Occupational Therapist Career Tips

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How can an occupational therapist advance their career?

Occupational Therapists: Tips for Advancing your Career

After working as an occupational therapist for several years, professionals might wonder, “What advancement opportunities are available?” This profession provides two main opportunities for advancement: supervisory roles and specialization. Read on to learn more about these areas.

Moving into management. After you've worked at an organization for a couple years, ask about moving into management. Even if there aren't any positions available, your manager can get you the continuing education needed to advance your career.

Specializing in your career. Another opportunity for advancement is choosing a specialty. For example, you might decide to exclusively work with creating workspaces that are ergonomic or working with children with special disabilities.

If you're considering advancing your career, partner with a staffing firm. There are specialized companies like Clinical One that can help you find employers who have more opportunities for jobs in supervisory or specialist positions.

How should I dress for an occupational therapist job interview?

Occupational Therapist Interviews: Dressing for Success

Attending an occupational therapist interview is both exciting and stressful. A positive first impression can get the interview off on the right foot and even secure a second interview. Read on to learn tips for dressing for success.

Scope out the workplace. Some occupational therapist hiring managers are more formal, while others are relaxed. It's important to figure this information out before planning your interview wardrobe. If you're working with a staffing firm, they can help you determine appropriate work attire.

Plan your wardrobe. For most occupational therapist jobs, you'll need to wear a solid color conservative suit with coordinating shirt. Make sure your shoes are moderate in color and not distracting.

Limit jewelry and perfume. These items can be distracting and some environments are fragrance-free, due to patient or employee allergies. Limiting these items will ensure the hiring manager is focused on what you're saying, instead of your appearance.

What are common occupational therapist interview mistakes?

Occupational Therapy Jobs: Embarrassing Interview Blunders to Avoid

Getting an interview for an occupational therapist job is exciting. But after you've heard the big news, it's time to hunker down and prepare for the big day. Read on to learn three interview blunders to avoid. Side-stepping these mistakes might just save you embarrassment when interviewing for jobs.

Wearing too much jewelry, perfume or makeup. During an interview, it's important to ensure the hiring manager is listening to what you're saying. These distractions can prevent the hiring manager from taking you seriously.

Not practicing for the interview. There are some basic interview questions an occupational therapist will be asked: how to develop a patient treatment plan, strengths and weaknesses and how you contributed to your former company. Get familiar with what you have to offer to the organization and highlight those points.

Giving lengthy responses to questions. The phrase “more is better” doesn't apply to answering interview questions. Before answering a question, take a minute and formulate your response. This will allow you to be more concise when answering.

How can I improve my occupational therapist resume?

Tips for Writing an Occupational Therapy Resume

In terms of your search for occupational therapist jobs, writing your resume is one of the most important time investments you can make. With only seconds to make a case for your candidacy, it helps to have a few tips. Read on to learn how to improve your resume.

Get rid of boring resume paper. Recruiters will receive hundreds of resumes on plain white and cream resume paper. Instead, choose a light gray or mute blue color to be unique while still keeping it professional.

Don't bury important accomplishments. If you just graduated from college, make sure to list your volunteer work or other important experiences in the first ¼ of the page. And for those more established in their careers, find ways to showcase your unique accomplishments. For example, have you helped improve the level of care provided to patients?

Make finding credentials easy for recruiters. This is the first item recruiters must check off their list. Put this information with the header at the top of the page.

Get away from task-oriented resumes. Instead, focus on how your actions improved results. For example, your work with developing treatment plans streamlined work for the entire office.

How can I become an occupational therapist?

Tips for Becoming an Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists focus on a variety of issues, including workplace ergonomics and rehabilitating disabled individuals. But before launching your career as an occupational therapist, it helps to have a few tips.

Earn a bachelor's of science degree in occupational therapy. These programs are offered across the nation and prepare you for occupational therapy jobs.

Take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam. Passing this test will make you a board-certified Occupational Therapist (OT).

Determine what type of setting is right for you. Occupational therapists have many options including working in hospitals, doctors' offices or franchises. Focusing your job search will allow you to be more satisfied in your career.

Also, remember to partner with a staffing firm who specializes in occupational therapist employment. Companies like Clinical One already have relationships established with companies hiring these professionals, making it easier to find a job.

How should I handle an occupational therapist job interview?

Tips for Handling an Occupational Therapist Phone Interview

When applying to occupational therapist jobs, landing a phone interview is a stepping stone towards securing the position. But before you start that interview, it's important to have a few tips.

Dress professionally. Even though a recruiter won't be able to see you, dressing professionally will make you more confident and ultimately, get you closer to an in-person interview.

Prepare your workspace. Your phone interview workspace should be free of distractions. Have your resume and a list of your accomplishments in plain sight.

Take your time answering questions. During your occupational therapist interview, make sure to take a couple of seconds before answering a question. This will allow your answers to be more concise, and avoid rambling on (which by the way, is a huge turnoff to recruiters).

Close the deal. When your interview is concluding, make sure to ask for an in-person interview. Discuss your enthusiasm for the occupational therapist job, and ask about the next step in the process.

Should I use a staffing firm?

Occupational Therapy Jobs: Benefits of Using a Staffing Firm

Many occupational therapists wonder if partnering with a staffing firm is worthwhile. However, using a staffing firm that specializes in occupational therapist employment has many benefits including access to niche jobs and less time spent on job hunting. Read on to learn the benefits of partnering with a staffing firm.

Assistance finding highly specialized jobs. Recruiters that don't specialize in occupational therapy employment don't have access to highly specialized jobs. A company like Clinical One can help you find jobs that are specific to your niche.

Unique employment opportunities. Whether you want access to part-time, temporary or full-time employment, a staffing firm can help you find occupational therapy jobs that fit your scheduling and long-term needs.

Less time spent on job hunting. If you've spent hours searching for jobs at mainstream career boards, you aren't alone. A staffing firm can match you with positions that meet your specific goals.

What are the top occupational therapist programs in the nation?

Top Occupational Therapist Programs

Choosing an occupational therapy program can be difficult. With dozens of programs across the nation, finding the right program can take time. Fortunately, U.S. News compiled a list of the top occupational therapy programs in the nation.

1. Boston University, Boston, MA

2. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

3. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

4. University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

5. Tufts University, Medford, MA

6. University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

7. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

8. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

9. New York University, New York, NY

10. University of Pittsburg, Pittsburg, PA

Once you've graduated from an occupational therapy program, make sure to partner with a staffing firm like Clinical One. Companies that specialize in occupational therapy jobs can help you find positions that meet your long-term career goals.

Where can I find occupational therapist jobs?

Tips for Finding Occupational Therapist Jobs

Occupational therapists have many different career options. When looking for jobs, it's important to focus on sectors that interest you most. This allows you to target companies directly and will increase your job satisfaction. Read on to learn tips for finding occupational therapist jobs.

Nursing Care Facilities. With a large aging population, these facilities are constantly hiring for occupational therapists. Even if a local company isn't hiring, send your application for review. This may allow you access to positions, before they're posted on career boards.

Private practices. Occupational therapists often will be in offices with physician therapists and speech therapists. If you enjoy working in a small community, target these offices.

Local hospitals. Hospitals are another major employer of occupational therapists. Contact a hospital recruiter and send over your resume.

School districts. If you enjoy working with children, check out occupational therapy jobs in elementary and secondary schools.

Where can I find continuing education opportunities?

Occupational Therapist Careers: Finding Continuing Education Opportunities

As an occupational therapist, attending continuing education will help you advance your career and meet local licensing requirements. These opportunities range from understanding occupational therapy practices for young children to working with older adults with mental illness. Taking advantage of continuing education can also help you land future jobs. Read on to learn three ways to find continuing education opportunities.

Private Companies. There are private companies that offer continuing education opportunities for those with occupational therapist jobs. Check with your local professional organizations for recommendations that meet state requirements.

Professional Associations. Associations like The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) offer continuing education opportunities that may meet your state licensure renewal requirements.

Employer Sponsored Programs. Make sure to check with your employer for on-site programs. Sometimes large hospitals or facilities will offer these opportunities without the inconvenience of leaving your office building.

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Jerry Mayo