Skip to main content

Ace the cover letter to land your dream job in psychology

Published on: 13 Nov 2023

Once you’ve created the perfect CV for your psychology role, it’s time to start writing your cover letter.

Your cover letter is your first impression and a golden ticket to showcasing your skills, personality and passion for a career in psychology.

Let's get into some tips to help make your cover letter stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of landing that dream job.

1. Personalise for each role

One size doesn’t fit all. Tailoring your cover letter to each job opportunity shows your genuine interest and attention to detail.

Research the company, understand its values and align your experiences and skills accordingly. 

For example, if you're applying for a counselling role, highlight your empathy and active listening skills.

2. Match keywords from the job description

Recruiters often use specific keywords in job adverts to filter through applications.

Take advantage of this by adding those keywords to your cover letter.

It shows that you have a strong understanding of the job requirements and increases the chances of your application making it through the initial screening process.

3. Showcase your BPS connection

If you're a British Psychological Society (BPS) member, don't forget to mention it – and remember to add in your post nominals.

The BPS represents the highest standards of psychology practice. Highlighting your membership can show your commitment to professional development and ethical practice.

4. Tell a compelling story

Psychology is all about understanding human behaviour. Use this to your advantage by crafting a captivating story in your cover letter.

Share a personal experience or a case study that showcases your problem-solving skills, empathy or ability to work effectively with others. Make your story relatable and memorable.

5. Highlight relevant experience

Focus on the aspects that are most relevant to the job you're applying for.

Whether it's your research projects, internships or practical experience, emphasise how they’ve prepared you for the specific role.

For instance, if you're applying for a career in occupational psychology, highlight any experience working with organisations or conducting workplace assessments.

6. Demonstrate transferable skills

Studying psychology gives you many transferable skills that apply to various fields. 

Identify the skills mentioned in the job description and connect them to your experiences.

Whether it's communication, problem-solving or data analysis, show how your skills can be used to benefit the organisation.

7. Express enthusiasm and passion

Let your passion shine through and express your enthusiasm for the role you're applying to.

Explain why you're interested in psychology and how you’d make a meaningful contribution.

Genuine excitement and dedication can be contagious and make a lasting impression on potential employers.

8. Keep it concise and well-structured

Recruiters receive many applications, so your cover letter must be concise and to the point.

Avoid rambling and make sure your letter flows logically. Use paragraphs to separate different ideas and use bullet points to highlight key accomplishments or skills.

And keep it visually appealing and easy to read.

9. Address the hiring manager

Whenever possible, address your cover letter to the hiring manager directly.

If the job description doesn’t include a name, research the appropriate person to send it to. 

It shows that you've put in the effort to learn about the organisation and personalise your application.

10. Don't include salary expectations

Although it's important to negotiate salary during the interview stage, including salary expectations in your cover letter is generally not recommended.

Focus on demonstrating your qualifications and fit for the role instead. 

Read our tips on how to negotiate your salary after a job offer.

Good luck finding your job in psychology

Your cover letter is an opportunity to showcase your unique skills and experiences and by personalising it for each role, matching keywords and avoiding common pitfalls, you can create a powerful cover letter that sets you apart from the competition. 

Find your next role in psychology today.