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Psychology: Application Tips

a guide to careers in psychology


Tips for Applying

How to get work in this sector

Sector Overview

What jobs are available and how to get them

Insider Views

See what former students have done and get insights into working in the sector

Jobs and Experience

How to get helpful work experience and get started

Personality & Skills

  • Need to combine empathy and understanding with communication skills
  • Be able to apply academic knowledge with excellent analytical skills
  • Resilient, calm under pressure and determined to succeed
  • Organise a complex workload to meet deadlines
  • Interest in people
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Teamworking
  • IT skills

Psychology Student Employability Guide

Use Us

If you need help with your applications, or have an interview to prepare for, we can help:

  • Applying for jobs - covers CVs, covering letters, applications, interviews, selections tests and assessment centres
  • Careers Advice - we have a range of drop-in and bookable appointments throughout the week. Bring your CV/application or get interview advice
  • Careers Advice Online - online eguidance system if you cannot make our appointments, or have graduated and moved away from Brighton


In the public sector, most applications will be competency based. Try to make headings covering each section of the person specification and show how you meet each one from your skills and experience

Keep your additional information section succinct and to the point

Interviews and Selection Tests

Building your Skills after Graduation

  • Keep up-to-date - read the latest research relevant to your area of specialisation. Be clear on any changes in government policy & guidelines and how they affect your profession
  • Make contacts - get to know the different members on your team and try to spend time with them if possible. Shadowing is a great way to pick up information/advice and is applicable to both voluntary and paid positions
  • CPD - Continuing professional development is essential for all psychologists. Think about linking up with others in your area (online or locally). ClinPsy has a useful forum for potential clinical psychologists. You could upgrade your BPS membership, too, to join regional and Divisional groups
  • Research - essential as you move on to postgraduate study, especially if it's a doctorate. Think about potential research topics and how you might develop them. Consider additional postgrad study if you are struggling to find assistant psychologist positions as research experience is a must. Sussex offers an MSc Foundations of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health as a bridge towards doctoral training, for example
  • Be creative - this could be anything from ways to make your work more efficient to developing your role in a different way
  • Keep a record of the skills you are developing

Latest News

What's going on in the world of psychology:


Current Awareness

Being aware of news, developments and issues in the sector can help you at interviews. Here are some news sources to try: