It’s back-to-school season! As summer comes to an end, it’s the perfect time for therapists-in-training to consider all the opportunities open to them that will make them as marketable as possible to potential employers. Whether you’re a physical, occupational, or speech therapist, there are a number of educational “must-haves” that can greatly enhance your chances of securing the job you’ve always dreamed of.

“From a recruiter’s standpoint, of course the first things I look for are relevant degrees and certifications. Then I check to make sure applicants have professional licensing for the state where they’re applying, or at least an expressed willingness to apply for licensure. But then I start to look for the kinds of things that really make a resume stand out from the crowd.”

Christy Erzinger

Talent Acquisition Lead at EmpowerMe Wellness

Educational Focus  

If you already know the kind of setting you want to practice in, then paying additional educational focus in the specific field where you’re planning to seek employment can greatly enhance your chances of landing your dream job. For example, if you’re interested in working in a senior living community, having background training in geriatrics can set you apart from other candidates. Specializing in a particular area demonstrates your expertise and passion for that specific population, making you an attractive candidate for employers in that setting.

Lived Experience 

Of course, not every therapy student knows which population they want to work with. That’s why internships and job shadowing experiences can be invaluable when it comes to gaining practical knowledge and exposure to different therapy settings. This can allow you to observe different therapeutic approaches, learn from experienced professionals, and develop a well-rounded skill set. It also provides networking opportunities and helps you establish valuable connections within the industry.

“I often tell students to see as many types of settings as they can. Treat each internship as a long job interview. Ask questions. Learn about different companies’ cultures. See what’s a good fit for you.”

Stacey Fisher

EmpowerMe Clinical Placement Specialist

School Resources 

Make sure to utilize the career resources offered by your school. Mock interviews, resume writing workshops, and job networking sites can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your job search. These resources can help you refine your interview skills, create a compelling resume, and connect with potential employers. Your school’s career services department can be an excellent source of information and assistance during this crucial phase of your professional journey.

“Figure Out What is Your ‘Why’” 

By giving a little forethought to their educational journey, therapy students can make sure they’re well-positioned to enter the field as highly qualified and dedicated professionals, ready to make a positive impact in their chosen field.

“The best piece of advice I can give therapy students is to take time early in your education to figure out your ‘why.' Figure out what is important to you, look for companies that offer a good fit for that, and then start building the kind of resume that makes you irresistible.”

Christy Erzinger

Talent Acquisition Lead at EmpowerMe Wellness

Want to learn more about how rewarding a therapy career in senior living can be? Visit today!