Behavioral therapists might not wear capes, but they are certainly superheroes, helping patients recover from substance abuse, eating disorders and mental health challenges that might otherwise derail their lives. The demand for behavioral therapists is exploding, but you'll still need a great resume to prove that you have the experience and education to change lives.
In this writing guide, along with our behavioral therapist resume example, we'll show you how to:
- Choose the right format for your resume
- Include the sections hiring managers expect on a resume sample
- Format your resume to convey professionalism and purpose
Find even more writing advice and formatting tips in our library of 300+ resume examples for job seekers in every field and at every stage of their careers.
What does a behavioral therapist do?
Behavioral therapists are trained mental health professionals dedicated to helping patients develop and nurture positive behavior patterns and lifestyle choices. These therapists are trained to help patients achieve longterm solutions to unhealthy behavior patterns and choices. Behavioral therapists have a deep understanding of Applied Behavior Analysis Principles. They help patients to resolve conflicts while learning to practice healthy behaviors. An ideal candidate possesses excellent communication skills, along with superior knowledge of cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior intervention plans.
The job market for behavioral therapists is exploding! The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that openings will increase by 25 percent over the coming decade. To put that in perspective, average growth for other professions is only four percent! With a great resume, you should have no problem finding a behavioral therapist job that suits you.
How to write a behavioral therapist resume
Your behavioral therapist resume sample will need the following essential components:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
A successful behavioral therapist resume should showcase a candidate's ability to develop and implement effective and appropriate treatment plans to address a variety of behavioral issues. The resume should highlight crucial qualifications such as compassion, strong listening skills, and the ability to help patients establish healthy behavior patterns and communicate more effectively with people in their lives. The ideal candidate has a superior understanding of mental health practices, counseling, and Behavior Therapy Models. A winning behavioral therapist resume should showcase a commitment to remaining current with best therapy practices.
Choosing the best resume format for behavioral therapists
Far and away the best resume format for behavioral therapists is reverse chronological. This format focuses heavily on your work history and education. Since the medical field is a formal one, your resume sample should showcase a superior knowledge of the field via your degrees and previous positions. Reverse chronological resumes allow you to do that by starting with your current or most recent role and working backwards until you've listed all relevant experience.
While other resume formats do exist, they are better suited to recent graduates, people making a career change or self-employed workers.
The reverse chronological format is best for hiring managers, but it also gives you the best chances of beating the Applicant Tracking Systems or ATS. Make sure to place duties prioritized by the employer throughout your resume using the exact language from the job description. Be careful though – overdoing it may beat the ATS but the hiring manager will frown upon this practice known as keyword stuffing.
Resume summary example
The resume summary is a chance for you to speak directly to the hiring manager and point out your best skills, experiences, and accomplishments. These 3-5 sentences should serve as an influential summary conveying the value you bring as a behavioral therapist. Be sure to include any information you do not want a potential employer to miss. Here's the summary from our behavioral therapist resume example.
Dedicated behavioral therapist committed to helping patients achieve happier and healthier lives through the development of positive skills and thought patterns. Experienced in working with patients suffering from a variety of phobias, addictions, and traumas. Adept in developing and implementing effective individualized treatment programs.
Employment history sample
In the employment history section you'll have a chance to list all positions of importance and those that have transferable duties and/or required skills necessary for a behavioral therapist. Remember to use powerful action verbs that showcase your abilities and skills. You can strengthen each bullet point by including numbers or statistics about the impact you had on your patients. Make sure to choose duties relevant to the role you are applying to.
- Effectively analyzed the behavioral patterns of patients to diagnose mental health disorders.
- Recommended appropriate activities and exercises to form and foster new positive skills.
- Developed and implemented appropriate treatment programs based on diagnoses.
- Maintained detailed counseling notes for each patient.
- Worked with families to determine the progress of patients and possible program adjustments.
Behavioral therapist resume education example
A strong educational background is essential to the work you do as a behavioral therapist, so make sure to list all degrees and certifications here. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. Since you've almost certainly completed some level of higher education, you may leave out your high school. You can list certifications here, or create a separate section highlighting them. Here's the education section from our behavioral therapist resume example.
- 2014-2016 University at Albany, Master of Psychology Albany, NY
- 2010-2014 University at Albany, Bachelor of Psychology Albany, NY
CV skills example
The CV skills section is generally formatted in such a way that it lends itself to skills that can be summarized in a word or two. An outstanding behavioral therapist resume should include a number of impressive skills that your employer is looking for in a candidate. Be sure to include job specific skills and a strong mix of soft and hard skills to show that you are a well-rounded candidate. Look to the job description for more guidance as to what the hiring manager would like to see in this section. Below you'll find the skills section from our resume example.
- Applied Behavioral Science
- Counseling Skills
- Problem-solving Skills
- Advanced Communication Skills
- Knowledge of Behavior Therapy Models
Resume layout and design
To be taken seriously as a candidate, you'll need to make sure the layout and design of your resume convey the right amount of professionalism. It all starts with an attractive header. This space at the top of your resume highlights your name and contact information but it can also help you add a sense of style to an otherwise plain page. As a medical professional, however, you should be careful not to go overboard with color, images or icons. Even a monochromatic template can give you the extra edge.
A resume template can help make the tedious formatting tasks quick and easy. With built-in professional fonts in the right sizes, all that's left to do is add in your own experience.
Key takeaways for a behavioral therapist resume
- A great behavioral therapist resume can help you quickly land a position in this rapidly growing field
- Make sure to follow the reverse chronological format as it is the best choice for professionals in the medical field
- Your education is a major component of your work so make sure to list all certificates and degrees on your resume sample
- Our behavioral therapist resume example can give you an idea of how to create an attractive header