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Guide: How to Write a Resume for Graduate School Admission in Physical Therapy

by | Dec 13, 2023 | How To

When applying to graduate school for physical therapy, it’s important to create a standout resume that showcases your qualifications and experiences. In this guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to write a resume specifically tailored for graduate school admission in physical therapy.

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating a strong resume is crucial for graduate school admission in physical therapy
  • A resume should highlight your qualifications, experiences, and skills relevant to the program
  • Understand the difference between a resume and CV for grad school applications
  • Gather all necessary information before writing your resume
  • Choose a clean and professional resume template

Understanding the Difference Between a Resume and CV for Grad School

Before you start writing your resume for graduate school admission, it’s crucial to understand the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae (CV). In the United States, a resume focuses on your professional and extracurricular experience, while a CV emphasizes your academic achievements. While both documents should include contact information, education, work experience, relevant skills, and language proficiencies, a resume is typically concise and tailored to the specific program, while a CV provides more detailed information and can be longer in length.

A resume is a one- to two-page document that highlights your relevant experience, skills, and achievements. It is commonly used when applying for jobs or graduate school programs that require a concise overview of your qualifications. A CV, on the other hand, is a comprehensive document that provides an in-depth look at your academic background, research experience, publications, presentations, and other accomplishments. It is typically used when applying for academic or research positions or when submitting applications for graduate programs that specifically request a CV.

When writing a resume, it’s important to focus on your most relevant experiences and tailor your document to each program you apply to. Use bullet points to clearly and concisely highlight your achievements and skills. Include any research projects, volunteer work, internships, or leadership roles that demonstrate your commitment to the field of physical therapy. On the other hand, when creating a CV, you should provide a comprehensive overview of your academic background, including your coursework, research expertise, and academic achievements. Include detailed descriptions of any research projects, publications, presentations, or grants you have received.

resume vs CV for grad school

Key Differences Between a Resume and a CV

Here are some key differences between a resume and a CV for graduate school applications:

  • A resume is typically one to two pages long, while a CV can be several pages long.
  • A resume focuses on your professional and extracurricular experiences, while a CV emphasizes your academic background.
  • A resume is tailored to the specific program or job you are applying to, while a CV provides a comprehensive overview of your qualifications.
  • A resume uses bullet points to highlight achievements, while a CV includes detailed descriptions of research projects, publications, and presentations.
  • A resume is concise and to the point, while a CV provides a more in-depth look at your qualifications.

Gathering the Necessary Information for Your Resume

Before you start writing your resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary information. This will ensure that you have accurate and complete data to include in your resume. Here are some important steps to follow:

  1. Review your academic transcripts, papers, publications, essays, and projects from your undergraduate studies. Identify any achievements, awards, or experiences that are relevant to your application for physical therapy graduate school.
  2. Compile a list of your educational background, including the names of the institutions you attended, the degrees earned, and the dates of graduation. Be sure to include any honors or distinctions you received.
  3. Make a comprehensive inventory of your work experience, including internships, part-time jobs, volunteer positions, and research projects. Note the dates, job titles, and descriptions of your responsibilities and accomplishments.
  4. Collect information about any certifications, licenses, or professional memberships you hold that are relevant to the field of physical therapy.

By gathering all this information beforehand, you’ll be able to create a well-rounded and impressive resume that effectively showcases your qualifications and experiences for physical therapy graduate school admission.

resume preparation for graduate school

Table: Resume Information Checklist

Category Information to Gather
Education Names of institutions, degrees earned, graduation dates, honors
Work Experience Job titles, dates, descriptions of responsibilities and achievements
Academic Achievements Awards, research projects, publications, presentations
Certifications and Licenses Relevant certifications, licenses, and professional memberships

Using this checklist, ensure that you gather all the necessary information for each category. This will help you create a thorough and compelling resume that highlights your qualifications for physical therapy graduate school admission.

Choosing the Right Resume Template for Graduate School

When preparing your resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, it’s crucial to choose the right resume template. The template you select will determine the overall structure and format of your resume, allowing you to present your qualifications and experiences in a clear and organized manner.

One of the key factors to consider when choosing a resume template is simplicity. Look for a template that has a clean and professional design, with easy-to-read fonts and a logical layout. Avoid templates that are overly embellished or cluttered, as they can distract from the content of your resume.

Microsoft Word offers a variety of free resume templates that can be customized to fit your needs. These templates provide a solid foundation for creating a professional and visually appealing resume. You can choose from different styles and formats, such as chronological, functional, or combination resumes, depending on your preferences and the requirements of the graduate program.

Ensure that your chosen template includes sections for education, work experience, skills, and any relevant certifications or licenses. These sections are essential for highlighting your qualifications and showcasing your suitability for graduate school in physical therapy. By selecting the right resume template, you can create a polished and well-structured document that will impress the admissions committee and increase your chances of acceptance.

resume template for physical therapy graduate school admission

Resume Template Description
Chronological This template is suitable if you have a strong work history in the field of physical therapy. It highlights your experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.
Functional This template focuses on your skills and abilities rather than your work history. It allows you to highlight your strengths and relevant coursework or projects.
Combination This template combines elements of both the chronological and functional formats. It showcases your work history while also emphasizing your skills and achievements.

Crafting an Impressive Objective Statement

When it comes to crafting an impressive resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, one of the most important sections is the objective statement. This concise statement appears at the beginning of your resume and serves as an introduction to who you are as a candidate. It highlights your career goals and qualifications for pursuing a graduate degree in physical therapy. By crafting a well-written objective statement, you can grab the attention of admissions committees and make a strong case for your candidacy.

The key to crafting an impressive objective statement is to be clear, concise, and targeted to the specific graduate program you are applying to. Start by highlighting your strengths and the unique skills and experiences that make you a strong candidate for physical therapy graduate school. You can mention any relevant work experience, research projects, or volunteer work that demonstrates your passion for the field and your commitment to making a difference in patients’ lives. By aligning your objective statement with the values and goals of the program, you can show the admissions committee that you are a good fit for their program.

Here’s an example of a well-crafted objective statement for a physical therapy graduate school resume:

“Highly motivated and dedicated individual with a strong passion for providing quality care to patients in need. Seeking admission to [Graduate Program Name] to further develop my skills and knowledge in physical therapy. Committed to utilizing evidence-based practices and employing a patient-centered approach to rehabilitation. Eager to contribute to the field of physical therapy and make a positive impact.”

Remember, your objective statement should be tailored to each program you apply to. Take the time to research the program’s mission, values, and areas of focus, and incorporate relevant keywords and phrases into your statement. This will show the admissions committee that you have a genuine interest in their program and have taken the time to understand what sets it apart.

Highlighting Your Education and Academic Achievements

When writing a resume for graduate school in physical therapy, the education section is crucial. It provides an opportunity to showcase your academic qualifications and achievements. Start with the most recent institution you attended and include the full name, city, state, major, degree earned, and graduation date. If you have an impressive GPA, Dean’s list awards, or other academic honors, be sure to highlight them. This section will demonstrate your commitment to your education and your ability to excel in an academic setting.

Additionally, include any relevant coursework or research projects that are directly related to the field of physical therapy. Mention any specialized certifications or training you have completed, such as CPR certification or courses in anatomy and physiology. These details will further illustrate your knowledge and dedication to your chosen field.

It’s important to remember that while your education section is significant, it should not be the sole focus of your resume. Balance your academic achievements with other relevant experiences, such as internships, volunteer work, or leadership positions. This will demonstrate to admissions committees that you have a well-rounded background and are prepared for the demands of graduate school.

resume education section for graduate school

Table: Academic Achievements

Achievement Institution Date
Dean’s List XYZ University May 2020
Outstanding GPA ABC College December 2018
Research Project on Physical Therapy XYZ University December 2019

Table: Academic achievements that can be highlighted in your resume for physical therapy graduate school admission.

Showcasing Relevant Work and Life Experience

When it comes to creating a standout resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, highlighting your relevant work and life experience is essential. This section allows you to demonstrate your skills and suitability for pursuing a graduate degree in this field. By showcasing your experiences, you can provide evidence of your abilities, dedication, and passion for physical therapy.

To effectively showcase your work and life experience, include current and previous jobs, internships, extracurricular activities, tutoring or mentoring experiences, study abroad programs, and any professional or academic affiliations or clubs you were involved in. Use bullet points to describe your duties and accomplishments, emphasizing specific achievements and responsibilities.

For example:

“As a physical therapy assistant at XYZ Rehabilitation Clinic, I collaborated with a team of healthcare professionals to develop and implement tailored treatment plans for patients. I assisted in conducting patient evaluations, performed therapeutic exercises, and provided education on injury prevention. Through this experience, I developed strong communication skills and gained hands-on experience in a clinical setting.”

Remember to tailor your work and life experience to each program you apply to, focusing on the aspects that align with the specific requirements of the graduate program. This will help you demonstrate your fit within the program and showcase your unique qualifications.

resume work experience for physical therapy grad school

Emphasizing Your Relevant Skills

When crafting your resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, it’s essential to emphasize your relevant skills. This section is where you showcase your abilities that align with the field of physical therapy, demonstrating to the admissions committee that you have what it takes to succeed in the program.

Start by listing both hard and soft skills that are relevant to the field. Hard skills may include proficiency in specific computer programs, knowledge of medical terminology, research experience, or proficiency in a foreign language. Soft skills, on the other hand, encompass qualities such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and empathy.

Try to align your skills with the specific requirements and qualifications outlined by the graduate program you are applying to. This shows the admissions committee that you have taken the time to understand their expectations and have tailored your resume accordingly. For example, if the program emphasizes research, highlight any research experience or skills you have acquired during your undergraduate studies or in previous work.

Skill Description
Manual Therapy Techniques Proficient in various manual therapy techniques, including joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and myofascial release.
Therapeutic Exercise Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing therapeutic exercise programs tailored to individual patient needs and goals.
Communication Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, enabling effective collaboration with patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals.
Problem-Solving Strong problem-solving abilities, adept at analyzing complex patient cases and developing effective treatment plans.

Incorporate these skills throughout your resume, particularly in the work experience and education sections. Provide specific examples or achievements that demonstrate how you have applied these skills in real-world situations. This will give the admissions committee a clear understanding of your capabilities and how they relate to the field of physical therapy.

Remember, the goal of this section is to showcase your strengths and qualifications, so be sure to tailor your resume to highlight the skills most relevant to the graduate program you are applying to. By doing so, you will create a compelling resume that catches the attention of the admissions committee and increases your chances of securing a spot in the physical therapy graduate program of your choice.

References:

  1. “Resume Skills for High School Students,” The Balance Careers, accessed March 15, 2022, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/resume-skills-for-high-school-students-2063764.
  2. “What to Include in a Resume Skills Section,” The Balance Careers, accessed March 15, 2022, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/resume-skills-section-2063321.

Ensuring a Clean and Error-Free Resume

When it comes to creating a resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy, one of the most important steps is ensuring that it is clean and free of errors. A well-proofread and error-free resume demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism, increasing your chances of impressing the admissions committee.

Start by carefully proofreading your resume for spelling and grammar mistakes. Use the spell check feature in your word processing software, but also read through your resume line by line to catch any errors that may have been missed. Pay close attention to common mistakes such as misspelled words, incorrect verb tenses, and punctuation errors.

Next, read your resume aloud to yourself. This can help you identify any awkward phrasing or sentences that may need revision. It can also help you spot any inconsistencies or gaps in the information you have provided.

Consider asking someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or mentor, to review your resume as well. Fresh eyes can often catch mistakes or offer suggestions for improvement that you may have overlooked. They can also provide valuable feedback on the overall clarity and effectiveness of your resume.

Finally, consider using an online tool such as Grammarly to conduct a comprehensive review of your resume. Grammarly can help identify not only spelling and grammar errors but also issues with clarity, conciseness, and sentence structure. It can provide suggestions for improvement and help elevate the overall quality of your resume.

Remember, your resume is often the first impression you will make on the admissions committee, so it’s essential to ensure that it is clean, error-free, and polished. By taking the time to proofread and revise your resume, you can present yourself as a strong and capable candidate for graduate school admission in physical therapy.

Making a Great First Impression

When it comes to applying for graduate school in physical therapy, your resume is your first opportunity to make a lasting impression on the admissions committee. In order to stand out from the competition and create a top-notch resume, there are several key factors to consider.

Design and Organization

First and foremost, your resume should have a clean and visually appealing design. Use clear headings, bullet points, and consistent formatting to ensure that the admissions committee can easily navigate through your qualifications and experiences. Consider using a professional resume template that is specifically tailored for graduate school applications in physical therapy.

Organize your resume in a logical format, starting with your objective statement, followed by sections on education, work experience, skills, and any additional relevant information. Use strong action verbs and concise language to highlight your accomplishments and responsibilities.

Customization and Tailoring

Each graduate program is unique, and it’s important to customize your resume to align with the specific requirements and values of each school. Take the time to thoroughly research each program and identify what they are looking for in a candidate. Incorporate important words and phrases from the program page into your resume to demonstrate your fit and interest.

Highlight experiences and skills that are directly relevant to the field of physical therapy. This could include clinical internships, research projects, volunteer work, and leadership roles in related organizations. By tailoring your resume to each program, you will increase your chances of standing out in the competitive graduate school admissions process.

In conclusion, making a great first impression with your resume is essential when applying for graduate school in physical therapy. By paying attention to design, organization, customization, and tailoring, you can create a standout resume that showcases your qualifications and demonstrates your commitment to the field. Remember, your resume is not only a reflection of your academic achievements but also an opportunity to showcase your passion and dedication to becoming a physical therapy professional.

Financial Considerations for Graduate School

When pursuing graduate school in physical therapy, it’s essential to consider the financial aspects of your educational journey. Understanding how to pay for your graduate education and the various options available can make a significant difference in managing your finances. Here are some important financial considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Scholarships and Grants: Research and explore scholarships and grants specifically available for graduate students in physical therapy. These financial aids can provide you with opportunities to offset the cost of tuition and other educational expenses.
  2. Loans: Evaluate loans options, such as federal and private loans, to support your graduate studies. Be sure to understand the terms and interest rates associated with each loan option and carefully consider the long-term financial implications.
  3. Work-Study Programs and Assistantships: Some graduate programs offer work-study programs or assistantships that can provide financial support while allowing you to gain valuable experience in your field. Explore these opportunities and determine if they align with your goals and schedule.
  4. Budgeting and Cost of Living: Consider the cost of living in the area where you plan to pursue your graduate studies. Assess housing expenses, transportation costs, and other daily living expenses. Create a budget to ensure that you can cover your living costs while managing your educational expenses.
  5. Research Funding: If you plan to engage in research during your graduate program, explore potential funding opportunities within your institution or through external organizations. Research grants can help support your studies and contribute to your academic and professional growth.

Remember that properly managing your finances during graduate school is crucial to avoid excessive debt and financial stress. Take the time to thoroughly research and evaluate your options, ensuring that you have a comprehensive financial plan in place. By being proactive and informed about your financial considerations, you can focus on your studies and career goals without unnecessary financial burdens.

As you prepare your resume for graduate school admissions and navigate the application process, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the financial implications. By considering scholarships, grants, loans, work-study opportunities, and the overall cost of living, you can make informed decisions and alleviate some of the financial pressures associated with graduate school. Be proactive in researching and pursuing financial assistance options, and remember to budget and plan accordingly. With thoughtful financial considerations, you can focus on your academic and professional development without unnecessary financial stress.

Conclusion

In conclusion, crafting a strong resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy is essential for standing out from the competition. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this guide, you can create a standout resume that effectively showcases your qualifications and experiences.

Remember to carefully gather all the necessary information, choose the right resume template, and craft an impressive objective statement. Highlight your education, academic achievements, relevant work and life experiences, and emphasize your relevant skills. Proofread your resume thoroughly to ensure it is error-free and presents a clean, professional image.

Lastly, make a great first impression by customizing your resume for each program you apply to and showcasing why you are a perfect fit. By following these guidelines, you can create a top-notch resume that increases your chances of being admitted to graduate school for physical therapy.

FAQ

What is the difference between a resume and a CV for graduate school admission?

A resume focuses on your professional and extracurricular experience, while a CV emphasizes your academic achievements. A resume is typically concise and tailored to the specific program, while a CV provides more detailed information and can be longer in length.

How can I gather the necessary information for my resume?

Take the time to review your academic transcripts, papers, publications, essays, and projects from your undergraduate studies to identify achievements and experiences that you want to include in your resume. Gather accurate dates, names, titles, and other relevant data.

What should I include in the education section of my resume?

Include all the schools you have attended, starting with the most recent. Include the full name of the institution, city, state, major, degree earned, and graduation date. Highlight any impressive test scores, Dean’s list awards, or other relevant academic achievements.

How do I showcase relevant work and life experience?

Include current and previous jobs, internships, extracurricular activities, tutoring or mentoring experiences, study abroad programs, and any professional or academic affiliations or clubs you were involved in. Use bullet points to describe your duties and accomplishments, including specific achievements and responsibilities.

What should I include in the skills section of my resume?

Include both hard skills, such as proficiency in computer programs, language fluency, coding ability, and project management skills, as well as soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership, communication, problem-solving, and reliability. Tailor your skills to match the requirements of the graduate program you are applying to.

How can I ensure that my resume is error-free?

Before submitting your resume, carefully proofread it for spelling and grammar mistakes. Read it aloud to catch any inconsistencies or awkward phrases. Consider asking someone you trust to review it as well. Additionally, use a program like Grammarly for a comprehensive review of spelling and grammar.

How can I make a great first impression with my resume?

Make sure your resume is visually appealing, organized, and professional. Use clear headings and bullet points to highlight your qualifications and experiences. Customize your resume for each program you apply to, incorporating important words and phrases from the program page.

What financial considerations should I keep in mind for graduate school?

Research and understand the various options available for funding your education, such as scholarships, grants, loans, work-study programs, and assistantships. Take into account the cost of tuition, living expenses, and other associated fees.

How can I create a standout resume for graduate school admission in physical therapy?

Follow the steps outlined in this guide to create a resume that highlights your qualifications, experiences, and skills. Tailor your resume to each program, proofread it carefully, and make a great first impression.