Travel therapy is very good for your resume. In addition to providing you with a wide range of work experience, it also offers the benefit of soft skill development, such as good communication and independence. Still, many therapists and other healthcare workers may shy away from travel work, fearing it will appear on a resume as if they hop from job to job.
Use the following tips to avoid any negative impressions on behalf of a potential employer by documenting your travel work effectively on your resume.
Strategic resume structure
Travel therapists can highlight their travel work by writing a functional resume, rather than one that is chronological. This means that instead of listing your placements by the date ranges when you were employed, group them by a distinguishing characteristic, such as setting. For example, if you worked multiple travel assignments in outpatient facilities, create an “Outpatient Experience” section and list each placement by location, job role and dates worked. Your next section might be “Home Health Experience,” and so on, until you have grouped and included all your travel placements.
Showcase your comprehensive skills
As you move from assignment to assignment, you’ll be gaining experience in multiple settings and geographic locations. This means that with every travel placement, you’re building your working knowledge of rehabilitation industry, the healthcare industry and the country itself — including different cultures and possibly even languages. You can “wow” potential employers by emphasizing your ability to provide coverage in different areas.
Highlight household names
Have any of your placements taken you to well-known and highly respected facilities? If so, you’ll want to list these assignments first on your resume. Any time you can provide a recognizable name that is associated with quality and high standards of care, it will help your resume stand out.
Soft skills to include
Aside from clinical experience, your travel can provide you with plenty of soft skills important to career development. These can include any of the following:
- Flexibility. Being able to quickly and successfully adapt to new surroundings, colleagues, policies and cultures every few months shows that you’re open minded and a fast learner.
- Communication. As you accept travel assignments, your good communication skills are vital to your survival — you’ll need to establish relationships with your team and your patients, as well as learn about your new, temporary home town.
- Cross-cultural experience. In most jobs, you’ll need to work with people from different cultures. So as you meet others in your travels, talk with them, listen to their stories, and learn about their ways of life, it can only strengthen your people skills.
- Independence. Self-sufficiency and the ability to function effectively in ever-shifting work environments is a testament to your demeanor and professionalism. This can show an employer that you’re ready, willing and able to get your work done without micromanagement.
Gather references from multiple supervisors
Don’t forget to collect a letter of reference from your supervisor before you move on to a new location. Moving from placement to placement gives you the opportunity gather a large collection of references. Sharing these letters of affirmation can definitely give you a competitive advantage in applying for any job.
Travel therapy is a great way to gain a wide range of experience in your field — much more than you’d get with a traditional therapy position. You’ll be able to learn more in a shorter period of time, meet new people and see new places. Presenting your experience in a positive light will pave the way for whatever job you decide to pursue next.
Looking for your next travel therapy assignment?
myPTsolutions can help. We’re a medical staffing agency run by therapists for therapists, and we’re dedicated to helping you find an assignment that meets your career needs. To take the next step towards an exciting new placement, click here to contact us today!