think that we should reconsider for our “Writing a Physical Therapy Resume”. We are willing to hear from you!
What NOT to include on your Resume/CV
1) Your picture:While in some countries this is common practice, studies have shown that including your photo in your resume/cv can subject you to a bias before they even read your name.  In a study at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev that included 5312 CVs, researchers concluded that “Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women.” This means that whether or not you get a call back can all depend on whether or not the person reviewing your CV thinks your attractive.
Another article we found “Should You Include a Photo on Your Resume?” found in a study that it not only depends on your attractiveness whether or not you get a call back, but also the attractiveness of the person making the decision. The more “plain” looking the recruiter, the less likely your are going to get a call if you are attractive. But it also stated that an attractive recruiter has minimal bias.
What we, and other HR and recruiting professionals, advise is that you include your LinkedIn profile URL on your resume instead of a photo. If an employer is really interested in what you look like they can and will find it online. It is better to have them find your professional bio (and hopefully professional photo) then to do a Google search and find you standing upside down drinking beer at a party you went to 8 years ago.
How to prepare for an Interview:So now that you have gotten that first interview using your top-notch resume, you need to ace it! Chances are you won’t be the only candidate for the position, so you need something to set you apart. This is Physio 4 Hire’s top 10 Tips for an Awesome Physical Therapy Job Interview and you’ll have a great advantage over your competitors who won’t be as prepared as you are!
Here are some solid tips for all of you heading into an interview:
1) First thing you need to do is start thinking along the lines of a “salesperson”. You need to speak for at least 3-5 min. about why you are the best Physical Therapist for the job and why he/she should hire you. Talk about your background, education, and experience. Practice this over and over again until you have it down cold. In addition, it would be highly recommended that you research the company you wish to work for. Begin your research with the company web site, then their history, philosophy, vision, and any hints at company culture. This will help you know if they fit what you’re looking for in a physical therapy clinic/company, and why you might be a fit for them.
2) Always arrive early! It is important that you get to the interview approximately 15-20 min early. This will give you time to relax, regroup, review some notes and fill out any necessary paperwork prior to the interview. Using this time for the restroom and making sure your appearance is fresh, clean and presentable is encouraged. Make sure you spit out any gum you might be chewing on, and it might be a good time to use that packed toothbrush and toothpaste for a quick brushing to freshen your breath.
3) Each question should be listened to carefully and then answered thoroughly and thoughtfully. Avoid using filler words like, “um’s”, “you know’s”, “uh’s”, and “like’s”. Be confident when you reply to questions. PT Managers look for people who have a sound knowledge base and have the confidence of answering questions thoroughly. Answer the questions with precision and thought and wait for the interviewer to respond.
4)  “So…tell me a little about yourself”. This is very likely to be the first question out of the interviewers mouth so be prepared. We know it is often hard to talk about yourself without sounding either arrogant or plain. But this is your chance to talk about your personality traits and background information that establishes your qualifications for the position. Emphasize your work ethic, love for the PT profession and your desire for ongoing education.
5) The dreaded “What is your weakness and what have you done to overcome it?” question. How do you answer that? Solution: mention a quality or two that is really a quasi-strength in disguise. For example, “I am a very thorough person and like to make sure notes for each day is done perfectly but this sometimes takes more time for me than others.” In these types of behavior-based questions the interviewer is looking for you to give them a specific example from your past that demonstrates your abilities.  It is a good idea prior to the interview to think of the skills needed for the job you’re interviewing for, and what examples you have from your past that show that you have successfully demonstrated those skills, remind yourself of the details of those examples.  You want to avoid leaving the interview and remembering your good examples after it is too late
6) If an interviewer asks, “what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?” This is considered a probing question to determine how long you might stay with the company. The appropriate answer is one that shows you are a good candidate for long term employment but also leave things ambiguous, there’s no law that says you have to work in the same place forever. State goals that are in line with your PT career and that show you are a good candidate for long-term employment. Something like “I’d like to be your Senior Therapist,” is a good response.
7) Answering the “How you resolved a particular challenge?” question. Be ready with some specific examples of your more challenging cases. Also, provide some examples of how you were able to get a particular task accomplished under unusual pressure, or a short deadline, if you have those types of examples. Don’t make anything up though. It’s also a good idea to provide examples of your teamwork skills and how well you communicate ideas with co-workers and supervisors.
8) Always display a friendly, positive demeanor! This is perhaps the most important aspect of the interview. An energetic smiling face will always “speak” volumes. Body language (not clutching onto your briefcase while you’re interviewing), positive tone and attitude goes a long way to impress an interviewer. Make sure you Sit up straight, don’t tap your feet or drum your fingers. Make sincere eye contact with the interviewer. If it comes down to a tie between you and another candidate with equal experience and skills, your enthusiasm could swing the job your way!
9) Be cool under pressure. You might be tested to see how you react to confrontation. This may be a way for some interviewers to eliminate more timid therapists. Always maintain professional demeanor and behave as if your interviewer is doing nothing unusual. The idea here is, that you’re not always going to be treating clients who are happy to see you, and some that are in intense pain may not be the friendliest people you’ll ever encounter. Your interviewer knows this, and he or she is just trying to find out how you will be treating the clients when those situations arise.
10) Finally, make it perfectly clear that if you’re interested in the position. And make sure you mention it at least twice. Say something along the lines as, “I am very impressed and excited to join your team, I would be very interested in taking this step further.”  We know it may sound slightly assertive,  but letting the interviewer know that you want the job clears up any ambiguity and lets them know that you’re serious. If you don’t get a PT job offer on the spot, follow up with a short Thank-You note and ask for the job again. The Thank-You should include appreciation for the time the interviewer took to meet with you, a brief description of the couple of items you discussed that you felt went well, anything that you want to resolve that was of concern by the employer, and your interest in the position or moving forward in the interview process.Don’t use e-mail. Handwrite a note on a generic Thank-You card and drop it into the mail. Trust me, hardly anyone does that anymore. You will stand out from the crowd.
Try some of these techniques and make sure you practice practice practice! Never enter an interview cold. One trick from our experience, is to ask yourself possible interview questions in your mind on your way to the interview and practice answering them out-loud, in your car, on your walk, or even on the train (trust us, you won’t look as crazy as you think!). Most of all, be yourself, and exploit your strengths. There is nothing more rewarding to know that your physical therapy skills are in high-demand and the employers know it.
Compiled by Physiotherapy Jobs Portal - A registered Job Portal for Indian Physiotherapists for Job Search, Assistance and Career building. www.physiotherapyjobs.co.in

Article Source: http://www.physio4hire.com/physical_and_occupational_therapy_resources/resume-writing/

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