Board certification opens wider doors for behavior analysts in one of today’s fastest growing job markets. When pursuing an opportunity that’s perfect for you, your BCBA resume must persuade the employer to view it the same way.
This interview-winning advice is pivotal to all of Resume.io’s 350+ occupation-specific writing guides and resume examples. The writing guide you’re reading now, alongside an adaptable BCBA resume example, will discuss:
- What BCBAs do, in an exceptionally dynamic job market
- How to write a BCBA resume — the proper structure and best format
- Writing each resume section with intention — header, summary, employment history, education, and skills
- Resume layout and design pro tips
What does a BCBA do?
BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a graduate-level designation for specialists in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. These professionals provide guidance and structure for modifying patients’ behavior to improve social, academic, and life skills. BCBA certification requires education, supervised experience, and passing an exam administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
BCBAs help patients of all ages with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, mood disorders, behavioral challenges and other related conditions. They design programs for everyone involved in the therapeutic process, from speech pathologists and occupational therapists to teachers and family members.
BCBA salaries vary by employer, location, skills, and experience. The overall annual average is $75,784, within a range from $51,000 for entry-level roles to well over $100,000 for more experienced or private practitioners.
Employment prospects for BCBAs are exceptionally vibrant. The demand for behavior-oriented therapists in the U.S. is set to grow by 22% between 2021 and 2031 — 4.5 times faster than the occupational average.
How to write a BCBA resume
Organizing information coherently for reports and presentations is your forte as a BCBA. This can give you a resume-writing edge from the onset, with no need to overthink the process or deviate from the uncomplicated structure. These are the essential resume sections that recruiters will be looking for at a glance:
- Employment history
Before taking a closer look at what each part should contain, consider this reality: hiring managers rarely read every word of anyone’s resume. Unless it grabs their attention instantly, even top-quality content won’t rate a quick skim. The most common deterrents include excessive wordiness and an inability to spot key information quickly.
To proactively ensure your BCBA resume gets more than a passing glance:
- Customize a different version for each job application by making the most relevant details prominent.
- Incorporate keywords that match the employer’s job description terminology.
These measures also improve the chances of your resume being seen at all by a human recruiter. That’s because it will likely be scanned electronically upon receipt by applicant tracking systems (ATS) software, risking rejection for lack of keywords or other relevance indicators.
Since BCBAs often work or consult with a variety of other healthcare professionals, you might find it helpful to look at some of Resume.io’s other resume examples and writing guides, including:
- Psychologist resume example
- Audiologist resume example
- Respiratory therapist resume example
- Child psychologist resume sample
- Medical support assistant resume example
- Medical social worker resume sample
- Physician assistant resume sample
- Clinic coordinator resume example
- Optometrist resume sample
- Physical therapist resume example
- Pharmacist resume example
- Dentist resume sample
- Sonographer resume sample
- Nurse resume example
- Psychotherapist resume example
- Medical science liaison resume sample
- Paramedic resume sample
Choosing the best resume format for a BCBA
With your BCBA resume being a potential job interview ticket, the chronological resume format is the surest way to motivate hiring managers in that direction. Your professional experience takes precedence in a story of progressive growth and accomplishments as an employee, organized in reverse order from most recent to earliest dates.
An attractive resume header design will set your job application apart visually from the rest, especially when paired with an identical cover letter header. The goal is to make a memorable first impression by prominently displaying your name, BCBA identity, location (city and state are sufficient), phone number, and email. Links to your website and LinkedIn and other professionally relevant social media profiles belong here also.
Resume summary example
As noted earlier, your BCBA resume stands no chance of success if it fails to catch and hold the reader’s attention within a few seconds. This must happen upfront in the summary section — sometimes called the profile or personal statement.
As a short, but significantly persuasive snapshot of your most impressive qualifications and accomplishments, these two or three concise statements convey your potential value as a BCBA professional who understands the hiring needs. Your efforts to target the specific job application will pay off when recruiters take notice and are motivated to read further.
Below is a BCBA resume summary example you can adapt to write your own.
Dedicated, compassionate BCBA with expertise in devising effective behavior intervention strategies. Adept at performing comprehensive assessments to identify needs and develop individualized, evidence-based treatment plans. Liaise with clients, families, and providers throughout the treatment process. Maintain detailed and accurate case documentation and prepare progress reports.
Employment history sample
Pinpoint the responsibilities, contributions, and accomplishments in previous jobs that best match the job you’re seeking now. In each instance, craft a simple, but specific bullet point that starts with an action verb and leads to a beneficial result.
For new professionals lacking work experience in ABA or BCBA roles, this resume section can focus on the skills and knowledge you acquired and practiced in supervised trainee roles.
Recruiters scanning your employment history are looking for specific information such as:
- Work setting
- Caseload / billable hours
- Patient ages and behavioral issues
- Multidisciplinary collaboration
- Supervisory roles
- Specific ABA techniques you applied and types of intervention plans you developed
- Positive outcomes — quantify with improvement rate percentages or numbers of successful interventions
Here is the employment history section from our BCBA resume sample.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at Behavioral Associates, Dallas, TX
January 2017 - Present
- Develop and implement evidence-based behavior intervention programs to improve outcomes of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
- Interface with interdisciplinary team to evaluate and assess patients, create behavior plans, and document progress.
- Supervise behavior technicians and ensure their alignment with behavior plans and interventions.
- Identify underlying causes of behavioral issues through conducting functional behavior assessments.
BCBA Intern at San Marcos Counseling, San Marcos, TX
January 2016 - January 2017
- Gained hands-on experience in applying evidence-based strategies to achieve positive behavioral outcomes for clients.
- Collaborated closely with supervisor to implement treatment plans based on individual client needs.
- Wrote case notes, maintained extensive documentation, and communicated with interdisciplinary team.
BCBA resume education example
The information here should appear in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level of education. Start by listing college degrees, including the institution name and dates attended, along with relevant honors or awards.
For professional credentials, name the conferring organization and date earned. Besides being mentioned in your resume summary, your BCBA should be listed here with your number and the year earned. If applicable, include information about the number of clinical hours you have completed and supervisors.
Be sure to mention other relevant certifications, licenses, and memberships in professional associations such as the BACB or local ABA associations. Highlight your continuing education activities to stay current in your field: workshops, conferences or training sessions.
Below is the education section from our BCBA resume example.
Master of Arts in Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, TX
September 2014 - June 2016
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas
September 2010 - June 2014
CV skills example
Your list of core BCBA competencies is likely long enough to fill a page on its own. So again, you must be selective in targeting this CV section to the specific role.
- Make sure none of the skills identified in the ad post is overlooked on your resume list.
- Those that can be identified verbatim, as keywords, can help ATS-proof your resume.
- Strive for a blend of hard skills and soft skills.
Check out our BCBA resume sample for the skills section below.
- Treatment Plan Development
- Evidence-Based Care
- Interdisciplinary Teams
- Case Management
- Client/Family Education
- Clinical Supervision
- Conflict Resolution
- Functional Assessments
- Behavioral Interventions
Resume layout and design
Professionally polished and conservatively confident is the image to convey in a BCBA resume that’s easy on the reader’s weary eyes. You’ll never go wrong with a clean, uncluttered layout, incorporating ample margins and white space elsewhere to offset the text-dense blocks. One clearly labeled section should flow logically into the next so recruiters easily find what they’re looking for. Choose no more than two complementary font styles and go easy on the graphic elements and color splashes.
Key takeaways for a BCBA resume
- Explosive demand for BCBAs in no way diminishes the importance of a superior resume to pursue the most attractive jobs.
- Consistently reinforce in each resume section that your qualifications and talents will be beneficial to the employer and patients needing ABA therapy, tailoring the content to the specific job application.
- Using a field-tested resume template helps ensure your resume looks the part of the professional you are.