When you start looking for a job as an ABA therapist, you'll need a stellar resume that highlights your experience, skills, and education.
Your resume is the first impression a hiring manager gets from you. The key to a successful job search is to put your best foot forward and stand out in a crowd of hundreds of other job seekers.
But, how do you do that? You write your ABA Therapist resume in a way that summarizes your career achievements in alignment with the job description of the role they're trying to fill.
Keep reading to learn what should be included in your ABA Therapist resume.
What does an ABA Therapist do?
Applied Behavioral Analysis Therapists work mostly with children who are on the autism spectrum. These patients present with wildly disparate behavior issues. They find these behaviors hard to control and need someone to guide them. The ABA Therapists interviews each patient, their parents, and sometimes even the teachers to ascertain everything they can about the behaviors.
Once the analysis part is complete, the ABA Therapist comes up with a treatment plan to improve their patient's skills in things like communication, social skills, and controlling problem behaviors. Not only does the therapist guide their patient through the program, but they also educate parents, teachers, and caregivers on the plan to ensure the patient is receiving comprehensive care no matter where they are.
What's the difference between an RBT and an ABA therapist?
An RBT is known as a Registered Behavior Therapist. The position of RBT is as a professional who works under the ABA Therapist. The ABA Therapist is required to be board certified while the RBT isn't. However, RBTs do work directly with clients. People often choose the role of RBT simply because it's easier to get into than the ABA Therapist role.
The Behavioral Analyst Certification Board (BACB) decided to create a non-board-certified role to give lower-income families easier access to a practitioner.
How to build your ABA therapist resume
Now that you know the difference between the positions, it's time to write your resume for your new job.
Many people make the mistake of building a resume that only contains a list of jobs they've held with corresponding responsibilities. Other people try to include everything they've ever done during their careers.
The word resume means summary. Focus on your experience, education, and skills in a way that precisely lets the hiring manager know what you bring to the table.
Put just enough information that they know what you've accomplished but leave room for them to ask you questions. If a hiring manager wants to know more about your career, that's when they'll call you for an interview. If you put everything you've ever done, there's no need to ask you questions, so you're less likely to be called for an interview.
PRO TIP:You can make your resume speak specifically to the new company's job by using relevant keywords from the job description.
Your resume should have a minimum of five sections:
Choose the right format
Before you can start putting pen to paper, or in this case finger the keyboard, to write your resume, you have to choose the right format.
There are three widely accepted formats: reverse chronological, hybrid, and functional. For your ABA therapy resume, the reverse chronological format is going to serve you best. This format places focus on your experience as it relates to the job you want. Plus, it's what hiring managers expect to see.
The main thing to know about your contact section is that it is no longer customary to include your full address. All you need for this section is your name, city, state, zip code, email address, and the link to your LinkedIn profile. However, you should only include the link to your LinkedIn profile if your profile is properly optimized.
The career summary section contains your resume title and a summary paragraph. You should always write the title so that it mirrors the job description that you're applying for. The summary paragraph should be three to five sentences that talk about your experience and skills. You want to include at least one achievement in this paragraph.
The skills section is literally a list of words or phrases that represent the skills you offer. The items you include in this section should contain a strong mix of hard and soft skills.
The beauty of the reverse chronological resume format is that it explains exactly how to format your resume--in reverse chronological order. This means you start with your current or most recent experience and go backward. Stick to detailing 10 to 15 years of experience. While older experiences did help shape you in your career they're not entirely relevant any longer.
If there are major achievements from more than 10 years ago, you can include a section called early career highlights. If you decide to add this section included it after the experience section, but before your education section. Include between three and five bullets that detail those major career experiences you want an employer to know about.
This section can be called Education, or you can title it Education and Credentials if you have licenses that you want to include.
The most important thing to know about the education section is that if you have been out of school for more than a year you should exclude your graduation dates and any extra details like School affiliations or school projects. Once you start getting relevant professional experience under your belt, your experience trumps education. Hiring managers and recruiters still want to know that you have a degree, but they'll care less about activities that you participated in while you were in school.
Here's what all of that looks like
It's one thing to be told what each section should contain, but since most people are visual learners, here's a sample ABA Therapy resume.
New York, NY 12345 * (111) 222-3333 * firstname.lastname@example.org * LinkedIn URL
APPLIED BEHAVIORAL HEALTH (ABA) THERAPIST
Compassionate and empathetic Therapist with 6 years of experience teaching individuals with developmental disabilities how to thrive. Consistently deliver one-on-one ABA program initiatives and make autonomous decisions in support of interventional objectives. Known for shaping the minds of early childhood children through the development of customized treatment plans. Possess an ability to work independently or within a large group of like-minded colleagues.
Autism | Center-Based Therapy | Individual Therapy | Therapeutic Goals | Consultation | Dependable | Regulatory Compliance | Documentation | Reporting | Safety | Mentor | Strong | Work Ethic | Organized | Collaborative
Beginning Talkers, LLC | Newark, NJ
ABA Therapist | 05/2018-Present
Maintain neutrality when interviewing a multicultural population of patients.
Create, administer, and monitor behavior therapy plans for as many as 12 patients per week.
Act as a family advocate by providing comprehensive education on treatment plans.
Document patient changes to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date patient files.
State University | Boston, MA
Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) | 06/2013-4/2018
Worked 1:1 with patients in a clinic-based program to provide therapy for autism and other developmental disabilities.
Employed advanced knowledge of electronic medical records to record and update charts.
Created a safe and nurturing environment, allowing patients to progress through treatment plans without judgment.
Mentored 2 other RBTs with effective training that resulted in improved patient success rates.
EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS
Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Applied Behavioral Analysis
LICENSES AND CERTIFICATIONS
Board-Certified Behavioral Therapist
This resume works great because it contains the right keywords and a good mix of hard and soft skills.
Top skills to consider for your ABA Therapy resume
The core role of your position will be that you work with people and that each person you work with will require something different.
This is the first step in determining how you will help your patients. You have to know what they have going on in order to guide them through treatment. By performing an in-depth assessment of their environment and behaviors, you are in a better position to develop a custom plan.
Just because you don't have the word Trainer in your title, doesn't mean you have to leave it off of your resume. You do, in fact, train a lot of people as an ABA Therapist, including patients, families, and teachers on how to implement behavioral therapy tactics for the best results.
In order to fulfill your passion for making a difference in someone's life, you have to be able to communicate with them. Of course, your patient needs to understand the goals of their treatment plan, but you also much make notes for complete healthcare records.
In the spirit of practicing what you preach, you have to model the behavior you want your patient to perform. It does no good for an ABA Therapist to be impatient if you're trying to get your client to exercise impulse control.
In addition to these skills, ZipRecruiter indicates that the top 3 skills listed in both resumes and job descriptions are ABA, Behavioral Analysis, and Autism. These “keywords represent 49.21% of the total set of top…keywords.”
Choosing the right career is one of the most important decisions you'll make in life. Writing your ABA Therapy resume should be something you invest in, whether your investment is time or money.
Don't let a mediocre ABA Therapist resume stop you from landing your next position. TopResume's team of professional resume writers is armed with the right keywords and is ready to help.