ABA therapists are an integral part of helping patients with behavioral disorders learn new skills and adapt to the world around them. Demand for mental health professionals like ABA therapists is in high demand, so now is the perfect time to fine-tune your resume and submit that application.
And you don’t have to go it alone. With 300+ resume examples and writing guides, Resume.io is an expert resource for job seekers in all fields and stages of their careers. Here’s what we’ll cover in this resume guide, along with the corresponding ABA therapist resume example:
- What does an ABA therapist do?
- How to write an ABA therapist resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for an ABA therapist resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for ABA therapists to grow by about 20 percent over the coming decade – that’s much faster than the average for most jobs!
What does an ABA therapist do?
An Applied Behavior Analysis therapist is a mental health professional who works with patients to reinforce positive behaviors and eliminate negative ones based on the therapeutic approach known as Applied Behavior Analysis. Most patients of ABA therapists are children diagnosed with autism. Some of the common duties of ABA therapists include:
- Assessment of patient’s conditions and desirable or undesirable behavioral patterns
- Goal setting based on the needs of the individual
- Implementing specialized techniques to alter behavior and reinforce desirable traits
- Working with family and friends to support the patient and continue treatment at home
- Collecting data and reviewing patient progress over time
How to write an ABA therapist resume
The very first step in writing your ABA therapist resume is understanding what sections to include. Your CV should contain the following elements:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
As an ABA therapist, you are a trained professional with an in-depth knowledge of your field. However, since you often work with kids and their families, it is important that your resume convey a human side and a genuine care for the work that you do. The best place to show these personal traits is in the summary where you can use the freeform sentences to convey your passion.
It is important that your resume be tailored to the position you are applying to. When considering the new job, reflect on the patient population, the diagnosis, or the environment you will work in. Make sure your resume reflects why you’re the best person for the job given these factors.
Choosing the best resume format for an ABA therapist
ABA therapists generally only have one option when it comes to choosing a resume format. We recommend the reverse chronological structure as the best one for professionals. That’s because this format focuses on the employment history section where you can convey your best skills and experience gained from previous positions. Make sure to list all relevant roles in reverse chronological order starting with the most recent and working backward through the past ten years of experience.
While other resume formats such as the functional or hybrid models do exist, we don't recommend them for professionals like ABA therapists as they can make candidates come across as inexperienced.
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Resume summary example
The resume summary is the best place to introduce yourself and give the employer a feel for your skills and experience. The goal of the summary is to encourage the hiring manager to keep reading your resume by offering only the most impressive highlights. These 3-5 sentences should also mention the name of the position you are applying for and any certifications you hold that are required for the job. For more inspiration, check out our resume example summary below.
Certified Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist with experience providing therapy in a clinical setting. Excellent relationship management skills in working with parents, teachers, clinicians and other parties to formulate strategies for desired behaviors.
Employment history sample
The employment history section is especially important for ABA therapists as it allows you to highlight skills used in previous positions along with successful patient outcomes you are proud of. For each entry, make sure to include the job title, employer name, dates worked, and location. Create 4-5 bullet points for each entry that explain the strategies and techniques you implemented along with numbers and statistics that illustrate your positive impact on the lives of patients. For more guidance, check out our adaptable employment history resume sample below.
ABA Therapist, Bloomington Autism Therapy Center, Bloomington, IN
June 2016 - Present
- Treat individuals diagnosed with behavioral and developmental disorders through evidence-based tools and practices.
- Work closely with individuals to assess behavioral issues determine behavior reduction / alteration strategies.
- Assist individuals with skill acquisition through break down of targeted behaviors and rewards for improvements.
Behavior Technician, Play based Therapy, Kids Play Gym, Bloomington, IN
March 2012 - June 2016
- Interacted with children to provide creative and playful exercises for improving behavior.
- Maintained records and tracked therapy progress, employing critical thinking skills to assess strategies for moving forward.
- Worked with parents, therapists, and clinicians to plan behavioral and treatment goals.
ABA Therapist Assistant Intern, Little Leaf ABA, Bloomington, IN
July 2011 - February 2012
- Supported ABA Therapist in devising and implementing behavioral analysis and improvement strategies and exercises.
- Applied treatment skills gained from education to assist in treating individuals.
- Maintained records of strategies employed and results.
CV skills example
The CV skills section is small but mighty. This is where you can call the employer’s attention to your areas of expertise and your strengths at a glance. As an ABA therapist, it’s important to balance hard and soft skills on your CV. Hard skills are learned abilities relating to your field, while soft skills are your human qualities like empathy, communication, or organization skills. Check out our resume example for the skills section below.
- Counseling & Therapy
- Learning Disabilities
- Behavioral Disorders
- Developmental Disorders
- Time Management
- Special Needs Therapy
- Parent / Child Relations
- Teaching & Learning
- Treatment Plans
ABA therapist resume education example
The education section is an integral part of your ABA therapist resume as more advanced education can lead to better job opportunities. Some jobs require ABA therapists to hold degrees, while others may only ask for certifications. Both are great to add to this section. List your education in reverse chronological order as you did for your employment history. Add the degree or program name, the school name, the dates attended, and the location.
You can also add 1-2 bullet points here to highlight any achievements or relevant coursework. Ongoing education, awards, memberships, or publications can all be added to the education section. See our adaptable education resume sample below.
Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Ball State University, Muncie, IN
February 2009 - February 2011
- Emphasis in Autism
- Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
September 2005 - May 2009
Resume layout and design
The layout and design of your resume speak volumes about your professionalism and interest in the position. Just as wearing the appropriate attire to the interview suggests you’re a serious candidate, the right layout shows the employer that you’re qualified for the ABA therapist role.
While medical professionals should opt for subdued or neutral color schemes, you may choose an accent color or another design flourish to highlight your name and contact information in your resume header. Keep the standard margins along with a balance of white space to text so that the hiring manager can easily scan your resume for the information they care about most. If you’re not sure where to start, a professionally designed resume template can help you create an attractive application in a few clicks.
Key takeaways for an ABA therapist resume
- ABA therapists should harness the power of the summary to call attention to their skills and the empathetic approach that’s required for the role.
- Highlight your successes and positive patient outcomes by using numbers and statistics in the employment history section.
- Take advantage of the education section to mention certifications, memberships, and relevant coursework.
- A great layout is essential to a positive first impression. Check out our adaptable ABA therapist resume sample to get started on your own.