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Traveling therapists are hired, sight unseen, to fill temporary positions. A resume is often the first, and potentially only, chance to impress an employer. Therefore, for many of us, a dream job could be made or crushed because of our resume. The good news is that there is a skill and craft behind creating a travel therapy resume that anybody can learn. I teamed with Kalie Simmons, Manager of Recruitment at MedTravelers, to bring you some insider tips on how to enhance your resume to get your next position.
Here are ways to improve your travel therapy resume to increase your chance of getting a phone interview and landing your next assignment!
Determine hot keywords and add them to your travel therapy resume
Did you know that AI bots might scan our resumes before a human ever gets to read them? Thus, our resume might be rejected before a human can ever read it.
So number one—you have to beat the bots!
How do you do that?
Your resume gets scanned, and one of the important things that the bots look for are keywords to show you are a match for the position.
So to beat the bots, determine keywords that are important for the position you are applying for. For example, as an acute care speech language pathologist, I might choose “modified barium swallow study,” “dysphagia,” and “tracheostomy.”
Next, make sure those words are written, and NOT abbreviated, somewhere in your resume.
Finally, make sure you are accurately describing your experience, and the words make sense in the context you are using them.
Give a clear overview of the patient populations and settings you have experience in
Akin to highlighting keywords in your resume, you also want to highlight all the populations and settings of patients you have worked with. A bonus to this is that many of these populations will actually be the keywords you want to highlight!
As travelers, we have diverse clinical experiences and our generalized knowledge can make us valuable to employers. Make sure you highlight any specialized skills or placements that you have had. For example, if you worked in a level one trauma center, make sure that you that written in your resume. People reading your resume across the country might not know the level or size of the facilities that you have worked in.
To highlight my patient experience and easily incorporate keywords into my resume, I have a section at the top of my resume called “Summary.” Here, I provide a summary of my resume and highlight the populations and settings I’ve worked with.
List all the places you have worked
Yes, I really want you to list out all the places you have worked on your travel resume. It is going to be long, but that’s okay. There is no page limit for a travel resume.
You also want to list the agency (if any) you worked for if you were on a contract.
I recommend listing your work experience in reverse chronological order. Then, list both the name of the facility and the travel agency you worked the contract under.
Here’s an example:
October 2019 -Current
AMN Allied Services LLC, San Diego, CA– Travel SLP
- Completed short-term travel SLP contracts across acute care, inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing facilities.
- Assignments listed below.
Happy Home Health Agency, Honolulu, HI – Travel SLP
- Provide evaluation and treatment of dysphagia, speech-language treatment, and cognitive linguistic deficits across all adult clients on Oahu
- Perform OASIS documentation
- Collaborate with team members, including medical doctors, therapists, and nurses
November 2020-March 2021
Miracle Medical Center, Mariposa, CA – Travel SLP
- Provided inpatient SLP services for dysphagia and speech-language deficits across all adult hospital units in 145-bed acute care hospital
- Performed inpatient and outpatient modified barium swallow studies
Detail of the EMRs you have worked on
An insider secret on what can make your resume pop is to add all of the electronic medical record (EMR) systems you have worked on. Kalie Simmons, Manager of Recruitment at MedTravelers, reports she recommends all of her travelers have this on their resume.
Kalie recommends having a section where you list your EMR experience and list each platform, including the amount of time spent using the platform, and any superuser status. Here is an example from my resume:
List your active state licenses and national certifications
Many jobs are concerned with time and want to know if you are licensed in their state or not. Another pro tip from Kalie is to list all of your state licenses, and their expiration dates, on your resume. She also recommends listing any speciality certifications you have as a clinician, such as MBSImp, Kineseotaping, or dry needling certifications.
You can list any national certifications you hold and list your ancillary certifications, such as Basic Life Support (BLS).
To format this section, write the type of license you hold, the number of the license, the state it is in, and when it expires.
For example: Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, #0000, State of California, Expires: 00/00/00
To recap, more is more when it comes to travel therapy resumes. You don’t want to skimp on any details. Load your resume with keywords that highlight your clinical experience; list all of your past work experience, licenses, and even the EMRs you have worked with.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
Special thanks to MedTravelers for sponsoring this post and especially to Kalie Simmons for lending her expert advice on the topic!