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Journey of a DPT Student

DPT Resumes

Published September 4, 2012 4:42 PM by Lauren Rosso

In just two months, we'll be interviewing for our yearlong clinical placements, so the topic of resume and cover-letter development has come up. Considering I have never developed a PT-specific resume, I'm finding it difficult to determine which aspects of college, post-college and PT school I should include. The first time I created a resume, I was seriously struggling to find relevant and "important" experiences to include. At this point in my life, I think the opposite may be a problem.

What should a DPT student consider relevant for her resume? I suspect that we should include our completed clinical rotations, but I'm more interested in which details are most important. It goes without saying that as a student on a clinical placement, your role is to learn as much as possible in the limited time given. How, then, should we reflect that experience in a resume format to display the learning experience?

I was thinking about including observational opportunities with other healthcare professionals as well as other skills obtained, but I can't figure out how to appropriately explain all of my clinical experiences in just a few bullet points. I also don't know which post-college experiences to include or exclude, particularly ones that were not at all related to physical therapy. Considering the number of clinical rotations and work experiences I've had up to this point, I don't think it's necessary to include internships after college. At the same time, they were helpful life experiences that directed me toward PT school.

As a future professional, this resume will obviously be very important and useful in the years to come. It could also have major implications for which clinical placements I am awarded during my third year. Any tips or advice (from students, PTs or management personnel) would be greatly appreciated both by myself and any other student who is in the same place.


Great advice everyone!  In the process of tweaking it right now based on your comments.  Keep it coming!

Lauren Rosso September 6, 2012 11:24 PM

New grads shouldn't have a resume that is longer than one page.  

Lisa Mueller September 5, 2012 12:44 PM

Don't forget to include your blog work!

Rebecca Mayer September 5, 2012 7:48 AM

There really isn't much you can say in your first resume.  Including your clinical rotations is a good idea.  Also include any organizations you belong to related to PT including the APTA and sections.  In my experience in interviewing job candidates those are the things we look for first.  Include any PT related volunteer work, too.

We also want to know if you have had any experience in our setting.  It's okay if you didn't.  Students can't be exposed to everything but we want to see some indication of interest.  Back when I worked for the evil empire we had a student whose resume screamed manual orthopedics try to convince use she was interested in working with neuro patients.  They wouldn't let me call her on it.  I would have been more impressed if she had come out and been honest about the situation rather than try to fool us.  

Toni September 4, 2012 6:52 PM

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