The job market is competitive. Physical therapists looking for good job opportunities understand that competing for top PT jobs can be difficult. It leads some therapists to embellish or exaggerate their experience to improve their chances of landing a job. A physical therapist might need to be more truthful with you regarding their resume. It might be an extended time off that causes them to adjust dates or write in years instead of months. Perhaps they need to be more qualified, listing skills they do not have or claiming positions they never held. No matter the reasons, it is up to you as a rehab manager to decipher the truth and decide whether to hire them.
As you look over a candidate’s resume, keep your eyes open for red flags. A PT candidate might be vague and use passive verbs instead of active ones. You might also see ambiguous phrases such as “ involved in” or “familiar with.” This imprecise language can indicate a lack of hands-on PT experience or direct responsibility.
Are there superlatives such as “best,” “most amazing,” or “number one?” Perhaps some excessive buzzwords? This noisy language can signal a therapist’s desire to convey credibility or insider knowledge or indicate a lack of familiarity with the job or industry.
Inconsistencies are another red flag. Check timelines, and see if dates line up. Perhaps the cover letter states that a therapist worked for three years at a clinic, while the resume indicates only 12 months. The candidate is likely trying to exaggerate their work experience. Be on the lookout for excessive variations in job titles across the resume.
Another area of concern is gaps. Are there long gaps in employment not properly explained in the cover letter? Be sure to address these in the interview or a pre-screen phone call.
Finding the Truth
You must confirm your suspicions if red flags pop up on a potential hire’s resume. The PT candidate might seem like the ideal fit, but you must know the truth before you hire them. Here are suggestions:
- Be direct. Ask the candidate point-blank if the suspicious information on the resume is the truth. You might be surprised how a straightforward approach can elicit an honest reply.
- Check LinkedIn. Before you hire a candidate, be sure to read their professional profile. Determine if the job fits with the candidate’s career trajectory. A candidate can falsify a LinkedIn profile. However, some candidates might not remember to align their resume claims with how they represent themselves online.
- Perform a social media sweep. Look up the PT candidate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If their accounts are public, check their profiles. Does the profile match the person they say they are on the resume? Are there mutual friends you can reach out to for feedback?
- Consider hiring the therapist on a contract basis. A temp-to-full-time approach is a great way to avoid making a bad hire. It allows you to observe a therapist’s job performance in a clinical setting. You can only extend a full-time job offer when you feel confident in the applicant’s abilities.
To ensure you are hiring a skilled, vetted professional, contact myPTsolutions. The professional staff at myPTsolutions can offer various placement solutions to meet your unique staffing needs.