How to write an impressive physical therapist cover letter

Physical therapists provide vital care to patients who are recovering from or living with illnesses, injuries, disabilities, and more. To earn a position as a physical therapist, you need to write a cover letter that conveys your compassion for your clients as well as your professional talents.

In this guide, we will teach you 5 key steps for writing an impressive physical therapist cover letter. Keep reading to learn how to:

  • Give your physical therapist cover letter structure with a header & headline
  • Personalize your physical therapist cover letter for a specific job
  • Craft an attention-grabbing physical therapist introduction
  • Showcase your relevant skills & accomplishments as a physical therapist
  • Write an effective closing statement as a physical therapist

1. Give your excellent physical therapist cover letter structure with a header & headline

Unlike a resume, a cover letter is not divided into sections with clear titles. To give your cover letter structure and visual flow, you need to create a header and headline.

A cover letter header is the first information an employer will see, containing key details such as:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name of the company you are applying to
  • The address of the company you are applying to (especially important if the company has multiple different locations)

Here is an example of a well-formatted physical therapist header

Hillary Smith, Physical Therapist

(123) 456-7890 | hillarysmith@email.com | linkedin.com/in/hillary-smith

To: Atlanta Sports Medicine, Inc.
Physical Therapy Department
1234 Street Address
Atlanta, GA, 30301

As for your cover letter headline, this is an optional title you can add to your cover letter to help the main points in your letter stand out and to initially hook an employer’s attention.

An effective headline will include a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise to the employer.

Here is an example of a good physical therapist headline, as well as a brief explanation of its main components

My 3-Step Approach to Compassionate Physical Therapy & How It Will Benefit Your Clients

Trigger Word/Number: 3-Step Approach
Keyword: Physical Therapy
Adjective/Verb: Compassionate, Benefit
Promise: Your Clients – this serves as a promise because it tells the employer you will discuss specifically how your qualifications can be applied to their company and clients’ benefit.

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2. Personalize your physical therapist cover letter for a specific job

Any time you write a cover letter as a physical therapist, it is essential to personalize the content of that letter for the specific job you are applying to. This not only helps to impress employers but also shows you have great attention to detail.

To personalize a cover letter, you will need to research the company thoroughly beforehand. Look for information such as the company’s values, projects or programs they are involved in, and specific staff members at the company who are likely to review your application.

Using this last bit of information, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses a specific person by name and informs the employer immediately of your due diligence.

Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings

  • Dear Practice Manager Jill Swift,
  • Dear Ms. Jill Swift,
  • Dear Ms. Jill Swift & the PT team,

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3. Craft an attention-grabbing physical therapist introduction

While your headline and personalized greeting help to impress and engage the employer, to truly hold their attention you need a well-written introduction.

Strong cover letter introductions often include:

  • A summary of your professional history and specializations
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible)

Pro Tip: Always include a mutual acquaintance when you can, as this is a golden ticket to leaving a fantastic first impression on employers. If you need help networking to find a mutual acquaintance, try using LinkedIn to expand your professional network and community.

Here is an example of an attention-grabbing physical therapist introduction

Dear Practice Manager Jill Swift,

I am a physical therapist with 6 years of specialized experience working in sports therapy. Recently, I was hired for a temporary position with a local school to help teach student-athletes about the importance of physical therapy. The athletic coach at this school, Mr. John Jones, is a long-time client of your practice and strongly recommended I apply for this position.

4. Showcase your relevant skills & accomplishments as a physical therapist

Once you have ensured the employer’s attention is on you, it’s time to begin describing your most relevant skills and accomplishments as a physical therapist.

When describing these qualifications, make sure the information you include is specific, contextual, and quantifiable. This helps an employer to see not just your key qualifications but also the real-life value you can contribute to their business or practice.

Here are 6 examples of physical therapy skills to describe in a cover letter

  • Patient consultations
  • Diagnosing physical mobility problems
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Providing patient education
  • Clear communication abilities
  • Knowledge of various exercises and stretches

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a physical therapist cover letter

As a physical therapist at [Former Employer], I worked with more than 40 patients seeking ongoing care each year. For each of these patients, I developed a unique treatment plan that included monthly check-ins and progress reports. All 40 of my patients saw significant improvements in their mobility, with more than 70% reporting full recovery within 2 months. 

5. Write an effective closing statement as a physical therapist

To conclude your physical therapist cover letter effectively, you need a thoughtful closing statement that encourages the employer to contact you. Along with stating your enthusiasm toward the position, this closing statement should also include:

  • How and when you can be best contacted
  • When you plan to follow up
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of an effective closing statement from a physical therapist’s cover letter

I am incredibly excited by the prospect of working for your practice and hope to connect with you directly within the next week. The best way to contact me is at (123) 456-7890 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or after-hours at hillarysmith@email.com. I plan to follow up next Tuesday about this position if I have not yet heard back.

Best Wishes,

[Applicant Name]

If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two.