A speech-language pathologist, also known as a speech pathologist or speech therapist, is a health care professional who diagnoses and treats speech-related disabilities. They assist the patients who have difficulty in fluent speech, producing certain sounds, or swallowing. If you are a skilled speech pathologist looking to enhance your career, you must first prepare an exceptional resume.
The following comprehensive guide offers valuable insights into resume content.
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Job duties of a speech-language pathologist
The following points will give you clarity on the regular duties of a speech pathologist:
Evaluating patients by interacting with them and conducting written and oral tests.
Diagnosing speech disorders such as prolonged speech, stuttering, hoarse voice, or difficulty in swallowing.
Examining the patient’s medical background and identifying the root cause of the speech problems such as autism, head injury, facial muscle impairment, or degenerative diseases.
Formulating and executing treatment and exercise plans to resolve the client’s disorders and changing the programs based on their progress.
Arranging individual or group programs in schools regarding speech disorders.
Meeting with school management to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) for students with speech-related disabilities.
Educating the patients on sign language, lip-reading, voice improvement, and methods to strengthen jaw and face muscles.
Training the teachers or translators involved in communicating with people with speech disorders to employ effective communication strategies.
Counseling the parents and family members of children with speech problems to cope with their communication gaps.
Participating in seminars and conferences to stay updated on the latest enhancements in speech therapy.
Interacting with doctors, psychologists, and medical staff to give or receive guidance on speech therapy.
Speech-language pathologist median salaries
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage of a speech-language pathologist is $80,480 per annum as of May 2020. The compensation may be higher or lower considering the experience and effectiveness of the speech-language pathologist.
Top skills for speech-language pathologists
With the responsibility of handling multiple clients with speech disorders, the speech-language pathologist must have excellent interactive and listening skills. The following skills form an integral part of a speech-language pathologist’s competency:
- Masterly analysis To provide appropriate treatment for the patient, the speech pathologist must have the skill to diagnose the medical condition that causes the speech disorder. They must have a thorough knowledge of assessment for patients with autism, Down Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and other health issues. The accuracy of diagnosis decides the appropriateness of the treatment to be given.
- Individualized treatments The speech pathologist must be proficient in planning the apt treatment for the client based on their specific medical condition. Some of these treatments include articulation therapy, phonology, language intervention, and vital stim. They must skillfully program hearing aids and train the patients in their use and know Augmented Alternative Communication (AAC).
- Attentive listening The most significant virtue for a speech-language pathologist is patience and being attentive while interacting with the patient. Since they primarily work with mentally disabled patients of different ages with speech difficulties, they must have patience and empathy to treat them and counsel their family members.
- Special education Teaching is one of the primary responsibilities of a speech-language pathologist. It’s required for them to be skilled educators with top-notch knowledge in American sign language to help the clients communicate easily. One of their roles is devising and evaluating the Individual Education Program (IEP) in schools for special needs children. To perform this duty, exceptional education proficiency is needed.
- Problem-solving The role of a speech-language pathologist demands handling a wide variety of patients. Sometimes, treatment plans do not work, and the pathologist uses their problem-solving abilities to find alternative solutions.
- Congenial interpersonal skills Since speech-language pathologists regularly interact with clients and their family members, they must develop an amicable relationship to gain their trust. They also demonstrate effectiveness when collaborating with the school management, teachers, translators, psychologists, neurologists, and others to ensure treatment plan adherence.
Speech-language pathologists education and certifications
DegreeA bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders, education, or language development can initiate the educational pathway to become a speech-language pathologist. These programs are found in universities like the University of Arizona, George Washington University and Buffalo State College.
A master’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology is mandatory to become a professional speech pathologist. This program is offered by universities such as Boston University, New York University, and Northwestern University.
Upon completing the graduate program, candidates must pass the Praxis Examination in Speech-Language Pathology conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The passing score for this exam varies by state.
LicensureEach state issues a license so speech-language pathologists can practice. Requirements differ by state, so contact the corresponding ASHA State Team liaison to find out more information. You would have to go through continuing education to be able to renew your license.
CertificationsThe primary certification for the speech-language pathologist is the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) with the standards of ASHA’s Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC). This certification serves as the mandatory criterion for the following board certifications:
Also, professionals can get certified in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) to treat people with neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
- American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (ABSS) offers the Board Certified Specialist certificate in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S).
- American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders offers the Board Certified Specialist certificate in Fluency certification (BCS-F).
- American Board of Child Language & Language Disorders offers the Board Certified Specialist certificate in Child Language (BCS-CL).
Behavior Analyst Board Certification provides valuable certification in behavior-analytic interventions that can help patients with disabilities like autism.
Speech language pathologist resume-writing tips
The employment outlook of a speech-language pathologist is expected to grow by 20% by 2029. New jobs are around the corner, and it is the right time to harness your skills in speech therapy. The below tips will aid you in making your resume strong enough to get a job offer:
- Focus on the formatting. Avoid long sentences or phrases and choose your words so that they can replace a group of words. Remember to include keywords in the job description to make your resume effective. Enlist your skills and work experience using numbered lists or bullet points to present your overview instead of writing paragraphs.
- Include numerical data. While mentioning your work experience, include numbers to indicate the percentage of increase in your company’s revenue, number of tasks executed, or the success rate of your efforts. This will give clarity to the recruiters on your efficiency and improve the quality of your resume.
- Provide unique information. All the information about your previous work experience and professional skills must be unique. Repeating the same accomplishments or abilities will not create a good picture of your competency level. Ensure that the skills or experience you mention are not redundant. Before writing the resume, write down all your achievements and the knowledge you built over the years. Then, include this in concise and straightforward bullet points in your resume.
- Highlight your learning curve. The success of your career depends on your ability to upgrade your knowledge through continuous learning constantly. Include your training and certifications details in a separate section and mention that you aspire to expand your knowledge. This way, you can make your resume stand out and gain the trust of recruiters.
- . Research your recruiter. Before writing your resume, ensure that you know your recruiter by studying their website. Gather information regarding their mission, vision, and values. You will tailor your resume to the company and demonstrate you will fit in with their business culture.
Is it mandatory to include references?
No. The recruiters will contact you personally when they have shortlisted your resume for the other interview process and request you to provide references if necessary. Only then must you give the name, job role, and contact details of valid concerns.
How can we address the career gaps?
If the gap in your career is very minimal, there is no need to mention that. But if you have taken a break for several months or years, you need to specify the reason for the gap along with the productive work you have accomplished during the holiday. You can mention the certification or training you completed during the break or the community service you have done. Make sure the information is genuine and advantageous for you.
Where are the services of speech-language pathologists required?
Speech-language pathologists work in a diversified environment as therapists or tutors in clinics, medical centers, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and schools. They also collaborate with audiologists, physicians, psychologists, and social workers in providing speech therapy to adults or children with speech and swallowing disorders.