Looking for a job in psychology can be challenging, especially when you're competing with many other candidates. A well-crafted CV can help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by hiring managers.
Your CV is one of the most important documents you will ever write. It’s your first impression potential employers have of you and can make or break your chances of getting an interview for your dream psychology job. It's so important to make sure your CV is well-written, tailored to the role that you're applying for, and error-free.
Here, we include some tips to help you write a CV that lands you interviews for psychology roles. We cover how to format your CV, as well as its content and keywords.
Read on to make sure your CV is ready to make a great first impression.
1. Start strong
A CV headline is the first sentence of your CV. It should be concise, attention-grabbing and relevant to the job you're applying for. Applying for a job as a clinical psychologist? Your headline could be " Clinical psychologist with more than 10 years of experience."
2. Use keywords
Many companies and recruiters use applicant tracking systems (ATS). These scan your CV for keywords that match the job description. If your CV doesn't contain the right keywords, it may not even get past the automated system to be seen by a human recruiter. When you're writing your CV, read the job description and include all the keywords relevant to the role that you're applying for.
3. Highlight and quantify your accomplishments
Rather than listing your job duties on your CV, quantify your accomplishments. This helps potential employers understand the impact you've had in your previous roles. For example, replace “Improved student’s mental health”, with “A school survey showed that I improved student’s mental health by 30%.
4. Use strong action verbs
When you're describing your work experience, use strong action verbs to highlight your skills and accomplishments. This will make your CV more dynamic and engaging. For example, instead of saying "I was responsible for delivering internal training," say “Delivered internal training which contributed to the centre’s ‘outstanding’ CQC rating.”
5. Keep your CV concise
Your CV should be one or two pages long, maximum. Hiring managers can receive many applications for a single role and may not have time to read through a long CV. Make sure your CV is to the point and only includes experiences that relate to the role.
6. Include relevant personal information
Make it easy for the recruiter or hiring manager to reach you or learn more about you. Include your phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile or other social media profiles that are relevant to your industry or profession. Make sure that your email address is professional and appropriate for the workplace. If you're still using a funny email address from when you were 14, it might be time to make a new one.
7. Tailor your CV for the role
It may be tempting to just use the same CV for every psychology job you apply to. Whilst it's easier and saves time, it’s far more effective to take some time to tailor your CV to each specific job. Read the job description and note the keywords and phrases used and the skills required. Be sure to include these in your CV wherever possible. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position you're applying for.
8. Use a professional font and format
Create and format your CV in a professional way by using a clear and easy-to-read font. We recommend using Times New Roman or Arial. You can also do this by using consistent page margins and line spacing across your CV. Avoid using fancy graphics or images because they can distract the hiring manager from the more relevant content of your CV.
9. Check for mistakes
It's important to take the time to proofread your CV before you send it out as a single typo can make you look unprofessional. Read it out loud to catch any awkward phrasing or mistakes that you might miss when reading silently. Or better yet, have a friend or family member read it over to catch any errors you might have missed.
10. Be honest
Finally, it may be tempting to exaggerate your qualifications or achievements on your CV, but it’s never a good idea. If you get caught lying, it could damage your reputation. Hiring managers can easily verify your claims, and being caught in a lie can seriously damage your chances of getting the job.
Good luck finding your job in psychology
Writing a CV that gets you noticed is all about presenting yourself in the best possible light.
Following these tips will help you write a CV that will get you noticed by potential employers. So, take some time and write a well-crafted CV that will help you land your dream psychology role.
Find your next role in psychology today.