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5 Physical Therapy Student Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your physical therapy student resume should highlight your extensive knowledge of anatomy and rehabilitative techniques. Demonstrate your commitment to patient care through examples of hands-on experience in clinical settings. Ensure that your proficiency with industry-standard equipment and technology is evident. Additionally, include any specialized training or certifications, showcasing your readiness to meet the diverse needs of patients.

All resume examples in this guide

A significant challenge for Physical Therapy Students when crafting their resumes can be demonstrating relevant experience, as they may lack extensive professional work history in the field. Our guide can help by providing strategies and examples on how to emphasize academic achievements, internships, relevant coursework, and transferable skills from unrelated jobs or volunteer experiences.

Dive into our concise guide to learn how to:

  • Show your physical therapy student career's brightest moments through your resume's summary, objective, and experience sections.
  • Explore top-notch physical therapy student resume examples to understand how to distinguish yourself from other candidates.
  • Identify the most sought-after physical therapy student skills and certifications in the industry.
  • Design a structured yet unique resume layout.

Styling your physical therapy student resume: layout and format

Pondering the ideal length for your physical therapy student resume? Experts suggest keeping it between one and two pages. Opt for the two-page format if you boast over a decade of pertinent experience. Moreover, the resume format you choose is pivotal in showcasing your experience. Consider the:

Here are some additional tips for your physical therapy student resume layout:

  • Keep your headline straightforward: mention the job you're targeting, a notable certification abbreviation, or your professional specialty;
  • Always customize your physical therapy student resume for the specific role, aligning job requirements with your experience in various resume sections;
  • After finalizing your resume, save it as a PDF (unless instructed otherwise) to maintain its readability and layout consistency.
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Pro tip

If you don't happen to have that much relevant experience for the role, you could select a different format for your resume. Popular choices include:

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Key sections to include in your physical therapy student resume are:

  • The header - with your contact details (like email and phone number), a link to your portfolio, and a headline.
  • The summary (or objective) - highlighting the high points of your career so far.
  • The experience section - limit yourself to six bullets per role to focus on specific results.
  • The skills list - offering a balanced mix of your personal and professional talents.
  • Education and certification - displaying your most relevant degrees and certificates for the physical therapy student role.
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What recruiters want to see on your resume:

  • Clinical Internships/Experiences: Specific details about your hands-on experience in different clinical settings show you can put theoretical knowledge into practice.
  • Diverse Treatment Expertise: Proficiency in various therapeutic techniques to treat a wide range of conditions indicates versatility and the ability to adapt.
  • Certifications: Any additional certifications, like CPR or specialized physical therapy training, demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development.
  • Communication Skills: As a physical therapist needs to interact with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals, strong interpersonal and communication skills are highly valued.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: A clear understanding and application of evidence-based practices within physical therapy signifies your ability to provide effective patient care.

Optimizing your physical therapy student resume experience section

Your resume's experience section should resonate with your accomplishments while aligning with the job's demands. Here's how:

  • Highlight significant career moments, and back them up with relevant skills.
  • Analyze the job description to address both basic and advanced requirements.
  • If you have unrelated roles, consider a separate section, but emphasize transferable skills.
  • Avoid listing roles from over a decade ago unless they showcase your trajectory, especially for senior roles.
  • Illustrate how your contributions enhanced the team or company, linking challenges to solutions.

Review how seasoned physical therapy student professionals have crafted their experience sections, emphasizing their contributions.

Work Experience
Physical Therapy Aide
ABC Rehabilitation Center
  • Assisted in developing personalized treatment plans for patients with musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Administered therapeutic exercises and modalities to enhance patients' strength and mobility.
  • Collaborated with a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care and improve patient outcomes.
Work Experience
Rehabilitation Technician
XYZ Physical Therapy Clinic
  • Conducted initial assessments and evaluations to determine patients' functional abilities and limitations.
  • Designed and implemented rehabilitation programs tailored to individual patient needs.
  • Educated patients on home exercise programs and provided guidance for proper technique and adherence.
Work Experience
Physical Therapy Intern
123 Sports Medicine & Rehab
  • Assessed patients' range of motion, strength, and functional capacity to establish baseline measurements.
  • Managed a caseload of diverse patients, including those with neurological conditions and post-surgical rehabilitation needs.
  • Utilized manual therapy techniques and therapeutic exercises to facilitate recovery and improve patients' quality of life.
Work Experience
Physical Therapy Technician
DEF Orthopedic Clinic
  • Provided support to senior physical therapists in the delivery of patient care and treatment procedures.
  • Assisted in the setup and operation of electrotherapy equipment and therapeutic ultrasound devices.
  • Conducted patient education sessions on injury prevention and self-management techniques.
Work Experience
Physical Therapy Aide
GHI Senior Care Center
  • Developed and implemented a specialized exercise program for elderly patients with balance and gait disorders.
  • Collaborated with nursing staff to ensure safe transfers and mobility for patients with physical limitations.
  • Managed a case study on the effectiveness of aquatic therapy in improving functional outcomes for post-stroke patients.
Work Experience
Physical Therapy Student
JKL Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Conducted comprehensive assessments and utilized outcome measures to track patients' progress over time.
  • Implemented evidence-based interventions such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and neuromuscular reeducation.
  • Participated in research projects exploring the efficacy of virtual reality in pain management during physical therapy sessions.
Work Experience
Rehabilitation Assistant
MNO Pain Management Center
  • Assisted in the development and execution of group therapy sessions for individuals with chronic pain conditions.
  • Instructed patients on proper body mechanics and ergonomic principles to prevent further injury or discomfort.
  • Collaborated with occupational therapists to provide holistic care and maximize patients' functional independence.
Work Experience
Pediatric Physical Therapy Intern
PQR Children's Hospital
  • Managed a caseload of pediatric patients with developmental delays, providing specialized physical therapy interventions.
  • Implemented sensory integration techniques and therapeutic play activities to improve children's motor skills and coordination.
  • Collaborated with parents and caregivers to develop home exercise programs for ongoing support and progress monitoring.
Work Experience
Sports Physical Therapy Aide
STU Sports Performance Center
  • Assisted in the assessment and treatment of athletes recovering from sports-related injuries and surgeries.
  • Applied kinesiology tape and provided manual therapy techniques to alleviate pain and enhance athletic performance.
  • Contributed to the development of injury prevention programs and conducted educational workshops for sports teams.
Work Experience
Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Technician
VWX Rehab Institute
  • Assisted physical therapists in the delivery of rehabilitation services to patients with spinal cord injuries.
  • Collaborated with wheelchair seating specialists to ensure proper positioning and maximize functional abilities.
  • Participated in community outreach programs to promote awareness of adaptive equipment and accessibility resources.

Quantifying impact on your resume


  • Include the number of patients you've treated or managed daily, indicating your ability to manage time and workload efficiently.
  • List the specific percentage by which you helped improve patients' mobility or reduce pain, illustrating your effectiveness as a therapist.
  • State the number of multidisciplinary teams you've collaborated with, showing your teamwork capabilities and extent of experience.
  • Quantify the types and amounts of equipment you are proficient in, proving your familiarity with necessary therapeutic tools and techniques.
  • Mention the total hours of relevant continuing education or training you have completed, demonstrating dedication to professional development.
  • Specify the number of clinical rotations completed during your degree, providing evidence of hands-on experience in various therapy settings.
  • Highlight any reduction in recovery time for your patients compared to average industry standards, demonstrating outcome-focused treatment strategies.
  • Indicate the diversity of your patient demographic by presenting the broad age range or variety of conditions you've handled, emphasizing versatility and adaptability.
  • Addressing a lack of relevant physical therapy student experience

    Even if you lack direct physical therapy student experience, you can still craft a compelling resume. Here's how:

    • Highlight projects or publications that demonstrate your relevant skills or knowledge.
    • Emphasize transferable skills, showcasing your adaptability and eagerness to learn.
    • In your objective, outline your career aspirations and how they align with the company's goals.
    • Consider a functional or hybrid resume format, focusing on skills over chronological experience.
    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    Ensure your physical therapy student experience descriptions resonate with both tech-savvy and non-tech audiences. Adopting a consistent format, such as task-action-result, can lend clarity and coherence to your experience section.

    Creating your physical therapy student resume skills section: balancing hard skills and soft skills

    Recruiters hiring for physical therapy student roles are always keen on hiring candidates with relevant technical and people talents.

    Hard skills or technical ones are quite beneficial for the industry - as they refer to your competency with particular software and technologies.

    Meanwhile, your soft (or people) skills are quite crucial to yours and the company's professional growth as they detail how you'd cooperate and interact in your potential environment.

    Here's how to describe your hard and soft skill set in your physical therapy student resume:

    • Consider what the key job requirements are and list those towards the top of your skills section.
    • Think of individual, specific skills that help you stand out amongst competitors, and detail how they've helped you succeed in the past.
    • Look to the future of the industry and list all software/ technologies which are forward-facing.
    • Create a separate, technical skills section to supplement your experience and further align with the physical therapy student job advert.
    • Find the perfect balance between your resume hard and soft skills with our two lists.

    Top skills for your physical therapy student resume

    Knowledge of human anatomy and physiology

    Understanding of physical therapy principles

    Manual dexterity for therapeutic exercises

    Experience with rehabilitative equipment

    Proficiency in patient assessment techniques

    Basic knowledge of kinesiology and biomechanics

    Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

    Understanding of common medical terminology

    Ability to create and follow treatment plans

    Experience with electronic health records software


    Communication skills

    Empathy and compassion


    Problem-solving abilities




    Discretion and respect for patient privacy

    Physical stamina and fitness

    Time management skills

    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    Don't go all over the place with your skills section by listing all keywords/ buzzwords you see within the ad. Curate both hard and soft skills that are specific to your professional experience and help you stand out.

    Choosing the right certifications and education for your physical therapy student resume

    Your education section can highlight skills and experiences perfect for the job.

    • List college or university degrees with the school name and dates.
    • If you're still studying, mention your expected graduation date.
    • Think twice before adding unrelated degrees. Space on your resume is precious.
    • Discuss educational achievements if they boost your job relevance.

    There are many certifications out there. Which ones should you include?

    • List your main degree in a separate section with the school name and dates.
    • Only add certifications that highlight your skills and experience.
    • Place unique or recent certifications near the top.
    • Add a brief description to certifications if it helps show your skills.

    Remember, it's not about quantity but relevance.

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    Best certifications to list on your resume

    1. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) - Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy (OCS)
    2. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section APTA - Certified Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Specialist (CCVPS)
    3. Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) - Certified Wound Specialist (CWS)
    4. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) - Pediatric Certified Specialist (PCS)
    5. American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) - Certified Hand Therapist (CHT)
    6. American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) - Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation (BCPR)
    pro tip icon
    Pro tip

    If you have plenty of certifications, prioritize the most relevant and industry-recognized ones. Arrange them based on their relevance to the job at hand.

    Deciding between a physical therapy student resume summary or objective

    While some argue the resume summary or objective is outdated, these sections can effectively:

    • Integrate pivotal physical therapy student keywords.
    • Showcase your achievements.
    • Clarify your motivation for applying.

    The distinction lies in their focus:

    Opt for a summary if you have a rich experience you wish to highlight immediately. Conversely, an objective can be ideal for those wanting to underscore their aspirations and soft skills.

    For inspiration, we've curated samples from industry professionals to guide your resume summary or objective crafting:

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    Resume summary and objective examples for a physical therapy student resume

  • As an accomplished physical therapist with 8 years of experience in sports medicine clinics, I have honed skills in manual therapy and patient education. My largest career achievement includes successful rehabilitation of over 200 patients post orthopedic surgeries. I am eager to bring these skills to foster health and wellness promotion.
  • With 10 years of experience as a pediatrics-focused physical therapist, I possess specialized knowledge in developmental disorders. I've spearheaded the creation of innovative treatment plans which resulted in a 40% improvement in patient motor function scores. Looking to contribute to a team committed towards empowering patients through therapeutic support.
  • Transitioning from a lengthy career as a Nurse Practitioner, my medical background has provided me with a solid grounding in musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. As I pursue a new path in Physical Therapy, my goal is to apply this knowledge to improve patient mobility and quality of life while learning from seasoned professionals.
  • As a former Personal Trainer seeking to transition into Physical Therapy, my background in fitness and body mechanics will be instrumental in aiding patient recovery. Combining this with my exceptional interpersonal skills, I aim to deliver evidence-based care aimed at enhancing patient physical abilities and wellbeing.
  • Aspiring Physical Therapist seeks opportunity to apply knowledge acquired during rigorous academic study. Possessing foundational skills in patient assessment and treatment plan formulation, my intention is to provide compassionate care while continually expanding professional competence under expert guidance.
  • Recently graduated student of Physical Therapy desires to bring academic knowledge into practical application. With training in modalities such as electrotherapy and hydrotherapy, my objective is to assist patients in achieving their rehabilitation goals while optimizing care delivery in a supportive environment.
  • Enhancing your physical therapy student resume with additional sections

    Make your physical therapy student resume truly distinctive by adding supplementary sections that showcase:

    • Awards that underscore your industry recognition.
    • Projects that bolster your application's relevance.
    • Hobbies, if they can further your candidacy by revealing facets of your personality.
    • Community involvement to highlight causes you champion.

    Key takeaways

    • Your resume's layout should be both visually appealing and content-rich.
    • Emphasize achievements that resonate with the job's requirements.
    • Detail your skills, both technical and interpersonal, with real-world examples.
    • Ensure the top section of your resume provides a clear snapshot of who you are and what you offer.
    • When detailing experience, focus on tasks, actions, and their outcomes.
    physical therapy student resume example

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