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Physical Therapist Must-Have Resume Skills and Keywords

Are you interested in improving your job outlook and increasing your salary? How can you demonstrate that you are the most qualified candidate for a Physical Therapist position? Of course continuing to gain experience working as a Physical Therapist may be your best qualification, but there are other ways you can also develop your skills, like continuing education or volunteer opportunities. More immediately, however, you can be ready for your next opportunity or promotion by educating yourself about the duties, responsibilities, and required skills of a Physical Therapist and making sure your resume reflects your experience properly.

In order to do so, you’ll want to know that both employers hiring for a Physical Therapist and those who list the position of Physical Therapist on their resumes predominantly feature Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation as the most common and important terms, respectively. But the list quickly begins to diverge with resumes showing Clinic, Outpatient and Orthopaedics at positions three, four and five, while job listings show a different pattern. Do you know what you would list?

We designed the ZipRecruiter Career Keyword Mapper to help you solve this problem and hopefully improve your resume. Using machine learning tools paired with industry research, our Marketplace Research Team helped analyze millions of job postings and resumes to identify the most important keywords related to Physical Therapist jobs. Our goal is to help you discover opportunities to improve your resume or to help you understand what skills and qualifications you need to be a Physical Therapist or to advance your career into beyond this role.

Top Skills Mentioned in Job Descriptions

Top
10
Job Skills
The top three keywords employers use in Physical Therapist job descriptions are Physical Therapy appearing in 26.91% of postings, Rehabilitation 14.9%, and Clinic appearing in 14.44%. 56.25% of Physical Therapist job postings have at least one of these terms indicating the value employers place commonly place on these experiences when hiring candidates. Outpatient, Patient Care and Treatment Planning are still quite important, but a smaller sliceof the employer Physical Therapist job postings with their combined total of 22.41%. At 21.35%, Documentation, CPR, Basic Life Support, and Home Healthcare appear far less frequently, but are still a significant portion of the 10 top Physical Therapist skills and requirements according to employers.

Top Skills Mentioned in Resumes

Top
10
Job Skills
Job seeker resumes showcase a broad range of skills and qualifications in their descriptions of Physical Therapist positions. The top three keywords represent 40.75% of the total set of top resume listed keywords. Look to the Resume Checklist below to investigate how Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation, and Clinic match up to employer job descriptions. Outpatient, Orthopaedics, and Hospital represent a very decent share of skills found on resumes for Physical Therapist with 31.41% of the total. At 27.84%, Neurology, Inpatient, Injury, and Geriatrics appear far less frequently, but are still a significant portion of the 10 top Physical Therapist skills and qualifications found on resumes.

Most Important Skills Required to Be a Physical Therapist as Listed by Employers and Employees

Here is a simple table of the top 10 skills and qualifications as listed by employers in Physical Therapist job postings since January of 2018, followed by the top 10 skills and qualifications most commonly listed by people who held the title of Physical Therapist on their resumes.
Top Physical Therapist Skills
Skills Required by Employers Share
Physical Therapy 26.91%
Rehabilitation 14.90%
Clinic 14.44%
Outpatient 8.70%
Patient Care 7.69%
Treatment Planning 6.02%
Documentation 5.77%
CPR 5.72%
Basic Life Support 5.27%
Home Healthcare 4.59%
Skills Listed by Employees Share
Physical Therapy 15.38%
Rehabilitation 12.89%
Clinic 12.48%
Outpatient 10.87%
Orthopaedics 10.83%
Hospital 9.71%
Neurology 8.32%
Inpatient 7.29%
Injury 6.21%
Geriatrics 6.02%

Physical Therapist Resume Checklist

Our Resume Keyword Checklist is based upon an analysis of the most commonly found terms within both job descriptions and resumes for Physical Therapist roles. Our algorithm helps isolate phrases and patterns to identify the most frequently recurring and reused keywords from each data source, while correcting for uncommon and outlier results. Various heuristic methodologies are then applied to ultimately create two top 20 lists of the most important and significant skills, certificates and requirements found within Physical Therapist job postings and resumes. We then merge the two lists together and use a combination of statistics and rules-based scenarios to create a list that is audited by the Marketplace Research team, and finally turned into the checklist you see below. Our hope is that knowing this information can help you make your best impression with your next potential employer.
Uncommon Keywords on Physical Therapist Resumes
Job Descriptions
Resumes
25%
50%
75%
100%
Customer Service
Employer job listings frequently list Customer Service as requirements in Physical Therapist job descriptions; however, job seekers mention them far less frequently on their resumes. If you possess this experience, including this keyword prominently on your resume when applying for a Physical Therapist role may help you stand out more to hiring managers.
Common Keywords on Physical Therapist Resumes
Job Descriptions
Resumes
25%
50%
75%
100%
Physical Therapy
PRN
Patient Care
Treatment Planning
Communication Skills
Basic Life Support
Clinic
Rehabilitation
Skilled Nursing Facility
Documentation
CPR
Interventional
Home Healthcare
Outpatient
Collaboration
Injury
Instruction
Both employer job listings and resumes from people who’ve held the role of Physical Therapist tend to always include skills and requirements found in this list. Whether you’ve only got Physical Therapy, PRN, Patient Care, Treatment Planning, Communication Skills, Basic Life Support, Clinic, Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing Facility, Documentation, CPR, Interventional, Home Healthcare, Outpatient, Collaboration, Injury or Instruction in your background and experience, make sure to highlight the term prominently on your resume. As a job seeker you’ll be competing with many others who are bound to have as many as you (or more!) of these common resume keywords highlighted in their application for a job as a Physical Therapist.
Uncommon Keywords on Physical Therapist Job Descriptions
Job Descriptions
Resumes
25%
50%
75%
100%
Inpatient
Hospital
Acute (Medicine)
Geriatrics
Orthopaedics
Pediatrics
Acute Care
Employer job listings rarely list Inpatient, Hospital, Acute (Medicine), Geriatrics, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics or Acute Care as important skills or qualifications in Physical Therapist job descriptions. Nevertheless, job seekers mention them much more commonly in their resumes. If you possess any or all of these experiences, including these keywords prominently on your resume when applying for a Physical Therapist role may go unnoticed or even discounted by hiring managers.

FAQs about Physical Therapist Skills and Resume Keywords

What are the most important Physical Therapist job skills to have on my resume?

The most common important skills required by employers are Physical Therapy, PRN, Patient Care, Treatment Planning, Communication Skills, Basic Life Support and Clinic. These skills and requirements are just as likely to be mentioned by employers as well as on resumes of people that held a job as a Physical Therapist, suggesting that having these keywords on a resume are important for success as a Physical Therapist. Additionally, employer Physical Therapist job descriptions list Customer Service as a desirable experience, even though Customer Service appears 2.52 times less on resumes, suggesting that it's worth considering including this keyword if you possess the experience.

What are the least important Physical Therapist job skills to have on my resume?

Although you'd probably love to load up your resume with every possible keyword you can, employers tend to look for the things they specify in the job description. Our analysis suggests that highlighting too prominently terms like Inpatient, Hospital, Acute (Medicine), Geriatrics, Orthopaedics, Pediatrics and Acute Care may be something to reconsider. These 7 terms appear 2.04, 2.60, 2.66, 2.70, 2.95, 2.96 and 3.18 times less frequently, respectively, than in job descriptions for a Physical Therapist position. This indicates that highlighting any of these keywords on your resume may not be a great way to impress a potential employer.

How do I make sure my resume has all of the right keywords for a Physical Therapist position?

Unless your resume has a good density of the following skills and experience listed, you may not be considered for the role of Physical Therapist. Make sure to include a strong showing for the following keywords on your resume:
  • Physical Therapy
  • PRN
  • Patient Care
  • Treatment Planning
  • Communication Skills
  • Basic Life Support
  • Clinic
  • Rehabilitation
  • Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Documentation
  • CPR
  • Interventional
  • Home Healthcare
  • Outpatient
  • Collaboration
Additionally employers frequently list the following as desirable qualities in a Physical Therapist candidate, but they are far less common on most resumes:
  • Customer Service
Finally people who held the position of a Physical Therapist and list it on their resume are adding these terms that are less likely to be noticed by employers. You may want to consider downplaying these terms on your Physical Therapist application:
  • Inpatient
  • Hospital
  • Acute (Medicine)
  • Geriatrics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Acute Care

Before applying for a Physical Therapist job

At ZipRecruiter, we understand better than anyone the importance of using the right keywords to describe your experience — it’s crucial to attracting the right employers! We built our business on the ability to effectively match job seekers with employers using AI-technology that understands your resume and how likely you are to be noticed by a potential future employer. Having a ZipRecruiter profile that showcases your most relevant skills and abilities can help you get recruited into a new role as a Physical Therapist. Get started on your journey with a new ZipRecruiter Profile today!