Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

7 components of a good cover letter for new PT grads on the job hunt

Table of Contents

It can be daunting to talk yourself up as a new physical therapy grad if you feel like you have no experience in the “real world.” Every PT has to start somewhere, and the good news is that there won’t be a shortage of open positions anytime soon. The need for physical therapists is growing much faster than other occupations.

There are ways to show you have the skills and the knowledge physical therapy hiring managers are looking for. For starters, your clinical residency definitely counts! You also have some advantages as a recent graduate, believe it or not. There’s a good chance you’re trainable and quick to pick up new technology. More experienced PTs can come with a lot of old habits from previous employers.

Most people don’t like writing about themselves in the third person. Fortunately, this is one place where a ton of extra detail won’t be appreciated — cover letters should be short and straight to the point. This article will cover the seven basic components you’ll need to include.

7 things to include in your cover letter for a PT position

You might feel like it’s redundant to create both a customized résumé or CV and a cover letter to go with your application, which might include a lot of the same information. The cover letter gives recruiters and hiring managers their first look at your interpersonal skills, and it gives you an opportunity to paint a picture that shows how and why you’ll be a great asset in the position, with an emphasis on how you’ll benefit the company. 

Before you start, take the time to explore the employer’s online presence and read the job posting carefully. The About page on their website, patient testimonials and their tone on social media can all give you clues about the company culture and their values. Try to find out why they’re hiring a new PT now and what they’re looking for in potential candidates.

Hopefully you’ve put some thought into your ultimate goals for your physical therapy career and what you want in early positions that will help you take steps toward those goals. Have these details ready, but use them sparingly. You should keep your cover letter to less than a page, or three to five short paragraphs. As a new graduate, you can pull examples from your coursework, your clinical rotations, and any work experience or volunteer work that seems relevant to the position.

Here are the seven vital pieces to include in your physical therapy cover letter:

  1. Header, including the date and your contact information

This is definitely a formality. However, it’s important to show you can pay attention to detail and that your written communication skills are professional level. You don’t have to have a logo or anything, but pick a nice font that contrasts with the one you’ll use in your body text. 

Larger organizations and recruiters will use software that scans application materials to save them as digital files with the same formatting, so it’s best not to go overboard with graphic design. They might be scanning for keywords, too, so be sure to include some nouns and verbs related to the most critical aspects of the role. Click here for an example of a cover letter with a properly formatted header.

  1. The hiring manager’s name and contact information

Including the company’s information and the hiring manager’s name in the header shows that you’ve done your homework and you’ll be following up if necessary. It can be hard to figure out exactly who’s responsible for filling the role, but LinkedIn has made it much easier. If no one’s listed as a human resources specialist, see if the company’s website has any information about its leadership team. If all else fails, you can simply address your cover letter to “Hiring Manager.”

  1. An appropriate greeting

This is where you should address the hiring manager by name. The greeting you use should be informed by what you’ve read and observed about the company culture. Some PT companies can be pretty laid back, in which case, “Hi [Hiring manager’s name]” or “Hello [Name]” will suffice. If they are more formal and serious about their work, you could go with “Dear [Name].” While mirroring whatever tone the company takes in its digital footprint, try to keep things friendly, confident and professional.

  1. Introductory paragraph

Your first paragraph should include how you heard about the position and any context about any relationships or prior experiences with the company you may have. Express some enthusiasm about applying for the position and finish with a sentence on how your academic experiences and professional skills will directly benefit them. If you can touch on the top priority you identified in your research, all the better.

  1. Body paragraph

Give some concrete details that back up what you said in the first paragraph about how you’ll be a benefit to the company. This is where you can talk about your clinical residency and any previous work or volunteer experience that might be relevant. You should fine-tune your résumé for each company you apply to, so you can decide which experiences will be most relevant on a case-by-case basis. For instance, working at a summer camp could be a great experience if you’re applying for a pediatric PT position. It might not look as good if you’re applying to be a PT at a nursing home.

Your body paragraph can include some aspirational language about what you’d like to do in your next role, as long as it aligns with the job description and you can explain why you’re qualified to do it. Anything you say about yourself should have a concrete example, if possible, and directly tie to something in the job description. Try to include numbers and metrics whenever possible: “I served over 100 patients during my residency” or “I helped some patients reduce their pain from a 7 or 8 on an 11-point numerical pain rating scale to below a 4.”

If you’re struggling to come up with examples, remember that you have unique strengths in areas where your classmates may have struggled. What part of graduate school or clinicals was easy for you? What was some of the best feedback you received from patients, classmates or professors? In what ways were you helpful to others?

  1. Closing paragraph with a call to action

If you can touch on the most important points in just three paragraphs, that’s great. Thank the hiring manager for their time and include a call to action that shows you’re interested in scheduling an interview. Something like “You can get in touch with me at [email address]” or “Please reach out when you’re ready to talk about next steps” will work. Let them know the best way to contact you. 

  1. Brief sign-off and signature

Finally, choose a closing that’s consistent with your tone. “Sincerely” can seem formal. “With gratitude” or “Warmly” are a bit friendlier. Again, what you say will depend on what you’ve observed in your research on the company. There’s no wrong answer, but in each case, some phrasing will be more appropriate than others.

Find the support you need in your new career by joining the Alliance PTP team

As a newly licensed physical therapist, you may be having a hard time getting your career off the ground, but you don’t have to continue struggling alone. At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’ve created a nationwide partnership in care that’s constantly evolving to help our PT practice partners and their team members take on their latest challenges. 

Our team not only has the expertise and resources to help practice owners and sellers meet their challenges, we offer a range of professional development and support for our partners’ team members, too. 

That’s why all our new physical therapists and physical therapy assistants participate in a mentoring program. This program allows you to meet regularly with experienced professionals who can help you address your needs as someone who’s new to the Alliance PTP team. They can also help you set specific goals for your professional development. Most importantly, your mentorship will help you provide your patients with best-quality PT care. 
Taking advantage of all the career opportunities Alliance PTP offers starts with one simple step. Look over our Careers page to see all the current career opportunities Alliance PTP is offering.

Table of Contents

Come work with the best

Wait!

Sign up for our newsletter first!

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Work-Fit
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Biocorrect Custom Orthotics
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Whatcom Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

SSOR Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

SOL Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Rehab Access
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Peak Performance Sports and Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Panther Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Franklin Rehabilitation
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Excel Rehab & Sports
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Excel Sports and Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Continuum Wellness
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Back in Motion Physical Therapy
Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Clinical Marketing & Sales

clinical marketing and sales

Are you a natural at connecting people and making introductions, with a heart that beats for the healthcare industry? Join us in making our clinics well-know and highly regarded among local physicians, past patients, employers and the community.

Get in touch

Name(Required)
Email(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Heading to Our New Career Hub!

Alliance Physical Therapy Partners Logo

Hey there! Just a quick heads-up: You’re now being redirected to lifeatalliance.com, our newly updated home for all things career-related. Don’t worry, you’re cruising along to the right destination. It’s part of our commitment to ensuring you have the best experience possible.

We’ve crafted this space with you in mind – it’s where your professional growth continues with an even richer source of guidance and support.

Central Services

central services

Whether your expertise lies in revenue cycle, marketing, HR, finance or other central service areas, your role will be pivotal to our success.