Physical Therapist Resume, Cover Letter, and Skills

Female physical therapist assisting man with leg exercise
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When applying for a job as a physical therapist, it is important to highlight all required education and certifications. Including previous experience and memberships in an easy-to-read, and chronological order, provides the hiring manager, or committee, with insight into your skill set and career interests. 

Below is a sample cover letter and resume for a physical therapist. They should be used as a guide to help you get started.

Also see below for a list of skills to include when you're writing to apply for jobs.

Physical Therapist Cover Letter Example

Dear Mr./Ms. Firstname Lastname,

I would like to express my strong interest in the Physical Therapist (PT) position at Health Hospital as advertised on your hospital website. I am an experienced, skilled physical therapist whose passion for helping people aligns with your hospital’s mission to offer compassionate care.  I know I would be an asset to your organization.

I recently earned my Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), with honors, from XYZ University, where I gained experience as a physical therapy intern in a variety of settings. I have experience working with a wide spectrum of clients, including pediatric, adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. These internships have honed my skills in various treatments, from muscle reeducation to electrotherapy to hydrotherapy.

I am therefore well equipped to handle the variety of patients and conditions that a physical therapist at Health Hospital would be treating.

However, my skills go beyond clinical knowledge and technical ability. Both patients and advisors have praised my strong communication skills. I am able to effectively explain procedures to patients and answer any questions they have, always speaking in a patient and kindly tone.

Even when I am carrying a particularly heavy caseload, I always take the time to speak with each patient, and make sure they feel comfortable and confident in their treatment plan.

I have enclosed my resume for your review. I will contact you next week to see if we can speak in person about the ways in which I could benefit your hospital. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Signature (hard copy letter)

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Your Email

Include your contact information in your email signature, and don't list the employer contact information. Start your email message with a salutation. Here's an example of a formatted email cover letter.

Physical Therapy Resume Example

Firstname Lastname
Home 555-555-1234
Cell 111-555-4321
lastname.firstname@email.com
1000 Riverside Drive
Boulder, CO 80305

Education

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
XYZ University, Boulder, CO
Expected graduation: May 20XX
GPA: 3.8

Associate of Applied Science, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
ABC College, Chicago, IL
MAY 20XX
GPA: 3.7

Professional Experience

Physical Therapy InternDenver Medical Center, Denver, CO                      
Spring 20XX-Present

  • Evaluate, plan treatment, and administer care to individual patients through collaboration with PT advisor
  • Update and maintain charts to reflect procedures completed and patient progress
  • Participate in physical therapy and occupational treatment sessions for diverse patient types

Physical Therapy InternBoulder Sports Medicine Clinic, Boulder, CO                    
Fall 20XX

  • Administered physician-prescribed treatments, including exercise regiments, for patients with traumatic brain injury
  • Trained in and administered electrotherapy, thermal therapy, and hydrotherapy treatments
  • Updated and maintained charts to reflect procedures completed and patient progress

Physical Therapy AssistantSt. Elizabeth Hospital, Denver, CO                                
Sept. 20XX – Aug. 20XX    

  • Administered PT-prescribed treatments, including muscle stretching and strengthening
  • Instructed patients and their caregivers in home treatment programs
  • Supervised physical therapist aides, providing on-the-job training for new aides

Other Experience

Section Teacher, XYZ University, Boulder, CO                                                      
Fall 20XX-Present

  • Plan and teach weekly review sessions for twenty first-year students in various introductory courses
  • Provide one-on-one academic advising to first-year students in introductory courses

Memberships

American Physical Therapy Association                                                                          
20XX-present

Physical Therapy Student Association                                                                              
20XX-present

Physical Therapist Skills

Here's a list of physical therapist skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications and interviews. Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

A - C

  • Ability to Interact Effectively with Diverse Clientele
  • Active Listening
  • Adaptability
  • Administer Treatments
  • Advanced Knowledge of Anatomy
  • Airway Clearance Techniques
  • Analytical
  • Application and Adjustment of PT Equipment and Devices
  • Assess Patients
  • Assessing Quality of Services
  • Attention to Detail
  • Billing
  • Collaboration
  • Collecting Data
  • Computer
  • Conducting Computerized Testing
  • Consultation
  • Continual Learning
  • CPR
  • Critical Thinking
  • Cultural Sensitivity

D - I

  • Demonstrating
  • Design Physical Therapy Programs
  • Develop Treatment Plans
  • Devising Care Plans
  • Diagnostic
  • Discharge Planning
  • Document Services
  • Empathy
  • Employing Electrotherapeutic Modalities
  • Ethical Integrity
  • Evaluating Functional Capacity
  • Evaluate Goals
  • Family Education
  • Hand, Arm and Upper Body Strength
  • Implement Physical Therapy Programs
  • Instructing
  • Integumentary Repair and Protection Techniques
  • Interpersonal
  • Interviewing

M-O

  • Maintaining Financial Accounts
  • Management
  • Managing Risk
  • Manual Dexterity
  • Manual Therapy Techniques
  • Marketing
  • Mathematical
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Mentoring Staff
  • Monitoring Vital Signs
  • Motivational
  • Multitasking

N-W

  • Nurturing
  • Observation
  • Organizational
  • Patience
  • Patient Education
  • Patient Evaluations
  • Patient Screening
  • Persuasive
  • Physical Stamina
  • Problem Solving
  • Record Keeping
  • Referrals
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Spatial Relations
  • Supervision
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Treatment Evaluations
  • Treatment Plans
  • Tolerance of Pain in Patients
  • Training
  • Verbal Communication
  • Writing

Read More: Sample Resumes | How to Write a Resume |  Sample Cover Letters | How to Write a Cover Letter