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Psychology Resume Examples (Guide for Majors & Psychologists)

Psychology Resume Examples (Guide for Majors & Psychologists)

You help people overcome their biggest hurdles and become their best selves. But the school or clinic won’t know that. Show them with this professional psychology resume sample.

You need a psychology resume sample that stops the job search silence. Why? Because getting a good psychologist position is Harvard-level hard. There are 181,700 psychology jobs in the US. But most are filled. Plus—you’re up against 6,000 new psychology PhD graduates each year. That’s daunting!

 

Also, you want a psychologist job you’ll fall in love with. You want a boss who hires good people, then lets them work. And while we’re at it, can you have flex time, high pay, and fun research? That’s the goal. But to get your phone to ring, you’ll need a psychologist resume worthy of Dan Ariely.

 

You’re about to see a psychology resume example you can change to fit any psychology position. You’ll also get simple steps to write a resume for psychologist jobs that’ll bring down 10x more interviews than any other.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

psychology resume templates

Sample psychology resume—See more templates and create your resume here.

 

Not quite ready for a psychologist resume? See these guides:

 

Sample Psychology Resume to Inspire You (Text Version)

 

Tim Handalss

Clinical Psychologist

210-654-5999

timhandalss@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/timhandalss

twitter.com/timhandalss

 

Licensed Clinical Psychologist with 3 years of experience counseling at-risk students. Seeking to improve patient care at Pediatric Psychological Services. At LCISD, developed mentoring program linking 30+ students per year with career professionals.

 

License

 

Board Certified Clinical Psychologist, State of Texas

 

Experience

 

School Psychologist

Lamar County Independent School District

January 2017–February 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provide multi-disciplinary and evidence-based therapies to aid positive behavioral changes in the classroom, at home and in the community.
  • Conduct assessments for 22 students with behavioral disorders.
  • Develop treatment plans for 15 students with anxiety, autism, & ADHD. Improved behavioral metrics for group by average of 35%.
  • Counsel 18 students with bullying issues & run anti-bullying program.
  • Provide training to 25 families of students with behavior issues.

Key Achievement:

  • Reduced student truancy rate by 25% in the first semester through guided feedback sessions and improved communication.

 

Summer Camp Counselor

Hanover Recreation Center

May 2016–September 2016

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Developed engaging curricula for students ages 7-15.
  • Taught coping skills to 3 young people with behavior issues.
  • Taught survival skills during overnight 6 outdoor camping trips.
  • Took 20 students on educational field trips.

 

Men’s Basketball Coach

YMCA Atlanta

June 2013 to April 2016

  • Trained 60+ student athletes how to play basketball defensively.
  • Created an after-school program that raised homework completion rates 20%.
  • Coached team to a third-place finish in the regional championships.

 

Education

 

PhD in Psychology

Harvard University

2012–2016

  • Graduated Summa Cum Laude.
  • Received memberships in Alpha Kappa Delta, and Tri-Beta Sigma, honor societies for Psychology and Summa Cum Laude graduates.

 

BS in Psychology

Emory University

2008–2012

 

Skills

 

  • Counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Evidence-Based Therapy
  • Behavior Modification
  • Coaching
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Active Listening
  • Writing Reports

 

Volunteer, YMCA

 

  • Helped 30+ students with homework and other educational activities.
  • Trained 9 volunteers to tutor students in core classroom subjects.

 

Lamar County Volunteer Youth Advocate

 

  • Lectured at 5 local schools about anti-bullying measures for teachers.
  • Advocated for the needs of children in the juvenile justice system.

 

Now let’s break down that credible psychology resume sample, step-by-step.

 

1. Start With the Right Format for a Psychology Resume

 

Format matters in a psychology resume. Why? In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell explored the power of instantaneous evaluations. That same power can work for OR against you in your resume. With the right formatting choices and layout, your winning moments will shortcut into the employer’s hippocampus.

 

So—

 

Here’s how to format a psychologist resume template:

  • Format: use reverse-chronological resume formatting. It puts your most Elliot-Aronson-worthy wins at the top.
  • Fonts: use approved resume fonts to convey professionalism.
  • Font size: make your main text 11–12 points.
  • Resume headings: set heading fonts 2–4 points larger than surrounding text.
  • Line spacing: 1 to 1.15.
  • Layout: use bullet points with white space between for readability.
  • Resume margins: 1 inch on every side.
  • File type: send PDF resumes to job offers that don’t specify MS Word. PDFs keep your layout intact on all devices.

 

Here are the key parts of a resume to use:

  • Header: include relevant contact information.
  • Summary: give the employer the top-line info in your resume.
  • License: List your state license front and center.
  • Experience: your psychology job successes thus far.
  • Education: your PhD and BS.
  • Skills: the top few the job offer values most.
  • Extra sections: add your APA membership, volunteer work, or other info.

Not feeling the chronological resume format? See our guide: How to Pick the Best Resume Format

 

2. Add Experience to Your Psychology Resume

 

Adding experience to a psychology resume is a key step in developing your job search. So many do it wrong, with a job description that stops at their duties. You don’t want to do that if your goal is to get hired. The best plan? Customize your psychologist resume with things you did that moved the needle.

 

To customize your resume:

  • Start each job in your work history with the job title you held.
  • Add the company name and work dates, including months.
  • Write a brief psychologist job description.
  • Add bullet points with your best successes.
  • End each job with a key achievement. Those create adience.
  • Use the PAR (Problem-Action-Result) formula to connect with your reader.

 

See these school psychology resume samples:

 

Psychology Job Description for a Resume

 

Right

Experience

 

School Psychologist

Lamar County Independent School District

January 2017–February 2020

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • Provide multi-disciplinary and evidence-based therapies to aid positive behavioral changes in the classroom, at home and in the community.
  • Conduct assessments for 22 students with behavioral disorders.
  • Develop treatment plans for 15 students with anxiety, autism, & ADHD. Improved behavioral metrics for group by average of 35%.
  • Counsel 18 students with bullying issues & run anti-bullying program.
  • Provide training to 25 families of students with behavior issues.

Key Achievement:

  • Reduced student truancy rate by 25% in the first semester through guided feedback sessions and improved communication.
Wrong

School Psychologist

Lamar County Independent School District

  • Conducted student assessments.
  • Developed treatment plans for students with autism, anxiety, and ADHD.
  • Provided student counseling and coached students with bullying issues.
  • Trained families of students with behavioral problems.

 

What a difference! Yet this is the same psychologist in both cases. It’s just that in one example, she described her job duties. In the other, she added how well she succeeded. You can’t do that without numbers, so add them to almost every bullet point.

 

To list work history in an entry-level psychologist resume, add achievements from non-psychologist jobs. The trick? Pair them with the duties and job requirements from the job ad. So if one of the job duties is coaching and you’ve done that in a summer job, show it proudly in your work experience.

 

See these entry-level psychology resume examples:

 

Entry-Level Psychology Resume Samples [Experience]

 

Right

Men’s Basketball Coach

YMCA Atlanta

June 2013 to April 2016

  • Trained 60+ student athletes how to play basketball defensively.
  • Created an after-school program that raised homework completion rates 20%.
  • Coached team to a third-place finish in the regional championships.
Wrong

Men’s Basketball Coach

YMCA Atlanta

  • Created and ran drills to teach basic passing and footwork techniques.
  • Coached team in basic teamwork and basketball skills.
  • Ordered jerseys and trophies and organized practices and games.

 

That first undergraduate psychology resume sample is Aaron-Beck-level. It shows skills in training, program development, and coaching. Yet this candidate has never been a psychologist. But look example #2. It’s the same job applicant, but she tells the wrong story about her coaching gig.

Pro Tip: There are 6,000+ new psychology doctorates each year. That’s a lot of competition. But only 50 are in developmental psychology, and 110 in experimental psych. The biggest field? Clinical psychology, with 2,480 new grads annually.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

Don’t sedate the hiring manager with so-so words. See our guide: 240 Resume Action Words & Power Words to Make Your Resume Shine

 

3. Make Your Education Section Attractive

 

There are two ways to list education in a resume for psychology jobs. One way shows your PhD, your BS, the school names, and start and end dates. That’s fine. But nobody hires “fine.” They want the best applicant, and that means adding school accomplishments that prove Yale-worthy skills.

 

The next of our psychology resume examples shows how:

 

Psychology Resume Example [Education]

 

Right

Education

PhD in Psychology

Harvard University

2012–2016

  • Graduated Summa Cum Laude
  • Received memberships in Alpha Kappa Delta, and Tri-Beta Sigma, honor societies for Psychology and Summa Cum Laude graduates.

 

BS in Psychology

Emory University

2008–2012

 

That’s a resume degree listing Lisa Feldman Barrett would be proud of. But what if you graduated Infima Cum Nulla? In that case, just find a different educational success. The key is to find one that makes the hiring manager slow her roll and start to notice you.

Pro Tip: Did you graduate before B.F. Skinner? In that case, don’t sweat the accomplishments. Make your education short, and save the resume space for your work history.

Want your psychology research assistant resume education section to break through? See our guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume

 

4. Use the Best Skills in Your Psychology Resume

 

Adding psychology skills to a resume is tricky. Any psychologist can copy-paste a list of skills. But that won’t impress the hiring manager for that job with great co-workers. The key? Learn what skills the job actually wants. Then do the head-scratching to figure out if you can prove you have them.

 

Here’s a starter list of skills for psychology resumes:

 

Psychology Resume Skills (Hard Skills)

 

  • Research
  • Observation
  • Assessment
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Integrated Team Care
  • Child Advocacy
  • Evaluation
  • Developmental Treatment

 

Psychologist Skills (Soft Skills)

 

 

But any of those might make the director shrug.

 

Here’s how to choose the right psychology skills:

  1. Copy all the psychologist skills or resume keywords in the job posting.
  2. Make a second list with your psychology skills.
  3. Find matches between the two lists. Those will get you interviewed.
  4. Prove the skills in your bulleted accomplishments.
  5. Use both hard skills and soft skills for best results.

 

The next psychology resume example does it right:

 

Say the job wants clinical services, developmental psychology, and evaluation.

 

Psychology Resume Examples [Skills]

 

Right
  • Provided clinical services to 70+ students.
  • Used developmental psychology to decrease problem behaviors 25%.
  • Evaluated and triaged 30+ students and developed client-based treatment plans.

 

See that?

 

You must prove your psychology skills with real-world successes. That’s where interviews come from.

Pro Tip: You won’t always see all the right skills in the online posting. You may have to do a couple quick informational interviews on LinkedIn or by phone.

Looking for more skills for your psychologist resume? See our guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume

 

5. Add Bonus Sections to Your Psychology Resume

 

What sections belong in a psychology resume? Well—some new hires are just punching the clock, and others have bandwidth to spare. The employer desperately wants personality type #2. Show you’re in the ISTJ-zone by adding a few non-work achievements to your resume for psychology jobs.

 

Choose from:

 

  1. Resume Licenses & Certifications

 

This isn’t really a “bonus,” since your resume for psychology jobs won’t float without it. But aside from your state license, do you have a cert that fits the job? Here are a few that work:

 

  1. Resume Volunteer Work

 

Pro bono psychology work is the cream of the crop. But even helping with blood drives or bringing meals to the disadvantaged can show you don’t just crush microbrews when you’re off the clock.

 

  1. Languages on a Resume

 

Spanish, French, Chinese, and other languages can get a psychologist resume noticed. The trick? Note whether the clinic or school has clientele or students who speak your second language too.

 

  1. Conferences

 

Speaking at conferences—on panels or as a lecturer—shows Stanford-level dedication. Even just attending AMEPA or ISPA proves you dig into your work.

 

  1. Awards and Honors

 

Have you received educational honors or awards? Did you land a Troland Research Award? List them on your psychology resume in their own section.

 

  1. Publications on a Resume

 

If you’ve published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Psychological Medicine, or other publications, say so. Citations are especially important for academic and research jobs.

 

See these psychologist resume samples:

 

Psychology Resume Examples [Other Sections]

 

Right

Volunteer, YMCA

  • Helped students with homework and other educational activities.
  • Trained volunteers to tutor students in core classroom subjects.

 

Lamar County Volunteer Youth Advocate

  • Lectured at 5 local schools about anti-bullying measures for teachers.
  • Advocated for the needs of children in the juvenile justice system.
Wrong
  • Volunteer at YMCA
  • Trail running

 

We’re in good shape with that first example. Those two volunteer positions show valuable psychology skills.

Pro Tip: How long should you make a resume for psychologist jobs? Make it two pages or longer if you’ve got lots of Aaron-Beck-style achievements from work or school. If not, don’t be ashamed to send a one-page resume.

Even hobbies work in a too-short psychology student resume. See our guide: List of Hobbies & Interests for a Resume or CV

 

6. Write a Psychology Resume Objective or Resume Summary

 

A psychology resume summary or resume objective is the icing on your job search cake. It’s where you give the bored, hurried hiring manager a reason to keep reading. It’s your resume in micro, and it includes your job title, years of experience, and other info.

 

But should you write a psychologist resume objective or a resume summary? And what’s the difference? Career coaches used to say to write an objective if you were inexperienced. You were supposed to put your personal career goals in it. That’s not true any more.

 

Here’s how to write a resume summary or objective:

 

  1. Start with an adjective like licensed or compassionate.
  2. List your job title.
  3. Add your years of experience.
  4. Say what you want to do in your new role.
  5. Mention the new organization by name.
  6. Give one or two of your most standout successes.

 

These two career summary examples show the plan:

 

Psychology Resume Summary

 

Right

Licensed Clinical Psychologist with 3 years of experience counseling at-risk students. Seeking to improve patient care at Pediatric Psychological Services. At LCISD, developed mentoring program linking 30+ students per year with career professionals.

Wrong

Hard-working, compassionate psychologist, skilled in evaluation, assessment, therapy, and coaching. A behavioral psychology expert who specializes in developmental and school psychology. A team player who guides young minds to meet personal goals.

 

The difference should be obvious! That first school psychology resume sample is classic. It tells the hiring manager you’re licensed. You’ve got three years of experience with students. You’ve had some real successes. But that second one falls flat. It’s just a list of skills. You won't make an eye-catching resume without showing proof.

 

But what if you need an undergraduate psychology resume? Use the same approach. The key point is—you won’t have that golden clinical experience. But you will have school accomplishments from your doctorate and achievements from jobs you had while getting your degree. Use those! These entry-level psychologist resume examples show how:

 

Entry-Level Psychology Objective

 

right

Licensed psychologist skilled in student counseling and psychotherapy. Seeking to improve quality of care at Life and Wellness Strategies, Inc. Graduated Summa Cum Laude with a PhD in Psychology from Harvard. As youth advocate volunteer, trained 30+ teachers in anti-bullying initiatives.

Wrong

Entry-level psychologist skilled in psychotherapy and student counseling. An exceptional communicator, adept in evidence-based therapy and behavior modification techniques. Can train students and teachers in best practices. Knowledgeable in anti-bullying methods.

 

Assessment? The first of those career objective examples stands out. It has that magic word “licensed.” It says what you want to do and who for. It lists your biggest educational success. It shows real-world work history—even if it’s not as a psychologist. The other is an empty skills list.

Writing resume objectives doesn’t have to be hard. See our guide: How to Start a Resume

 

7. What About a Psychologist Cover Letter?

 

Do psychology resumes need cover letters? Absolutely. You may have heard that most hiring managers don’t read those letters. But according to 2020 HR statistics, over 40% require them. Unless you’re sure this manager won’t want one, write it. But don’t boilerplate it. Cookie-cutter cover letters get skipped. Yours needs passion.

 

Write your cover letter like this:

  1. Create your cover letter format.
  2. Start your psychologist cover letter with the manager’s name.
  3. Put an eye-opening fact in your cover letter opening sentence.
  4. Use the middle to show you fit the three top requirements in the ad.
  5. End your cover letter with a personal offer.

Pro Tip: Did you win the Early Graduate Student Research Award? Get a big compliment from a past employer? Big wins make great cover letter ice-breakers.

Want your psychology resume and cover letter to stand out? See our guides: How To Write A Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps and How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s a recap of how to write a psychology resume:

 

  • Format your psychology resume template in reverse-chronological order.
  • Find the right psychologist resume skills by reading the job ad.
  • Write your work experience section first. Fit it to the job like a paradigm with hand-picked achievements.
  • Put numbers in your bullet points to stand above the other applicants.
  • List successes in your education section to prove more skills.
  • Add other resume sections that list publications or volunteering.
  • Write a psychology cover letter to raise the chance they’ll interview you.

 

That’s it! Now, we’d love to hear from you:  what’s the toughest part about writing your psychologist resume? Is it too hard to prove you can handle the job duties? Are you struggling with how to list your publications?

 

Let’s chat below in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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