Top 10 Psychology Job Search Tips

Are you having trouble getting your foot in the door? Finding a new psychology job is no easy feat, especially in a period of relatively sluggish economic growth. Ignored resumes can cause frustration, endless unanswered emails can pile up, and the entire process can seem fruitless and uncontrollable.

But there are ways to improve your psychology job search, many of which can be applied straight away to start producing results and landing real job opportunities. From micro-optimizations to cold calling tips, these ten tips can help you increase your callback rate, schedule more interviews, and land the job that you’ve always dreamed of in any economic climate.

1.    Update your resume.

Is your resume stuck in the 1990s? Employers hate to see an outdated resume, particularly one that’s loaded with old jobs and lacking any relevant, modern information. Spend an afternoon picking old information out of your resume and bringing it up to date and you’ll instantly increase the amount of attention that’s paid to it.

2.    Build a personal brand.

The world of personal branding can be a little vague and difficult to understand, but with the proper attitude it has the potential to make you a target for employers. Build profiles on the top hiring sites and create your own professional blog to highlight your skills and accomplishments.

3.    Practice your pitch.

Pitch to employers like you’d pitch to investors: with confidence, certainty, and endless ambition. A well rehearsed pitch can help you get your foot in the door with employers that would otherwise be inaccessible, and even help you grab their attention once you’ve booked an interview.

4.    Take a skills inventory.

You have skills. Remind yourself. Spend an hour going over your major skills and ask yourself how they could be promoted to potential employers. With some positions attracting hundreds of different applicants, it can pay to phrase your abilities differently in order to win the attention of employers.

5.    Don’t sound canned, but have answers ready.

You’re going to be asked some tough questions, and it pays to have at least a semblance of content ready to deliver. Before an interview, spend some time running over the most common questions and prepare your responses. Plan a structured answer, but don’t write a canned script.

6.    Cold call, walk in, and get courageous.

Just over two percent of all hires are the result of courageous applicants that walked in, cold called, or pitched a hiring manager out of the blue. That’s not a huge portion, but it’s a percentage of today’s workforce nonetheless. If you’re the charismatic type, it could be worth doing some cold calling.

7.    Kill bad habits.

Nothing spoils an interview faster than a bad habit. While you’re preparing answers for your next interview, spend some time perfecting your posture and eliminating nasty habits. First impressions are incredibly important in business, and it’s important that yours are entirely positive.

8.    Freshen up your wardrobe.

While there’s no need to invest in designer clothes for an interview, it’s important to stay presentable and well groomed. Dress appropriately for your industry and desired position, and ensure that your outfit isn’t outlandish or distracting.

9.    Build professional relationships that matter.

Having thousands of contacts on LinkedIn isn’t likely to help you get a job, but having a close circle of professional friends is. The leading source of external hires is though referrals, and the best way to gain such referrals is by building real professional relationships in your industry.

10.    Reach out to decision makers.

If your resumes just aren’t getting anywhere, it might be worth reaching out to the people in charge of hiring and let them know that you’re available. While it’s unlikely that a single call will land you a job, it can build the familiarity that leads to your letters being opened and responded to.