Looking for a psychology job can be an exciting experience, especially when it's your first job. But it can also be a bit intimidating, even daunting. The key to a successful job search is to seek jobs that are in line with your interests, educational background and experience. Below you'll find useful information and resources to help make your search for a psychology job a more productive and enjoyable experience.
Network With Professionals in Your Industry
Did you know that most job openings are filled before they're ever posted to a website or make it onto a job board? Why? Because they're filled by professionals who've either been in contact with the corporation doing the hiring or by professionals who have networked with someone who alerted them of the job position when, or even before, it became available. Networking with industry professionals who are already work in the field where you want to be is unquestionably the most effective way to find a good psychology job. If you want to find the top psychology jobs, then network, network, network. Just remember, over 60% of all jobs are found through networking – and they're usually the better jobs.
One of the most effective ways of building a network of professional contacts is by joining professional psychology associations. There are many regional, national and international psychology associations. Find out which ones have members in your area, become a member and get involved. You should also join and get involved with any medical, health care or relevant special interest associations, as these organizations also provide great networking opportunities.
If you're a recent college graduate and have never worked in the field of psychology, one of your best job search resources will be your professors and advisors. Maintain solid contacts with these individuals as they can refer to you job opportunities, offer recommendations and even connect you with potential employers.
Even if you're not actively looking for a psychology job, building your professional network of contacts should be an ongoing activity. You never know when you might find yourself in need of a career change or a new job.
Develop a List of Potential Employers
Another effective way of finding a good psychology job is to put together a comprehensive list of potential employers. First, perform an extensive online search for companies, organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions in your area that would likely offer psychology-related jobs. Depending on your psychology specialization, the list might include elementary schools, local colleges, mental health clinics, private psychology practices, high schools, middle schools, advertising companies, media companies, product development companies, etc. Analyze each company carefully to determine if they offer jobs in your specialty.
After you've narrowed down the list, you can research each company to see if they're currently hiring OR you can simply contact each company to express your interest in working for their organization. Even if a company isn't hiring at that moment, they'll be impressed with your initiative as well as your interest in their organization. If you contact enough companies that aren't hiring, and impress them, they'll contact you as soon as they are hiring.
Monitor Local Job Listings
Reviewing the local classifieds and job search boards on a regular basis is another way to find psychology jobs. While this may not be the most effective way to find your dream psychology job, it can and often does yield positive results. Psychology jobs are often listed under the human services, health care, medical, professional and education categories. Newspaper classifieds, online job search engines and your local Chamber of Commerce are also great places to find psychology jobs in your local area.
Visit Job and Career Fairs
Job and career fairs are a good way to meet potential employers that you might not have access to otherwise. Some of the advantages that job fairs provide are (1) you're able to find out more about a company and its hiring practices and (2) you're able to develop a relationship with one of their employees. When you go to job fairs take the time to get to know the employee, or hiring agent, that each company has sent to represent them. Ask each representative about their experience with the company. Show them that you're genuinely interested in working for their company. Ask them if it would be okay if you called them again at a later date. Remember, this individual may be your golden ticket to your next job.
Job fairs are usually advertised locally, or sponsored and hosted by a local college or university. Contact the colleges and universities in your area to find out when their job fairs are being held.
In addition to the job search strategies outlined above, you can compliment your job search efforts by using online job boards and search tools. These are also great resources for finding psychology jobs. If you're looking for a particular type of psychology job, there are several websites that focus specifically on psychology jobs. Below you'll find several additional resources that you might want to explore as you search for jobs and educational programs that lead you to those jobs.