Occupational therapy (OT) can be an ideal career choice for those looking to combine their love of helping others with the need to earn money, but it’s not always easy to get into the profession. The limited number of positions available, combined with high demand, means that competition is fierce and you’ll need to come prepared in order to stand out from the crowd. Here are 5 tips that will help you do just that.
Top 5 Tips For Getting An Occupational Therapy Job In The UK
1) Get clued up on what you need to do
Before you start job hunting, it’s important to make sure you have the right qualifications and experience for the role. In the UK, you’ll need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to practise as an occupational therapist. To do this, you’ll need a degree in occupational therapy that’s been approved by the HCPC. Once you have your degree, you can start applying for jobs. There are many ways to find vacancies: you could use popular job search sites like Monster or Indeed, or look through regional recruitment pages from professional bodies like the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Therapy (ACPOT). Make sure you check what others are saying about different companies on sites like Glassdoor before making a decision.
2) Research possible jobs
It is important to research the job market for occupational therapists in the United Kingdom. Find out what kinds of jobs are available, what the requirements are, and how much experience you need. You can also look into what the average salary is for an occupational therapist in the UK. This will help you know what to expect when applying for jobs. In addition, it will give you a realistic idea of what you should be looking for in your future occupation.
Working with a specialist healthcare recruitment agency can provide access to a wide range of occupational therapy jobs which you might not find on the internet, or other job boards.
3) Familiarise yourself with legal requirements
Before you start applying for jobs, it’s important to make sure that you meet the legal requirements for working as an occupational therapist in the UK. To practise as an occupational therapist in the UK, you must:
- Be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
- Have a degree in occupational therapy that is recognised by the HCPC
- Have completed a period of supervised practice
- Be able to demonstrate your continued professional development
- Be able to provide evidence of your good character
- Be able to provide evidence of your English language skills if English is not your first language
4) Make your CV stand out
Start by ensuring your CV is up-to-date and tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. Highlight your qualifications and clinical experience in your CV, including any specialist areas you have worked in. Use keywords from the job advert to ensure your CV is picked up by scanning software. Use positive language throughout your CV, and avoid any grammar or spelling mistakes. Don’t forget to include details of any professional memberships or voluntary work you have undertaken. Check that your references are available and willing to provide a positive review of your work. Finally, send your CV off with a short but polite cover letter.
5) Gather experience/volunteer
It’s important to get experience in the field of occupational therapy before applying for jobs. One way to do this is to volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home. This will give you a chance to work with patients and see if occupational therapy is the right fit for you. You can also use your experiences to create a portfolio, which is an excellent addition to your resume. Aspiring OTs should also consider volunteering abroad to get more exposure.
Working as an occupational therapist can provide a range of new experiences, improve your skills, and gain new insights.