two degrees, decent experience with no luck! Is it climate?

Discuss any aspect of applying for posts or courses (apart from the clinical psychology doctorate which has its own forum section), CVs, application forms, etc
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two degrees, decent experience with no luck! Is it climate?

Post by avb » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:34 pm


I'm hoping to gain some insight into why it's near impossible to successfully gain an assistant psychologist post in Scotland at the moment. I suppose I'm looking for some guidance from someone experienced. I'm just at a loss.

From my perspective I have a lot to offer academically and experience wise.I have a psychology degree from St Andrews as well as a Master of Research in psychology. I've mainly investigated binge eating and emotion regulation with my research being accepted at several major international conferences. I'm also a qualified mindfulness behaviour cognitive training teacher.

I've currently taken up a role as a support worker. While I know this role is a stepping stone- I'm not at all challenged and I miss my research and the academic element that is used in clinical psychology.

I've tried to identify factors that are limiting progress to an interview stage, however I feel that I've done everything I can.

Would there be any kind person who could take a look at my CV and a sample cover letter? I would be very grateful for any help and suggestions. I've read through most posts and everyone seems very helpful.

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Re: two degrees, decent experience with no luck! Is it clima

Post by JBoulton » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:27 pm

Which jobs are you applying for? It seems that employers are increasingly looking for assistants to have direct experience of the area or work/client group, which means your applications should be focusing on linking your experiences and the client group as much as possible.

If you're a support worker for young people, then you'll likely find it easier to get AP roles with young people than with adults.

You mention a CV and cover letter, where are you applying? I'm sure I applied for a role in Scotland before and they used application forms ( - though I could be wrong!

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Re: two degrees, decent experience with no luck! Is it clima

Post by Liv » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:49 pm

I can't add an awful lot, I'm afraid - the jobs I've applied for have also tended to use application forms; whereabouts having you been looking for assistant psychologist posts?

It does sounds like you have some good experience, and there are aspects of it that do come down to the fact that it just depends who else has applied for the same job sometimes, there can be so many good applicants going for a role.

What kind of things are you including in your supporting information/covering letters at the moment? As obvious as it sounds, make sure that you're not just listing all the things you've done - say what you've learned from those things as well, and how they are relevant/apply to the specific post. Even if it's not directly relevant to the client group/area you're applying for, if you can show how it would apply, it's a positive start (I ended up using work with a primary school class as an example in an interview for Forensic Psychology [degree, rather than job], basing my answer on knowledge gained about accuracy of children's memories, eyewitness testimony, importance of wording in questions, etc, for example).

I find it helpful to copy & paste the job description and person specification details into the Word document where I'm writing my supporting information, deleting each point as I feel that I have covered it.

Sorry I can't offer much more useful advice, but I'd be happy to see if I can help more about your specific CV/cover letting if you need any help.

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Re: two degrees, decent experience with no luck! Is it clima

Post by Mush » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:55 am

I wouldn't just limit yourself to assistant psychologist roles, research assistant roles in mental health might be easier to get with your research back ground.

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