How to write a psychology graduate CV (with example)

Updated 1 March 2023

When you graduate from university you may decide to pursue post-graduate studies – or begin your career. Psychology graduate roles have a high level of competition, with hundreds of graduates joining the field and looking for a position that suits their interests and specialisation. In a competitive sector it's beneficial to have a highly-effective psychology graduate CV that distinguishes you from the rest of the candidates for the roles you're interested in applying for. In this article, we discuss what a CV is, explain how to write a CV for a psychology graduate position and provide both a template and an example.

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

What is a psychology graduate CV?

A psychology graduate CV is a short document that psychology graduates provide to employers when they apply for positions. It includes the candidate's contact information, a professional summary, employment information, skills and education. Hiring organisations use a CV as an initial measure of whether taking a candidate further in the process is worthwhile. Some automate the process by using ATS (Applicant Tracking Software) to compare digital CVs against core keywords and requirements that the company desires in an ideal recruit.

Related: How to decide when to apply for graduate jobs (with guide)

Find psychology graduate jobs

How to write a psychology graduate CV

There are several steps in the process of writing a psychology graduate CV, including:

1. Gather information

Gather information about your career so far, such as the dates of employment for any previous roles and the year you graduated from university. Ensure the facts are accurate, as the employer may fact-check your information. Having the information noted down helps later in the application process, as you remember these events in more detail when you attend a job interview.

Related: 12 reflection questions to help your career (plus benefits)

2. Read the job description

Examine the duties and the person specification, in which the employer lists ideal traits, qualifications and skills that a candidate holds. Consider looking for some keywords at this stage, such as anything the employer says is a requirement for the role. Try to note these down and include them in your CV, as this demonstrates that your candidacy is a match for the needs of the organisation.

Related: Job profile vs job description: definitions and differences

3. Add your personal information

Your basic contact information includes your full name and the city and county that you live in. Your personal information also includes your communication details, such as your email address and phone number. If any of these details change, adjust them on your CV before you apply for any further roles. Your chances of securing the role increase when an employer can contact you easily.

4. Write a professional summary

A professional summary is a two or three-sentence paragraph that summarises who you are as a person and in the workplace. It includes your professional title, your main career goal and your distinguishing features compared to other candidates. As a recent graduate, focus on your potential for development and show how you can grow with the employer. Demonstrate your ability to improve while providing a high standard of psychology work from the start. An effective summary distinguishes your CV from the start and increases your chances of progressing with your application.

Related: How to include a profile summary in CV

5. Write your education

This includes your psychology degree, with other additional qualifications on the list, such as any completed internships or professional certificates from projects you completed at university. Add the date of completion of your degree with the university where you earned your degree. List any secondary subjects you studied alongside your core psychology degree, as some companies look for people with more specific competencies. This includes completing a dissertation on a topic such as child psychology or criminal psychology, which relate to school and criminology work.

6. Add your experience

List at least two examples of your workplace experience. Include the title of your role in the organisation, the name and location of the organisation and your dates with the organisation. For your most recent experience, list five roles or responsibilities, with three listed for any other experience. Include voluntary work if you had no job during your studies, such as supporting a psychology clinic.

Part-time roles in other fields, such as sales and marketing, may have a high level of relevance to psychology. For example, as a sales representative, you may focus on understanding the customer's needs and demonstrate how a company fulfils these with their products.

7. List your relevant skills

Think about the keywords in the job description when making this list, and add any skills you possess that relate to those the company listed. Focusing on relevant skills shows the company that you read through the person specification and are an appropriate candidate for the position. For a psychology graduate, this includes having empathy and strong communication skills to understand the issues that patients and customers are struggling with and problem-solving skills that help with developing appropriate treatments and responses for each person that you support.

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

8. Check for errors

Psychology is a field requiring a high level of attention to detail, especially in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Having a CV without any spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes demonstrates your attention to detail. Double-check for factual errors, as an accurate CV increases your chances of succeeding if an interviewer asks you about it later in the interview process.

Related: CV styles: types and which one to choose (with examples)

Template psychology graduate CV

See a template of a CV for a psychology graduate below:

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

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight your years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as an entry-level professional.]

[Degree] | [Date of graduation]
[Name of School or University]


[Certification Name], [Host Organisation] - [Year completed or expiration date]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City]

  • (strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results

  • [job duty]

  • [job duty]

[Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

Related: How to write a psychology CV: a step-by-step guide

Example psychology graduate CV

See an example of a CV for a psychology graduate below:

John Smith
01234 567 890 | | Leeds, West Yorkshire

Professional Summary
Recent psychology graduate with a record of good performance and the drive to improve with your organisation. Possesses empathy, emotional intelligence and strong communication and time management skills.

Bachelor of Arts in psychology | 2022
Leeds University

Intern | July 2022–December 2022
PsychaPharm | Leeds, West Yorkshire

  • analysed patient files and discussed them with my mentor

  • collaborated with doctors when creating treatment plans

  • designed rotas for staff members when dealing with shortages

  • took notes and shared minutes during important organisational meetings

  • observed psychologists during their sessions with clients

Server | June 2021–January 2022
QuickChick | Leeds, West Yorkshire

  • tracked orders and modifications from customers coming into the restaurant requesting meals

  • worked in several roles depending on staff shortages and needs in the kitchen

  • completed first aid and fire safety courses relevant to all workplaces

Time management | Report writing | Attention to detail | Communication | Organisation

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