7 Tips for Landing Your Next Physical Therapy Job

Last Updated on November 24, 2021

Three female nurses wearing blue scrubs in a physical therapy room background

Are you on the hunt for a new physical therapy job? Whether you’re a seasoned physical therapist with decades of experience or a newly licensed PTA looking for your first career opportunity, you can better meet the challenge of landing the position of your dreams with these 7 handy tips from our experts.

7 Tips For Landing Your Next Physical Therapy Job

#1: Keep Your Licensing Up to Date. This one’s a bit of a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said: Physical therapy is a highly regulated profession, and it’s essential that you keep your licensure up to date at all times.

As you’re no doubt well aware, PT and PTA licensing differs from state to state, with each regulatory board offering its own licensure exams. You’re required to renew your license on a regular basis, and in most states, that involves actively taking continuing education (CE) classes. You can find the full details for each state at the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy website.

  • Pro Tip: When you work a travel PT job with CareerStaff, our recruitment experts will help you get the licensing you need for wherever you’re traveling! Learn more here.

#2: Make Sure Your Resume and CV Are Always Current. Busy hiring managers usually spend a few seconds scanning the many resumes that come their way, so putting in a little extra effort to make sure yours stands out can pay off in the long run.

To do that, work on expressing your value, and not just your skills. Rather than just listing the places you’ve worked, provide details of your accomplishments in terms of how you’ve helped a facility improve its processes or outcomes.

#3: Check Your Social Media Activity. Got any embarrassing party pics on your Facebook or Instagram accounts? Have a tendency to get into silly arguments on Twitter? It’s time to purge them — and to be mindful of how you behave on social in the future. Many managers look at a potential hire’s social accounts before extending an offer, and you don’t want past indiscretions to cost you your dream job.

#4: Consider a New Setting. If you’re seeking a new physical therapy job because you’re feeling overwhelmed or burned out in your current role, it may be time to try a new setting. From home health and SNFs to schools and correctional facilities, a wide variety of organizations employ PT professionals. Working a temp assignment in one of them can help you refresh while adding value to your resume.

#5: Always Leave a Good Impression! A big part of successfully landing your next physical therapy job is making a good impression in your current role. Even if the job you’re working now is a little less than what you’d like it to be, it’s important to not only do the best job you can, but to keep a positive attitude, too.

More than most other professions, PT involves helping people through difficult situations. A positive attitude will go far in helping them engage with you and get the best possible results. In addition, the people employing you are likely to notice your attitude, whether it’s good or bad — and they’re also likely to be asked about it by your next employer.

Though it can be difficult to do if you’re already looking ahead to your next career opportunity, bringing a positive attitude to work each day — even at an academic or pre-professional level — will be a huge factor in landing your next physical therapy job.

#6: Work on Your Communication Skills (Verbal and Non-Verbal). Communication is an underrated skill, and an essential one — especially for PT professionals, who offer direct care to people who may be in pain and distress. Taking the time to hone these skills will help you build a rapport with patients, work more effectively with your teammates, present yourself better at a job interview, and much more.

This means making an effort to speak more clearly, assertively and confidently — and compassionately, when working with patients. But it also includes non-verbal cues like a confident posture, consistent eye contact, a pleasant disposition, and the ability to avoid staring at your phone! These skills will help you contribute to a positive workplace, and they’ll leave a great impression in an interview, too.

#7: Be More than a PT Professional. While it’s essential to showcase your professional skills and accomplishments when meeting with a potential employer, it’s also important to show that you have a personality and interests that extend beyond your profession.

“When we conduct interviews we are looking for how well-rounded individuals are,” a private practice owner told APTA. “When interviewing prospective employees, I want to bring out their personality to see if it will be conducive to working in a fast paced, diverse environment that interacts with various types of patients, conditions, as well as medical professionals.

“My best advice to individuals walking into an interview is to make sure the interviewers remember them,” she adds. “Bring something to the table that will be hard to forget. Don’t sit in an interview and just answer the questions. You have your doctorate degree; make sure you bring all of your knowledge and experience to the process. It’s a good time to let your prospective employer know ‘why you shine.’”

Find Your Next Physical Therapy Job Today!

Ready to put our physical therapy job tips to the test with a new career opportunity? You’ve chosen a great time to begin: CareerStaff has travel nursing jobs available across the U.S.! You can join our roster of PT professionals here, or check out our current physical therapy job opportunities here.

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