The number of online graduates has increased in the last five years as more accredited online universities pop up. Unfortunately, there’s still a definite bias against people who received their degree online. Many hiring managers will choose a job seeker with a degree from a brick-and-mortar school over someone with an online degree. The unfair assumption is that people who physically attended a traditional university and went to classes work harder for their degrees than those who didn’t.
If you did get your therapy degree from an online university, don’t despair. There are ways around this bias.
Remember that you don’t need to state that you got your degree online. Statements like “Degree Obtained Online” or jotting down the location of the university you attended as “online” are unnecessary especially if your school is a known Web-based university. For instance, University of Phoenix is a known online university. There’s no need to overstate that it’s online in your resume. Simply state the school name, the graduation year, degree and any certifications you attained.
Since fresh graduates have little to no work experience their resumes would look a little thin if they only mention their school. One way of adding value to your therapy resume without it looking like you’re padding is to include courses that you took up that are relevant to your chosen profession. Adding a coursework section to your resume will help make your educational experience stand out.
Another way to make your resume shine is by listing your accomplishments outside of academia. Internships and other noteworthy experience should be detailed. List down the healthcare facilities that you worked with in order to get your clinical hours.
One mistake that newly grads make is overselling themselves by fluffing their resumes. If you’re looking for work as a therapist, there shouldn’t be any room for hobbies on your resume. The recruiter you’re going to work with and the hiring manager who will look at your resume don’t care.
You want the length of your resume to be just right. As fresh graduates, the people who are going to look at your resume won’t expect pages after pages of information about you so you shouldn’t print out your life story. On the other hand, a one-page resume might send the wrong message that you haven’t worked hard enough to get your degree. Two pages are about the right length, as long as the information they contain are all relevant to your job search.
Leave them wanting to get to know you better, to talk to you in person or on the phone. Remember, the goal of the resume is not for you to get the job. That’s the purpose of the interview. A resume conveys your interest in the job and your qualifications to do it and is meant to convince a recruiter or a hiring manager to give you a call. Make your resume the best it can be. Good luck.