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Journey of a DPT Student

Applying for Jobs as a New PT Grad

Published December 30, 2013 5:21 PM by Lauren Rosso

With 2014 on the horizon, I'll be seeking employment somewhere in the physical therapy field very shortly. The real question is -- when is it appropriate to start applying for jobs? I imagine that a student who has passed the boards is much more marketable, which means I'm looking at the middle of February if all goes as planned and I don't fail.

Between now and then, I have a lot of work to do. Step one is likely updating my resume. I guess it's time to get rid of the pre-PT school volunteer experiences, job history, and undergraduate honors. But what do I add? Every single clinical I've ever had, even the part-time ones? My gut tells me to highlight the important ones.

Step two -- I'm going to create a profile on Monster.com or an equivalent employment website. I've never created a Monster profile, but I think it could help to explore the job market and get a better understanding of opportunities, regional differences, and salaries. Step three -- figure out what in the world to expect for a starting salary. This is something I've avoided asking the majority of my clinical instructors out of respect, but I'm unfortunately clueless about what to expect for an entry-level PT position.

As this is my first true career, I'm new to the formal process of applying, interviewing, and accepting positions. On top of that, there's a lot more at stake. Benefit packages, opportunities for advancement, taxes... it's almost overwhelming. I think I have a lot of work and research to do before I feel prepared to fully tackle this.

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