5 Tips for Landing Your First Job After Earning a Psychology Degree

tips to land first psychology job

Searching and applying for psychology jobs can be challenging because the competition is tough and the requirements are high for these positions. Following these five tips will help any recent college grad secure their first psychology job.


Networking is important to land any job, but this should begin well before the graduation date. Students should remember to connect with anyone who may help them with their professional journey on social media sites like LinkedIn. Alternatively, use the traditional method of requesting professional contact information and asking for job hunting help in the future. Students should be deliberate and thoughtful how they approach people and ask for help. Consider extended academic and professional connections through friends, peers and family. Students don’t have to be extroverted and popular to network effectively, but they do need to know how to make a positive introduction and a brief first impression.

Review Social Media Accounts

More and more employers are using social media content to informally and unofficially judge job applicants. There is currently no legislation that prevents HR managers from reviewing posted pictures and content on social media platforms, so college students should be carefully review their accounts. Students should assume that any information, comments, pictures or videos posted videos are available for anyone to read. Students should search through their postings and their tagged photos in order to remove any content that involves impolite or inappropriate talk and actions.

Leverage LinkedIn

As mentioned above, LinkedIn is a useful tool for connecting with potential employers. LinkedIn is an online community dedicated to professional networking, so there are endless benefits for job searchers. Students shouldn’t wait until they graduate to create a profile and connect with others. Instead, they should actively connect with potential mentors, employers and career supporters during their time in school. LinkedIn is a great place to gather information about companies, industries and potential employers. Be sure to follow influential and high-profile LinkedIn personalities for valuable tips and knowledge. Be sure to demonstrate skills, internships and relevant experience by upload portfolio examples.

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Interview Tips

When answering the interviewer’s questions, don’t feel compelled to immediately respond every time. It’s perfectly acceptable and even preferable to take time to think over responses. This relieves the pressure of having to memorize non-spontaneous responses. This also projects confidence and intelligence because it communicates to the interviewer that you are controlled and thoughtful. Professional speakers often pause before speaking because it emphasizes clarity and authority. Be sure to avoid waiting too long because they communicates anxiety or a lack of confidence. Pay attention to body language and non-verbal communication as well.

Use Psychology

Psychology majors should use their training to improve their interview effectiveness. For example, social psychology teaches that the first performer or interviewer often becomes the standard to judge those who follow. As the day wanes on, the interviewer will most likely experience cognitive weariness and pay less attention. Students can mirror their interviewer’s body language to gain their trust and make them feel at ease. Students can mirror an interviewer’s tone, gestures and even movements to communicate sublime similarity and synchronicity.


Keep in mind that the best psychology jobs are open to those who know how to demonstrate that they will directly benefit the company. It helps to show understanding of the company and their culture, industry and challenges. Forbes magazine offers more interview tips here.

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