How to write an assistant psychologist cover letter

Updated 3 February 2023

Assistant psychologists work to provide clinical support to patients across a wide range of healthcare facilities. They have many responsibilities that revolve around administering and supporting patient treatment and conducting assessments. You have a better chance of securing a role as an assistant psychologist when you write an engaging cover letter that outlines your suitability. In this article, we define the role and share a step-by-step guide on how to write an assistant psychologist cover letter.

What is an assistant psychologist?

Assistant psychologists work in clinics and healthcare facilities to provide patient support. Assistant psychologists usually carry out their duties under the supervision of qualified psychologists. This role is popular for those looking to progress into becoming chartered psychologists. It requires you to manage an extensive range of responsibilities, including:

  • conducting psychological and behavioural assessments on patients

  • communicating with patients about their diagnosis, treatment options and proposed care plans

  • collaborating with patients and their families or carers to ensure correct care and treatment

  • conducting thorough research into conditions and treatment options for patients

  • investigating previous medical histories of patients to assess previous treatment and diagnoses

Related: How to become a chartered psychologist (with definition)

How to write an assistant psychologist cover letter

Here's a step-by-step guide to how to write an assistant psychologist cover letter:

1. Review the assistant psychologist job listing

The first step is to review the listing for the vacant assistant psychologist role. Doing this gives you a thorough understanding of what qualities and qualifications each employer desires. You can find out what key skills and experience employers expect candidates to have, which may vary depending on the setting. For example, reviewing the listing can help you determine whether employers expect candidates to have completed a postgraduate degree or expect a minimum amount of relevant clinical experience to qualify.

2. Brainstorm relevant assistant psychologist cover letter content

The next step is brainstorming what content to include throughout your cover letter. Ensure that all of your content relates to the role of an assistant psychologist. For example, work experience as a construction employee doesn't apply to the role. Volunteering with a mental health charity does. Cover letters typically include content about your education, key skills and experience that you can bring to the role of an assistant psychologist. A good cover letter can help you stand out against other applicants.

Related: How to become a psychologist (with definition and steps)

3. Structure your content effectively

Structuring your cover letter helps to organise your ideas effectively, making your cover letter accessible to hiring managers. You can structure your cover letter by grouping your content into the following categories: education, skills and professional experience. Below are some key details that you can include throughout these sections:

  • Education: Mention relevant qualifications, such as an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree in Psychology or a qualification recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • Skills: Showcase the relevant skills you can bring to the role, such as communication, patience and knowledge of psychological theory to support a diagnosis and treatment.

  • Experience: Discuss what professional work experience you've gained. Relevant work experience may include working as a clinical assistant, volunteering with charities and schools and working to assist psychology professionals in their work.

Related: 14 ways to gain clinical psychology work experience

4. Use industry and role-specific keywords

The next step is to use industry and role-specific keywords throughout your cover letter to increase its appeal to hiring managers. Using jargon demonstrates your extensive knowledge of the role and the broader field whilst revealing your suitability for the role. Consult the listing to find important keywords to include. Some relevant industry and role-specific keywords for your cover letter include:

  • psychological assessment

  • mental health

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

  • psychotherapy

  • treatment plans

  • group therapy

  • personal development and wellbeing

  • clinical supervision

  • psychology degree

  • clinical experience

  • crisis intervention

Related: 15 applied psychology jobs (plus duties and salaries)

5. Draft your cover letter

The next step is to draft your cover letter using a template. This step helps bring all your ideas together and test out various structures and formats to choose from. You may change your draft structure to suit the job listing during this step. For example, if the job listing prioritises relevant clinical experience over skills, emphasise what practical experience you can bring to the role by making it a focal point of your cover letter.

6. Consider asking for feedback

Asking for feedback ensures your CV effectively highlights how well-suited you are for the role. Consider asking a psychology-related professional, such as a psychology tutor or a school psychologist, to review your cover letter. Guide their feedback towards areas you feel less confident about. You can also review your cover letter by setting it aside and returning to it with a fresh mind.

7. Edit your cover letter and finalise your application

The last step is to edit and finalise your cover letter. Make the recommended changes from feedback where applicable. Ensure your cover letter has correct spelling, punctuation and grammar to highlight your written ability and professionalism. Written and verbal communication is a key skill for assistant psychologists as they use this skill to write detailed reports and communicate diagnoses to patients in their daily duties.

Cover letter template for an assistant psychologist

Here's a cover letter template for an assistant psychologist to use when drafting your own:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]


[Company name]

Dear [Hiring manager's first name] [Hiring manager's last name],

[Express excitement for the position, including the role title and the company name]. [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the company].

[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your resume]. [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible]. [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company]. [Optional - address employment gap or career transition].

[Express gratitude]. [Summarise qualification]. [Restate interest in the role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method].

[Complimentary close],


Related: How to write a psychology research assistant CV, with sample

Cover letter example for an assistant psychologist

Here's a cover letter example for an assistant psychologist to use for inspiration when writing your own:

Lucy McKinnon, MSc in Psychology
8321 447621| | Lancaster

November 2022

St Paul's Mental Health

Dear Hiring Manager,

I'm excited to apply for the Assistant Psychologist position at St Paul's Mental Health Clinic. I have recently graduated with my Psychology postgraduate degree, where I developed my knowledge of psychological theory and practices. I have gained relevant professional clinic experience, both via volunteering and placement. I strongly align myself with St Paul's Mental Health's mission to provide sympathetic, wellness-based treatment to patients struggling with their mental health. My commitment to this field and my commitment to patients can make me a valuable addition to this clinic.

During my placement year at university, I gained experience as an Assistant Psychologist at Hearst Clinic. Being supervised by the clinic's lead psychologist, I assisted with conducting research and writing detailed patient reports. I effectively communicated with some patients about their various treatment options and offered tailored advice to help them manage their mental health daily. Outside of my work at the Hearst Clinic, I volunteered with the charity Mental Health Check and carried out their mission of providing verbal support for those struggling. My volunteer work included handling calls from people struggling to manage their mental health and conducting fundraising research.

Thank you for your time and for considering my application. I hope to hear more about the Assistant Psychologist position at St Paul's Mental Health. With excellent educational and professional foundations, I am qualified to be a valuable addition to the clinic's team. I hope to discuss my qualifications, skills and experience in more detail.

Kind regards,

Lucy McKinnon

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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