How to write a psychology research assistant CV, with sample

Updated 13 April 2023

Psychology research assistants assist in designing studies, collecting and analysing data and reporting findings in psychology. They work with senior psychologists and psychiatrists in hospitals and offices. Learning how to write a CV that highlights your skills and qualifications can help you impress hiring managers and secure a psychology research assistant role. In this article, we outline steps to writing a psychology research assistant CV and provide a template and example to guide you.

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How to write a psychology research assistant CV

The following are steps on how to write a psychology research assistant CV:

1. Analyse the job description

Review the job descriptions of all the psychology research assistant positions you find. Identify the key qualifications and requirements to determine which criteria you meet. This helps you decide which jobs to apply for and allows you to adapt your CV to each organisation. You can also research each organisation to understand its goals and vision and include these in your professional summary to show your attention to detail.

2. Understand CV formats

The following are three CV formats you can use depending on the amount of psychology research assistant experience you have and your skills:

  • Chronological CV: This format starts with your work experience section, then your education and skills segments follow. It's a suitable format if you have a continuous career progression in psychology research with no gaps in employment.

  • Functional CV: This format starts with your skills, work history and education. Use it if you have gaps in your employment, have little experience or are changing careers.

  • Combination CV: This format lists your work experience, skills and education. Use it if you have extensive skills and work experience.

Related: Combination CV tips and examples (with different formats)

3. List CV keywords

Including specific keywords on your CV can increase your chances of securing an interview. Hiring managers use online applicant tracking systems to review and filter CVs containing these keywords. They may use keywords from job descriptions that indicate skills and academic qualifications. Keywords for psychology research assistant CVs include the following:

  • research assistant

  • psychology

  • research methods

  • statistics

  • data collection

  • statistical software

  • data analysis

  • interviews

  • literature reviews

  • writing

Related: How to write a research assistant CV (with templates)

4. Include contact details

Include a header at the top of your CV for your contact information. You can either centre-align or left-align it. Write your name in bold and increase its font size. Add your phone number and email address beneath it. You can also add your degree or diploma name and professional social media profile.

Related: Research assistant interview questions and example answers

5. Add a professional summary

A professional summary lets you briefly explain why you're a suitable candidate for the job. It comprises two or three sentences describing your work ethic, your experience level and your accomplishments and skills. Use adjectives such as 'focused', 'disciplined' and 'energetic' to begin the first sentence and mention your years of experience as a psychology research assistant.

Highlight one or two skills and state how you can achieve your goals for this role. Outline a significant professional accomplishment and use numbers to make it credible. For example, you can mention how many peer-reviewed articles you worked on.

6. List your work experience

When describing your work history, start with your previous or current job title, employment dates and the organisation's name. Follow this with a bulleted list outlining all your previous duties as a research assistant. Start each statement with an action verb, such as 'accomplished', 'produced', 'authored', 'published' or 'interviewed', to emphasise your contributions. Use present tense for current roles and past tense for previous positions. Then, list what you did and state a quantifiable outcome or result. For example, you could state that you co-authored and published over 50 psychology-related articles in highly peer-reviewed journals.

7. Document your skills

Include a list of psychology research assistant-related skills in a separate section. Categorise them into hard and soft skills to organise your CV and showcase your broad skill set. Examples of hard skills include data collection and analysis, qualitative and quantitative research knowledge, proficiency with statistical software packages, research participant interviews, papers and presentations and research proposals. Examples of soft skills are communication, writing, creativity, organisation, collaboration, computer skills and attention to detail.

Related: A guide to the different psychology research methods

8. Include an educational background

List all your relevant degrees, certifications and diplomas in this section. Start with the most advanced qualification. Include the name of the institution you attended. If you graduated less than five years ago, mention the graduation date. If you hold a membership with the British Psychological Society, also mention this. Examples of psychology research assistant educational qualifications include the following:

  • certificate of higher education in psychology

  • diploma in psychology or equivalent

  • bachelor's degree in psychology or equivalent

Related: How to become a research psychologist: steps and skills

9. List your hobbies

Consider adding a section for hobbies and interests. This allows you to enhance your CV if you have little experience or are switching careers. You can also include psychology-related community projects to show your commitment to this career. If you have awards from previous roles, you can include them here.

10. Edit and proofread your CV

After writing your CV, consider using a grammar-checking tool to review it. This software identifies grammatical and spelling errors and offers suggestions to improve the quality of your writing. Recheck any section with numbers, such as your contact details, to ensure accuracy.

Focus on formatting by choosing fonts such as Calibri, Helvetica, Arial and Times New Roman in size 11 or 12. Increase the font size of headers to 14 or 16 and left-align or centre-align them. Bold and double-space them to make them easy to find. Set the margins of your CV to one inch. Reread your CV when you finish editing it and ask a trusted colleague to review it and provide feedback.

Related: How to create a CV on Word (step-by-step plus tips)

CV template for a psychology research assistant

The following is a CV template you can use to create yours:

[First name] [Last name]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [Location]

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

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]

[Company Name] | [Location]

  • (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] | [Location]

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

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]
[Category]: [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]

[Degree and major] | [Name of school or university]
[Certification name], [Host organisation] - [Year completed or expiry date].

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CV example for a psychology research assistant

This is a CV example you can use as a guide when writing yours:

Alexis Harris +44 7735 263373 | | Birmingham, England

Professional Summary

Focused psychology research assistant with five years of experience collecting, analysing and reporting data. Co-authored over 30 research papers in peer-reviewed journals. Seeking career advancement to gain more responsibility in an academic role.


Psychology Research Assistant | September 2020–Current
Psychoal Research and Development | Birmingham, England

  • write research proposals to increase funding for the psychology department by 30%

  • present findings on studies in conferences and internal meetings

  • assist postgraduate psychology students with major projects

  • perform data analysis for over 100 research projects

  • conduct interviews with research participants and focus groups

Psychology Research Assistant | May 2018–August 2020
University of South Birmingham | Birmingham, England

  • recruited research participants for over 50 projects

  • conducted literature reviews using several research paper databases

  • collaborated with postgraduate students to collect data and perform data entry


Hard skills: Data collection and analysis | Statistical analysis software packages | Literature reviews | Publishing paper protocols | Systematic reviews | Qualitative and quantitative research | Cognitive and behavioural psychology | Understanding of research ethics

Soft skills: Written and verbal communication | Collaboration | Computer skills | Attention to detail | Critical thinking


MSc in Behavioural Psychology | University of South Birmingham

BSc in Psychology | University of South Birmingham

Certificate in data analytics, The Data Analysis Institute - 2019

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

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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