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CV tips for psychologists

Your CV is your first opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer. So, you need to make sure it's more than just a list of previous jobs.

If you're applying for a job as a psychologist, a good CV could secure you that all-important interview.

There are some universal dos and don'ts for CV writing. But as a psychologist, it's particularly important to showcase your personal attributes as well as your qualifications and experience. You could be dealing with challenging situations, particularly if you choose to work with offenders or vulnerable young people. Therefore, personal qualities such as empathy and calmness under pressure will he highly valued by a prospective employer.

Here are our top tips for making sure your CV does you justice...

1. Make it relevant

Don't simply run off your standard CV and send it. Make sure you personalize it to so that it's relevant for the job for which you're applying. Carefully read the job description and person specification to make sure your CV matches them as closely as possible.

2. Introduce yourself

Start your CV with a short professional profile that sums up why you're the ideal candidate for the job. Make sure you mention some of the personal qualities that make a good psychiatrist, for example excellent listening skills, compassion and an ability to inspire confidence.

3. Work backwards

It's usually best to list your career history in reverse order. Experience from earlier in your career will be relevant to a prospective employer, but he or she will be most interested in the work you've done recently. That being said, if the job you are applying for is in a specialism such as child psychology, eating disorders or substance abuse, it might be worth having two sections, one for relevant experience and one for other experience.

4. Include keywords

Some employers and recruitment agencies use search engine technology to find and filter CVs. Therefore, it's a good idea to include relevant keywords and key phrases, for example clinical psychologist, counselling, CAMHS or forensic psychology.

5. Focus on presentation

The presentation of your CV will say a lot about your professionalism and attention to detail. Make sure it's clear, concise and logically formatted, without any superfluous content or embellishments such as borders or graphics. Proofread it carefully for spelling and grammar errors. It may also be worth getting a friend or family member to cast an eye over it.

6. Include supporting data

Wherever possible, it's a good idea to support your work experience with metrics which show the impact of your achievements. For example, you might refer to specific outcome measures for challenging behaviour interventions.

You'll find more tips here and your Sanctuary recruitment consultant will also be happy to offer advice on CV writing and interview technique.
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