A skilled massage therapist can completely transform how a person feels not only physically, but also emotionally. After all, customers may visit a massage therapist for any range of reasons. Some are seeking a pick-me-up to reduce their stress, while others wish to relieve the tension or pain they’re experiencing. Customers may even visit just to treat themselves to a relaxing massage session.
Needless to say, the quality of the massage they receive is dependent on the massage therapist they go to. And soon, there will be a whole lot more choice in this regard considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of massage therapists will grow 22 percent from 2018 to 2028.
This is a huge projected growth compared to the 5 percent average for all occupations. The BLS notes that 3 main factors are driving this growth:
- The increase in the number of states adopting licensing requirements and standards for massage therapists.
- The increase in the number of healthcare providers that recognize the benefits of massage as part of treatment plans.
- The continued demand for massage services from particular groups of people such as sports teams.
This is both good and bad news for massage therapists like yourself. The good news is that you can expect to see more jobs to apply for. The bad news is that this will be coupled with increased competition from other massage therapists vying for the same jobs as you.
If you want to cement yourself as an attractive candidate for just about any job you desire, you’ll need to submit a powerful resume. Our massage therapist guide below will outline exactly how you can do this by answering common questions candidates have, such as:
- What qualities are recruiters actually looking for?
- Do I only need to impress a recruiter in order to score an interview?
- What’s the best way to write different sections of your resume?
- What do experts recommend you should do to make your resume stand out?
- Is there an easier way to put together an amazing massage therapist resume?
1. Multiple Template Examples
2. How Do You Write a Massage Therapist Resume That Will Get You the Job?
How to format the resume
A well-written resume that’s poorly formatted isn’t going to leave a positive impression on a recruiter. It’s equivalent to you providing a customer an incredible massage in an uncomfortable environment. You need to offer both aesthetics and substance to truly impress.
Most HR professionals recommend candidates to use a reverse-chronological format. This format puts primary focus on your professional experiences as a massage therapist. It also arranges each one from most to least recent to convey your journey as a professional.
Your resume’s layout is another consideration you’ll need to be mindful of when piecing it together. Below, we’ve provided the layout guidelines that HR professionals generally advise candidates to abide by:
- Number of Pages: A single page.
- Fonts to Use: Any fonts that allow for easy scanning by the recruiter, such as Palatino and Tahoma.
- Fonts to Avoid: Any fonts you wouldn’t use to type up an invoice for a customer, such as 28 Days Later and Amatic SC.
- Margins: 1 inch on all sides.
- Line Spacing: 1 or 1.15.
- Header size: 14-16 point size.
- Text size: 11-12 point size.
What are recruiters looking for?
Recruiters are looking for candidates who can show that they are likely to succeed in the given role. In order to do so, recruiters will keep their eyes peeled for any resume that highlights that the candidate in question has the ideal blend of relevant licensure, training, certifications, skills, and professional experiences to smoothly transition into the role.
The bar for hiring is set so high by recruiters because hiring the wrong massage therapist usually spells disaster for a business. Customers expect to leave feeling satisfied after their massage session. So if they aren’t, the business may not only lose them as a customer, but also have their overall reputation tainted.
That’s why it’s crucial for recruiters to only hire massage therapists who show that they know precisely how to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. They’ll also be looking for someone who has the proven ability to carry out all of the other responsibilities involved in the given role.
So what exactly are these expectations and responsibilities? Well, they will change from role to role as no two massage therapist roles are the same. This means it’s not possible to create a so-called ‘perfect’ resume that will secure any job you want.
Rather, in order to get hired, you’ll need to create a resume that convinces a recruiter that you offer the ideal blend of relevant licensure, training, certifications, skills, and professional experiences for the specific job you’re applying for.
This will require you to target your resume for each application. In other words, you’ll need to customize your resume each time so that each section of it directly addresses the unique criteria a recruiter has stated in a job ad. If you’d like to learn more about how to target your resume, keep reading as we explore this throughout our guide.
What technical and interpersonal skills should you emphasize in a massage therapist resume?
Massage therapists are some of the most skilled professionals out there. You need to rely on a range of technical skills to physically perform your massage sessions. You also need to draw on a variety of interpersonal skills to ensure both the way you operate and interact with others is optimal.
These skills work together to make you the one-of-a-kind massage therapist you are. However, there simply isn’t enough space on your resume to fit them all in, nor is it conducive to your application to do so. After all, a recruiter is primarily interested in learning about whether or not you possess the particular skills they’re on the hunt for.
You can pinpoint which skills a recruiter is after by going line by line through a job ad. When you do so, look for words – referred to by recruiters as “keywords” – that represent what a recruiter is seeking from an ideal candidate.
A number of different attributes can be represented by keywords. In addition to representing an ideal candidate’s skills, they may relate to their current and previous job titles, duties, achievements, training, education, and so on.
After you’ve collated a list of skill-based keywords from a job ad, you’ll need to determine which ones you would feel confident with offering. Remember to include a balance of both soft and hard skills! Then, it’s time to integrate them throughout your resume. To do this, you’ll need to:
- List 6 to 8 skills that you feel will be particularly valuable to offer in your resume’s “Skills” section.
- Integrate these skills as well as all of the other relevant skills you identified that apply to you throughout your “Employment History” section.
- Mention a handful of stand out skills in either your “Resume Objective” or “Resume Summary” section.
If you’re curious about what skills recruiters for massage therapists could be after, take a look at our lists below. We scoured real-life job ads to identify some of the most sought after skills.
- Administering massage therapy treatments
- Ability to perform one or more types of massage
- Evaluating clients' soft tissue condition, joint quality, unction, muscle strength, and range of motion
- Developing and proposing client treatment plans
- Knowledge of massage therapy standards, concepts, practices and procedures
- Ability to evaluate information and detect changes in conditions
- Monitoring and maintaining cleanliness and sanitation of assigned work areas
- Setting up and organizing workstations with designated supplies and forms
- Scheduling guest appointments
- Sanitizing implements
- Customer service
- Time management
- Planning, prioritizing, and organizing workloads
- Ability to work effectively with a diverse client group
- Maintaining positive guest relations at all times
- People skills
- Highly organized
- Attention to detail
- Problem solving
Pro tip: Need a reminder of what types of massage you may need to demonstrate your skills in? Look at this list of the 12 main types of massage.
How do you get your resume past ATS?
Have you ever wondered if impressing a recruiter with your resume was all you needed to do in order to score an interview? While it’s absolutely crucial that your resume gets the tick of approval from them, you’ll also need to get it past ATS.
ATS is an acronym for Applicant Tracking System. It is a type of recruitment software which offers recruiters a revolutionary way to vet candidates that is far easier and quicker than manually doing so. ATS takes a number of different factors into account to ultimately decide whether a resume should receive a pass or fail.
To get your resume past ATS, be sure to keep our expert tips below in mind:
- Include keywords: Keywords are one of the major factors ATS accounts for. It’s therefore critical to incorporate keywords from a job ad naturally throughout your entire resume, as we explored in the previous section.
- Don’t keyword stuff: Many candidates who are aware of ATS try to ‘keyword stuff’ their resume so that the ATS passes it. This practice of manipulating the ATS includes adding keywords either arbitrarily or unnaturally. 99% of candidates who do this get caught red-handed, so it’s simply not worth the risk!
- Follow standard layout guidelines: The ATS has great difficulty processing anything but standard fonts that appear within standard margins. If you include a font the ATS doesn’t recognize or include any text outside of standard margins, chances are the ATS won’t process the text. This is why it’s absolutely vital to stick to the HR-approved layout guidelines we shared in the very first section of this guide.
- Leave off any images, charts, or imported symbols: As a consequence of the ATS’ limited processing ability, it isn’t capable of processing any images (such as your headshot), charts (such as pie charts representing your skill levels), or imported symbols (such as custom bullet points you downloaded from a website). Given they won’t be counted by the ATS, it’s a better use of space to replace these features with information the ATS and recruiters will both be able to read and process.
How to list your education
You can bet that recruiters will be keen to check out your resume’s “Education” section. After all, in many cases, it shows that you have the appropriate qualifications to even be legally hired. Moreover, it shows that you have honed your knowledge and technique of massage therapy under the guidance of trained professionals.
The educational requirements to become a massage therapist vary significantly from state to state. As the BLS points out, you’ll usually be required to show that you at least have a high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted to a massage therapy program. These programs can either take place in private or public postsecondary institutions.
So how do you highlight your educational background in your “Education” section?
Make sure not to make a recruiter’s eyes glaze over by writing too much and/or not optimally structuring this section, like this candidate did:
After starting high school in 2015 at Flagler Palm Coast High School, I graduated in 2019. Following this, I researched different institutions that would allow me to earn my Massage Certificate. I settled on Florida School of Advanced Bodywork, where I studied full time for 6 months. I finally received my certificate in 2020.
In order to correctly write and format your “Education” section, you should list the following information about each one of your educational achievements:
- The name of the degree or program
- The name of the school, college, or institution
- The state you completed your studies in
- The year/s you studied
- Massage Certificate, Florida School of Advanced Bodywork, FL, 2020
- High School Diploma, Flagler Palm Coast High School, FL, 2015-2019
Should you include any additional details, like an LMP license, training, and certifications? If so, how should you list them?
Wondering if you need to show that you’re a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) in your resume?
According to Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), massage therapists in 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are required to hold proper licensure (i.e. an LMP License) in order to practice massage therapy. In such jurisdictions, licensure must be renewed on a regular basis
If you’re working in a jurisdiction that requires licensure, you must list your license clearly on your resume. Failure to do so could cause your application to be rejected on the spot. If this sounds harsh, keep in mind that working without a license where one is required is illegal. It’s for this reason most recruiters won’t want to take the risk of assuming you or other candidates have one.
So how do you include your LMP license, or any other relevant licenses you have, in your resume? Create a separate “Licence” or “Licenses” section and list:
- The name of the license
- The institution that administers the license
- The state the license is valid in
- The year you obtained it
- Texas Massage Therapist License, Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB), TX, 2020
Pro tip: It’s helpful to include the fact that you’re licensed in your resume summary or objective to reassure the recruiter that you’re properly qualified for the role.
Training and Certifications
It’s also essential to list any relevant training you’ve undertaken or certifications you’ve obtained as a massage therapist in your resume. To be clear, a massage therapy certification is different from a massage therapy license. While licensure is a form of professional regulation mandated by the Government, certification is administered by a board or educational institution to allow professionals to demonstrate that they have achieved a certain level of professional knowledge, skills, or understanding.
The most well-known massage therapist certification involves becoming board certified in massage therapy by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). After becoming certified, you’ll be able to call yourself a Certified Massage Therapist (CMT). Generally speaking, being a CMT will not only open the doors to more job opportunities, but also allow you to apply for higher paying ones at that. It’s for this reason that you should definitely include it in your resume.
So how do you select which other certifications would be beneficial to list in your resume? It all comes down to selecting those that have direct relevance to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you want to apply for a job as a massage therapist specializing in Swedish massage, make sure to feature any of your training or certifications in this type of massage.
To include any relevant training or certifications in your resume, create a separate “Training and Certifications” section and list:
- The name of the training or certification
- The name of the institution that administered it
- The state you undertook the training or certification
- The year you obtained it
- 500 Hour Massage Therapist Certification, North Texas School of Swedish Massage, TX, 2020
Pro tip: It’s a good idea to obtain and list your CPR certification in your resume as many jobs require candidates to hold one. Even if you’re applying for jobs that don’t require one, remember that being trained in CPR could save someone’s life!
How to write a resume objective and examples of this
A resume objective is a 2 to 4 sentence long section that appears right under your contact information. It offers entry level candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves to the recruiter as a candidate who possesses a range of desirable qualities that would make them a strong hire.
Considering that a resume objective is often the first thing a recruiter reads, you need to ensure it genuinely strengthens the recruiter’s positive perception of your candidacy. Unfortunately, many entry level candidates end up creating uninspiring resume objectives which actually hinder their application. To see what we mean, take a look at this example:
- Aspiring massage therapist who just completed a Massage Therapy certification. I am passionate about massage therapy which is why I want to be a proper massage therapist. I would now like to put the knowledge and skills I developed during my studies into action by working for your company.
This resume objective isn’t all out terrible, but it provides such little insight about the candidate that it’s simply a waste of space. Instead of sharing what genuinely drives them to become a massage therapist, the candidate relies on the overused line that they’re passionate about massage therapy. Moreover, the candidate fails to shed a light on both what makes them stand out as a candidate and the relevant qualities they plan to bring to the job.
Let’s now explore what an inspiring resume objective looks like:
- Certified massage therapist who achieved a score of 800 in the MBLEx wishes to become a Deep Tissue Massage Therapist at Massages R Us. I want to apply my problem solving skills as well as my growing knowledge of deep tissue massage therapy standards to support clients’ unique health concerns.
There are a number of features in this resume objective that make it so eye-catching. What’s particularly notable about it is that the candidate manages to paint themselves as a strong hire despite their lack of experience.
For example, instead of hurriedly mentioning they are certified, they take the time to share their impressive score in the MBLEx. They also refer to the specific job title as well as the company name to highlight the fact that they’ve tailored their resume objective for the particular application.
Moreover, the candidate mentions their top soft skills (problem solving) and hard skills (knowledge of deep tissue massage therapy standards to support clients’ unique health concerns). All of these features would lead a recruiter to think that they’re a candidate who is set to take the massage therapist world by storm.
How to write a resume summary and examples of this
Just like a resume objective, a resume summary is 2 to 4 sentences long. It similarly appears below your contact information. The fundamental difference is that only experienced candidates should use a resume summary. The reason being is that it focuses on neatly packaging your most outstanding professional skills and experiences so that the recruiter views you as an exceptional choice for the given role.
When you’re writing your resume summary, you’ll need to be mindful to avoid the usual mistakes candidates make. To see what not to do, take a look at this lacklustre example:
- Massage therapist with 4 years of experience. Skilled in a variety of massage techniques, with my knowledge of some greater than others. I am known for being a well-rounded massage therapist, so I strongly believe I would add value to your hotel’s spa center.
The candidate provided such few details about themselves that a recruiter would find it all but impossible to differentiate them from any other candidate. The candidate also indicates that they’re skilled in a variety of massage techniques, but hasn’t clarified which ones they are referring to.
The adjective “well-rounded” is also unhelpful to use – it would be far more beneficial for the candidate to list some relevant hard and soft skills they possess. Finally, they state that they believe they would “add value” to the company, without demonstrating to the recruiter how they would do so.
If that’s what you should avoid doing, what should you aim for? Check out the following example:
- Massage therapist with 4 years of experience working in a hotel spas wishes to apply for the Shiatsu Massage Therapist role at Hotel Paradise. I specialize in Shiatsu massage, as exemplified by my Shiatsu Certification from the Zen Shiatsu School in Chicago. I am known for both my holistic approach to developing customized client treatment plans and strong customer service skills. Rated 5 stars on Rate My Massage Therapist.
This resume summary is far stronger than the previous one because the candidate provides the recruiter with the exact information they’re after. For starters, the candidate provides an overview of how long they’ve been working while also pointing out the fact they have relevant experience. They also naturally incorporate the name of the role and the company to make it clear that they created the resume summary just for them. As we explored previously, tailoring each section of your resume is critical to the success of your application.
In addition, the candidate emphasizes their skills in shiatsu massage by highlighting their Shiatsu Certification from a well-regarded school. This would instill the recruiter with the confidence that they are highly skilled in the very massage technique they’re hiring for. Unlike the previous candidate, this candidate mentions specific hard skills (their holistic approach to developing customized client treatment plans) and soft skills (strong customer service skills) they have to further establish themselves as a consummate professional.
The candidate ends on a strong note as well, by highlighting their exceptional rating on Rate My Massage Therapist. This serves as evidence that customers genuinely think they’re skills and essentially, they’re not just all talk.
How to make your resume stand out
Your ultimate goal should be to create a resume that offers a recruiter everything they’re seeking from their ideal candidate. The thing is, creating a great resume doesn’t guarantee it will immediately capture a recruiter’s attention. Here are 3 expert tips to help your resume stand out even more:
- Make your resume skimmable: The harsh reality is that most recruiters skim through the majority of resumes they receive. Consequently, you’ll only have seconds to capture their attention. If your resume is crammed to the brim, it will be difficult for them to identify what’s really worth looking at. That’s why you need to ensure that your resume can be easily skimmed. To do so, focus on quality over quantity and don’t be afraid to cut out any irrelevant information that could be weighing your resume down.
- Transform your actions into achievements: The “Employment History” section, otherwise known as the “Work Experience” section, is your chance to really make your application shine. Don’t make the common mistake of solely stating what you did in each role. While a recruiter is in fact interested in learning about the duties you carried out, they’re far more interested in learning about the impact your actions had. You can do this by providing evidence of the impact each of your actions had in the form of numbers, percentages, and brief examples. This way you’ll be able to transform your actions into achievements.
- Include a cover letter: We’ve focused on the importance of applying for a job with a strong resume, but it’s also crucial to include a cover letter in your application – even if it’s only optional to do so. A cover letter gives you the opportunity to expand on and support everything you touch on in your resume. What’s more, you’ll look like you put far more effort into your application than those candidates who only include their resume. If you’re after some writing tips, check out Harvard Business Review’s cover letter guide.
3. How Massage Therapists Can Use Resumebuild.com’s Resume Builder Tool to Efficiently Make an Eye-Catching Resume
There’s no denying that making a massage therapy resume is usually a time and energy consuming process. We’re sure you have much better things to be doing than selecting fonts, resizing margins, adjusting formatting, and writing and rewriting each part of it multiple times.
Fortunately, creating your resume doesn’t need to be a drawn-out process that drains you of all of your time and energy. At least, not if you’re an in-the-know jobseeker who instead uses a resume builder to put together their resume!
If you’ve never heard of a resume builder, you’re probably wondering what on earth it is. A resume builder is an online tool that helps you to build a resume from scratch. Our easy-to-use resume builder at Resumebuild.com is the best one around. You’ll find that it gives you all the direction you need to create a massage therapist resume that turns heads.
Once you give it a try for yourself, you’ll quickly notice how streamlined its entire design is. Each step is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to complete all of the fundamental sections of your resume. We’ve even thrown in dozens of pre-written examples of job responsibilities, achievements and attractive resume templates that you can use to put your best foot forward.
If you’re ready to wow recruiters with an amazing massage therapist resume, it’s time to give our impressive resume builder a try.
- Created and published massage therapy advertisement on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Developed and proposed client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
- Developed patient therapy programs.
- Complied with applicable standard, rules and regulations.
- Traveled to clients offices and homes.
- Massaged and kneaded muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions,injuries,or wellness maintenance.
- Applied finger and pressure to specific points of the body.
- As massage therapists treating clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissues of the body to relived pain and provide relaxation.
- As massage therapist physical strength and endurance are needed since some hands and arms are a big part of the work.
- Provided clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching,strengthening,relaxation and rehabilitative exercises.
- Conferred with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
- Greeted clients with a happy disposition.
- Treated clients in professional settings.
- Attended and participated in training sessions.
- Ensured clean,safe and well-organized spa facility.
- Assisted with keeping linens clean and tidy,and replacing them between sessions.
- Used complementary aids, such as infrared lamps, wet compresses, ice, and whirlpool baths to promote clients’ recovery, relaxation, and well-being.
- Conferred with clients about their medical histories and problems with stress or pain to determine how massage will be most helpful.
- Manipulate soft tissue to eliminate pain and induce healing according to each individual’s needs.
- Developed and proposed client treatment plans that specify which types of massage are to be used.
- Provided clients with guidance and information about techniques for postural improvement and stretching, strengthening, relaxation, and rehabilitative exercises.
- Massaged and kneaded muscles and soft tissues of the body to provide treatment for medical conditions, injuries, or wellness maintenance.
- Swedish relaxation massage
- Deep tissue massage