Child Psychologists have rewarding careers where they help young children and adolescents cope with traumas and learn self-care. The tools and experiences they provide their patients with can help children grow into emotionally stable and functioning adults.
The general industry of Psychology is growing at 3% per year, which is considered to be average. As of 2019, there were over 200,000 people engaged in this career.
As a Psychology major at Johns Hopkins University, I am considering a career where I can help young children cope with their issues. So, I am excited to dive into this path with you!
You and I both will need great resumes in order to stand out from the mountain of resumes that clinics and offices review every day. A strong and aesthetically pleasing resume will catch the eye of a recruiter and keep them interested. So let’s dive in!
This guide will offer an in-depth analysis of how to create a stellar resume for your dream job as a Child Psychologist. First, we’ll review the best format for your resume. Then, we’ll cover crafting the heart of your resume -- the right way to list your experiences and credentials. Lastly, we’ll decide which template will highlight your candidacy.
Experience as a Child Psychologist (with a specialty in Autism)
Utilized the ADOS assessment to diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder in patients
Developed treatment plans for individuals with mental health goals, using therapies such as counseling, hypnosis, behavior modification, psychotherapy and other strategies
Partnered with other medical professionals or behavioral health staff when planning a schedule of treatment for patients who need care
Interacted with patients using an individual or group counseling therapeutic approach to help develop coping strategies for various disorders or stressors
Participated in crisis intervention procedures when patients are displaying behaviors that are dangerous to themselves or others and referred patients who need additional support to outside specialists
Worked to develop new knowledge and expertise in the latest research in the field by attending classes, workshops, and conferences and reviewing industry publications
Provided individual and family counseling and behavioral support services that couple with Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy
Provided mental health-centered consulting services to other team members with 17 shared clients
Assisted in the development of 14 IEPs and other school support services as needed
Maintained over 50 case files, student files and other paperwork required
Provided opportunities and resources for patients to increase academic success, improve interpersonal relationships, learn problem-solving and decision-making skills, and resolve conflicts and crisis situations
Experience as a Child Psychologist
Conducted 3-4 comprehensive evaluations per week for children ages 4-16, including clinical interviews, behavioral observations, developmental testing, and cognitive testing
Developed an individualized treatment plan for each child based on their specific needs, family situations, and neuropathology
Educated family members on what they can do for their child or how to respond to certain behaviors
Assessed and Diagnosed patients along the DSM-V criteria, also incorporating supplemental tests such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and the Children’s Apperception Test
Conducted services and meetings using a variety of modalities, such as telephone, telehealth, and in-person
Developed techniques within play therapy to communicate with nonverbal elementary school children
Prescribed medications as needed and monitored treatment and progress
Consulted with interdisciplinary team members and participated in regular team meetings
Maintained patient records and documentation in the Electronic Health Records (EHR) system
1. Choose the Right Format for a Child Psychologist Resume
What format should we use for a Child Psychologist?
We Have 3 main options:
Reverse-Chronological. This format emphasizes your work experience, listing the most recent positions first. This helps recruiters see all you’ve accomplished, and how you’ve grown throughout your career.
Functional. This format highlights your skills. It’s best for those who have been out of the workforce for a while, and so don’t have recent positions to list. It could also be used for those with jobs that are technical and skills-based, and that don’t necessarily require a timeline of experience.
Hybrid / Combination. This format is the best of both worlds, offering the recruiter an overview of your career timeline as well as a summary of your skills.
At a high level, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:
Knowledge of a variety of psychotherapy techniques, from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to play therapy.
Previous clientele encompassing a variety of youth’s ages; Or, note that you specialize in a certain stage of life (i.e., elementary school children or adolescents)
Experience in research, publication, or an adjacent industry.
The best format for a Child Psychologist to demonstrate all of these points is by using the reverse-chronological resume format. This is because the Child Psychologist occupation requires continuous experience -- whether it’s research, internships, or previous jobs. That way, recruiters can view all that you’ve done and determine that your experiences match their needs.
2. Write a Strong Child Psychologist Resume Summary
Did you know that resumes are looked at for less than 10 seconds?
While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to succeed in that short glance.
A resume summary is one or two sentences in the top section that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.
For a Child Psychologist career, include the following points in your study:
Age(s) you specialize in, such as elementary school children or adolescents
Techniques you utilize in your therapy sessions
Research you’ve conducted
The best strategy in this section is to only include information that is relevant to the job. For example, if you’re applying to work in a school, perhaps you should note that you’ve conducted research on the effect of drugs on adolescents’ brains.
Here is an example of a resume summary:
Compassionate Child Psychologist with experience treating children ages 4-16. Specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders and play therapy techniques. Conducted research on the effects of drugs like marijuana and cocaine on the neurobiology and behavior of adolescents.
Bad resume summary:
Child Psychologist with experience treating children of multiple ages. Diagnoses, evaluates, and treats patients.
3. Describe Your Work Experience as a Child Psychologist
As we discussed earlier, list your work experience in a reverse-chronological format. This means your most recent experiences should be at the top of the resume, while your oldest positions are at the bottom. Your resume should only be one page (unless you’ve been in the industry for 30+ years), and if you find yourself running out of room, then perhaps leave off irrelevant experiences -- such as items from college.
Additionally, write your resume experience in a way that anyone in your industry will understand. You don’t know who will be reviewing your submission, so it needs to be clear and easy to understand. Another tip: don't use company-specific language. For example, if your previous job referred to play therapy as “interactive child enrichment therapy,” don’t use the latter term. Anyone outside of that office is unlikely to know what that cumbersome sentence means!
Bad Example: Evaluates and treats patients
This is a bad example because it is vague. There is nothing about this sentence that makes you stand apart from other psychologists.
Good Example: Conducted 3-4 comprehensive evaluations per week for children ages 4-16, including clinical interviews, behavioral observations, developmental testing, and cognitive testing
This example is good because it a) quantifies your experience b) offers specifics about how you evaluate patients.
Communication Skills: Psychologists need to be able to understand their patients and speak to them in terms they understand and connect with.
Analytical Skills: Psychologists must observe their patients’ behaviors, understand what they say, and incorporate their history in order to competently diagnose and treat patients.
Integrity: Psychologists are bound by confidentiality. It’s essential that patient information is kept private. However, Psychologists shouldn’t be afraid to seek out professional advice from coworkers if they need assistance with a patient.
Psychologists require an extensive education, and so it is imperative that yours is listed front and center on the resume. Psychologists require either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D.
A Ph.D. in psychology is a research degree that is obtained after taking a comprehensive exam and writing a dissertation based on original research. Ph.D. programs generally include courses on statistics and experimental procedures. Individuals with this degree typically work in the research field, where they add to the industry’s knowledge.
In contrast, the Psy.D. is a clinical degree that is based on practical work and examinations, rather than a dissertation. This degree allows psychologists to work in settings where they can diagnose patients and provide treatment plans.
School Psychologists can choose to get an education specialist degree (Ed.S.). This degree is a step above a master’s and a step below a doctorate. Some schools accept this degree, while others prefer a Ph.D. or Psy.D.
Please note that all of these programs require that students complete internships, which may last from one to two years. This is required before students can apply for licensure and begin to practice.
Psychologists must be licensed in the state in which they wish to practice. They cannot practice across state lines, so be sure about which state you want to live in!
Furthermore, all states require candidates for licensure to complete and pass the EPPP test, demonstrating their competencies in core areas of psychology. Each state sets its own parameters for minimum score requirements that applicants must meet to obtain their license.
In addition to educational criteria and passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam, candidates for psychology licensure must accrue supervised clinical hours designated by their state’s licensing board. Some states might also require candidates to pass a jurisprudence exam.
However, those who work at a college or university, state or federal institution, research laboratory or a corporation may be exempt from having to be licensed in some states. Check your state’s protocols for more information.
6. Mention Certifications Relevant to the Job
This section is also a great opportunity to include job keywords and make it past the filters of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). ATS are softwares that collect and sort through resumes. Companies often use this software to weed out weak resumes. This means your resume is being scanned by a computer long before a real person ever looks at it.
For example, Child Psychologists who work in schools may need to pass the Teacher Certification Test.
Child Psychologists also require national board certification -- which is different from licensing. The American Board of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (ABCCAP), a member board of the American Board of Professional Psychology, grants the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology credential.
6. Pick the Right Template
Since Child Psychologists work in clinical settings, the professional template is the way to go. This template is sleek and stylish in a way that conveys your competency and ambition. Check out our most popular professional templates: Norwood, Rochambeau, and Woodlawn.
Child Psychologists have rewarding jobs where they help children and adolescents cope with traumas and growing up. This occupation is steadily growing, and soon you’ll be a part of it!
What you should do to create your resume?
Research the job description to locate keywords. If the listings repeat terms like “patience” and “research” -- include them in your resume! This helps you speed by the ATS software to land on a recruiter’s desk.
Use a professional template resume layout
Write your resume summary, including your age specialization and most used therapy techniques
Include your education, licensures, and relevant certifications
Write your experience section in a way that any outsider could understand. Talk more about the how and why of your responsibilities. Quantify your results.
Use our Child Psychologist resume example to save time and get your resume sent out ASAP!
With a background in Psychology and Marketing, Katerina devotes her time to understand people, their careers, and their goals to help them succeed. She also has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.