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  • Navigating the Job Market: Tips for New Physiotherapy Graduates

    Author: Felicity Frankish

Navigating the Job Market: Tips for New Physiotherapy Graduates

Navigating the job market as a new physiotherapy graduate can be a daunting experience. Fresh out of university, you're armed with theoretical knowledge and some practical skills, yet the real world of employment brings its own unique set of challenges. From understanding the ins and outs of the healthcare system to competing with seasoned professionals for job opportunities, the transition from student to practitioner comes with a steep learning curve. We'll delve into actionable tips and strategies that can help you stand out in a competitive job market, build a robust professional network, and ultimately secure a role in the field of physiotherapy.

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The Importance of Networking

In any profession, the adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" often holds true, and physiotherapy is no exception. Networking plays an important role in career advancement, opening doors to new opportunities. For new graduates, establishing a strong professional network can make all the difference when it comes to landing that first job.

Building Your Network


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  • Alumni Associations: Many universities organise events, webinars, and workshops specifically for alumni in the healthcare sector.
  • Professional Organisations: Joining organisations like the Australian Physiotherapy Association can provide you with numerous networking opportunities.
  • Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn offer a convenient way to connect with professionals in your field. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and engage with posts relevant to physiotherapy.
Crafting the Perfect Resume

First impressions really do count and your resume is the first impression that potential employers will have of you. Having a well-crafted resume can be the key to standing out from the crowd and securing that all-important job interview.

Networking is a continuous process. Keep in touch with your contacts, update them on your career progress, and offer your assistance when possible.

A physiotherapy resume should include the following:
  • Contact information: Clearly state your full name, contact number, and professional email address at the top of your resume.
  • Objective statement: A concise objective statement can set the tone for the rest of your resume. Make it specific to the role you're applying for.
  • Educational qualifications: List your academic achievements, starting with your physiotherapy degree. Include any additional certifications or courses that are relevant.
  • Clinical experience: Outline any practical experience, including internships and clinical rotations.
  • References: Include professional references who can vouch for your skills and experience. Make sure to get their permission beforehand.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
  • Generic resumes: Tailor your resume for each job application. A generic resume is easy to spot.
  • Overloading information: A cluttered resume can be off-putting to employers.
  • Grammar mistakes: Spelling and grammatical errors can be a red flag for employers. Use tools like Grammarly to proofread your resume.
By focusing on the essentials and avoiding common pitfalls, you can create a resume that not only showcases your qualifications but also highlights your suitability for the role.

Preparing for Interviews
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the interview stage! This is your opportunity to showcase your technical skills, along with your personality, communication abilities, and cultural fit for the organisation.

Research the Organisation
Before stepping into the interview, it's important to have a thorough understanding of the organisation. Visit their website, read up on their mission statement, and familiarise yourself with their services and treatment specialities. Websites like Glassdoor can offer insights into the company culture and even specific interview questions that others have faced.

Dress Appropriately
First impressions matter, so dress professionally for the interview. A business-casual outfit is a great way to go.

Mock Interviews
Practice makes perfect. Conduct some mock interviews with a friend, family member, or mentor. Some universities and professional organisations offer mock interview services for healthcare professionals.

After the interview, it's a good idea to send a thank-you email to the interviewers. This not only shows your appreciation but also reinforces your interest in the role.

Specialising Early vs. Gaining Broad Experience

One of the key decisions that new physiotherapy graduates face is whether to specialise early in their career or to gain a broad range of experience before choosing a niche. Both paths have their pros and cons.

Specialising Early
  • Expertise: Specialising allows you to become an expert in a specific area, such as sports physiotherapy, paediatrics, or neurology.
  • Higher earning potential: Specialists often get higher salaries due to their unique skill set and expertise.
  • Focused career path: Specialising early can provide a clear, focused career path, making it easier to set and achieve professional goals.
  • Professional development: Specialised roles often come with opportunities for advanced training and certifications.

Gaining Broad Experience
  • Versatility: A broad skill set allows you to adapt to various roles and settings, from hospitals and clinics to private practices and community health centres.
  • Career exploration: Gaining experience in different areas can help you discover what you're truly passionate about, making it easier to choose a speciality later on.
  • Job security: Versatility can make you more employable, especially in fluctuating job markets or where certain specialities may be oversaturated.
Balancing Both Approaches
Some professionals opt for a hybrid approach, gaining broad experience initially and then specialising after a few years. This strategy can offer the best of both worlds, allowing you to build a diverse skill set while also giving you the time to identify where you want to specialise.

Starting Your Career

Embarking on a career in physiotherapy is an exciting yet challenging journey, which involves networking, resume building, interview preparation, and career planning. Whether you choose to specialise early or gain a broad range of experience, the path you take will be instrumental in shaping your career.


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Felicity Frankish

Flick Frankish is an experienced Editor and Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry. After studying journalism and digital media, she naturally fell into the online world - and hasn't left since!
She is skilled in running successful social media campaigns and generating leads and sales. Combines skills of editing, SEO copywriting, email campaigns and social media marketing for success.

Before moving into the freelance world, Felicity worked as Senior Subeditor at CHILD Magazines, International Marketing Manager at QualityTrade and Marketing Manager for Children’s Tumor Foundation.