How to Write a Top-Notch Psychology Resume

Getting into the field of psychology is a rewarding and exciting journey. There are tremendous opportunities for qualified psychologists. You may have a doctoral degree, or you’re working toward a professional certificate. But to land a psychology job, education and experience are not enough. What you need is great psychology resume skills, and a resume that gets you interviews. And you’re a licensed psychologist, not a professional resume writer. So you might be asking yourself, “How do I write a resume for a psychology job?”

Relax, this article is for you. In this article, we’ll teach you how to write a top psychology resume. We’ll provide you with a complete step-by-step guide. After that, we’ll also list out frequently asked questions about writing a resume. This is your useful guide on how to write a psychology resume!

Different Psychology Professions

There is huge diversity among psychology professions. So before we begin, why don’t we look at some careers in this field? There are specific skills for each type of psychology career. You have to understand your field in order to create a relevant resume.

Clinical Psychologist

What Do Clinical Psychologists Do?

Clinical psychology is a common career path within psychology. There are plenty of jobs available for qualified professionals. Clinical psychologists help with people suffering from psychological disorders and mental illness.

How Do I Become a Clinical Psychologist?

You must earn a doctoral-level degree in clinical psychology. Most states need students to complete post-doctoral training. The path to becoming a clinical psychologist takes years of study. To get into graduate schools, you must have strong academic results. However, this is a high-paying and growing career. If you are finding a job in this area, you have to include your education and qualification clearly.

School Psychologist

What Do School Psychologists Do?

There is a growing concern in the mental health of children in the United States. School psychologists help children with emotional, academic, and social problems.

How Do I Become a School Psychologist?

psychology photo of maybe a psychologist's brain, likely a smart person with great resume skills
Want to land a good job? Having a great resume is a no-brainer!

As with any other psychology career, becoming a school psychologist is not easy. It takes years of study. You need to get at least a post-master’s degree level of education. Also, School psychologists in all states must be licensed. A National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential is standard in this field. However, requirements vary from state to state. So to land a job successfully, please do research carefully. Make sure you address all the requirements in your resume.

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

What Do Industrial-Organizational Psychologists Do?

Industrial-organizational psychologists work in office settings. Their focus is on workplace behavior. They use psychological principles to solve business problems. They help to increase worker productivity and recruit suitable employees.

How Do I Become an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist?

An industrial and organizational psychology career requires several years of schooling. To become an industrial psychologist, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The majority of industrial psychologists are employed privately. They do not need to obtain a state license. However, it’s very difficult to get a job with a bachelor’s degree. Most students choose to complete a master’s degree.

Moreover, your actual work experience and business knowledge are very important.


What Do Counselors Do?

There are a wide variety of counselors. They help people with various types of issues. Typical issues are marriage, family, and emotional problems. Counselors work with people from all walks of life. Typical work settings include schools, hospitals and mental health clinics. Some even have their private offices. Private counselling can be a very lucrative field, as long as you know how to find and retain your clients.

How Do I Become a Counselor?

In order to become a licensed counselor, almost all states require at least a master’s degree. You also need to have very good experience in this field.  

Can’t find your field of specialization? Don’t worry, they are examples only. The central idea is to understand your field and do comprehensive research about the psychology skills you need on your resume. Remember, you’re smart, well-educated and professional. And psychologists need a significant amount of formal education. You have to highlight it in your resume.

A Complete Guide to Writing a Psychology Resume

  • Research skills requirements in your field. Do you need to get a license in this field? Where and who do you work with? What is your state’s requirement? Also, read job descriptions. What type of candidates are recruiters looking for?
  • Brainstorm your achievements. Now it’s time to feel proud of yourself. Begin to list your education, licenses, training, work experience…etc. Do they answer your requirement list?
  • Find a resume template. When you make your own resume, it’s easier when you have a template. It saves time, as you don’t need to worry about formatting. There are plenty of resumes out there, find one professional that you like.
  • Create a simple header. Your resume is your marketing tool. Make a simple header, letting recruiters know who you are. Include the following: your name, phone number and email address. Simple and practical.
  • Write a good summary statement. Create a personal summary that displays your psychology skills, qualifications and accomplishments, making sure they align with the requirements of the job for which you are applying. Recruiters want to know your personality and character, but always keep it professional.
  • Show your skills. The skills section tells employers you have the abilities required. Some general skills to highlight are communication skills, attention to details, organizational skills, and confidentiality. But don’t forget to include some job-specific skills!
  • Dive into your work experience. List the jobs you’ve had in reverse chronological order. Include the dates you worked, the position you held, and the name of the company. Make sure you include all your duties and achievements at each job (check that list you made earlier), and don’t forget to keep it relevant to the job you want!
  • Put your education at the bottom. Put your psychology education on your resume in reverse chronological order. Write the date, degree obtained, and institution for each degree.

Questions About Writing a Psychology Resume

What shouldn’t you include in your resume? 

Your resume should contain only information that relates to the  job. Don’t include the following information:

Writing a resume for a psychology job is not a brainless task, and it is important to have many psychology skills including knowing the parts of the brain
You might have to use all parts of the brain to write a resume, but it doesn’t have to be painful!

Your age, height, weight, marital status, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation.

They are not relevant!

Also most American companies prefer you not to include a photograph. Because it has nothing to do with their hiring decisions.

Which resume format is the best to use to display your skills?

It depends! Chronological resumes are the most common formats. This type of resume lists experience and education in reverse time order. It is suitable for psychologists with some experience and a stable career progression.

But if you are a recent graduate without experience, you can consider a functional resume. It focuses on your psychology skills and achievements. It can highlight what you are good at and your academic successes. If you are a career changer, you can choose a mixed format. It highlights your transferable skills from numerous jobs. A mixed resume lists your psychology skills and relevant experience first. Then write your employment history below in chronological order.

What if I have no paid experience?

It is always hard to get your first job! But don’t give up, you can make it. To become a licensed psychologist, you may probably have some internship experience. Highlight it in your resume. What were your duties? What psychology skills did you learn? Also, have you done any relevant academic or research projects? Write about these the same way you would for work experience. Make it professional. Show recruiters that you are a skilled candidate!

Becoming a psychologist requires years of study and hard work. You already did it! The only task for you now is to write a job winning psychology resume. With our complete step-by-step guide, writing a resume shouldn’t be a problem for you. In fact, you’re a pro now! Remember, your resume is your marketing and sales weapon. You need to speak to the minds of your target audience

Bonus Tip: Ask your friends to review your resume. Criticism isn’t fun, but they can help spot mistakes before your potential employers do!

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