Where am I going wrong?

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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Where am I going wrong?

Post by Khylovegood » Mon May 18, 2020 5:35 pm

I was wondering if I could get some feedback because I am feeling so dejected from all the rejections.
I applied for an AP post and I thought in my opinion that I had written a personal state to at least be shortlisted for an interview. No surprise to anyone, I was not shortlisted for an interview, when I asked for feedback I was told that they had a large number of people apply- it was an internal application so I am shocked at the large level but not surprised.
The feedback stated that candidates who were offered an interview had:
- Extensive experience of working on adult inpatient wards
- Had a very good degree often with a postgraduate study
- Completed extra psychologically relevant training.
- Had experience of carrying out psychological interventions or assessments ideally under the supervision of qualified psychologist.

How on earth is one meant to gain such experience when the person spec did not ask for any of those as essentials. I highlighted my experience of working on inpatient wards as a Bank HCA, addition training I had completed, spoke of my co-facilitating a group alongside a psychologist. I understand that having a 2:2 would work against me, but I have worked as a substance misuse worker, bank HCA, special needs teaching assistant and now as a recovery coordindator which is a fancy of saying support worker in an CMHT. So where am I going wrong?

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Re: Where am I going wrong?

Post by Geishawife » Mon May 18, 2020 6:42 pm

I hate to be so brutally honest, but I think it's probably your 2:2. You don't mention here any further study (e.g. an MSc) and, I'm afraid without that your options will be severely limited. Very, very few employers will consider someone with a 2:2 when there are scores of people applying with 2:1s or 1sts. Plus, in these days of massive grade inflation a 2:2 really does stand out as a negative. I know that sounds very harsh and unfair but it is the reality. Similarly, you will find that some of the Clinical courses(I'm assuming that's your goal?) will not consider you with that class of degree.

On a more positive note, do bear in mind that an AP post is not essential if you want to do Clinical Psychology and there are some clinical courses that use selection tests and will not consider your degree grade s problem. But not all courses are the same and you have to be realistic here - a 2:2 and no further qualification is going to make life very hard for you.

If you are in a position to do so, I would strongly recommend you do an MSc to boost your academic profile. Also, look at what you are gaining from a job rather than what you are doing and present that in future applications. What you have posted above reads more like a list of duties. Describe how they have helped you develop and you might have more luck.

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Re: Where am I going wrong?

Post by boayg » Sun May 24, 2020 5:33 pm

I would echo what geishawife is saying, but adding a few of my insights. Firstly, you definitely have a lot of relevant experiences so this is definitely a plus. Not many HCAs have opportunities in co-facilitating psychology groups so your team must see something in you!

Hundreds apply for AP posts (some ads close in under 24 hours), and applications are "longlisted" before being "shortlisted" based on the essential criteria listed. Depending on the organisation, longlisting individuals may be from HR or admin before they are sent to main shortlisters for the post.

I've been involved in the longlisting process for AP posts, and one of the first things we look at before reading an application form further is whether the person meets the minimum qualifications (e.g. minimum 2:1 in psychology or 2:2 plus merit in masters course relevant to psychologiy or MSc conversation course in psychology with merit - all must have GBC eligibility). If the person does not fully meet all of the essential criteria - then they are automatically screened out and then we move onto the next application. Once we finished the longlisting, the applications that pass the first stage will then move onto the shortlisting stage.

Yes you have a lot of transferable skills and relevant experiences, but perhaps your application didn't pass the longlisting stage due to your current degree classification. This is obviously very disappointing given that you perhaps have more experiences compared to other candidates who are being considered because they meet the qualification criteria compared to you.

Much like what geishawife said, my colleague got onto training without an AP post. If doing a masters is not desirable and feasible (as not everyone has the means to afford doing further studies), and DClinPsy is definitely the route you are pursuing, there are a few unis that do not require candidates having a 2:1 (or even consider looking at anyone's forms!). They use selection tests before their interviews (e.g. Lancaster University) and their ethos is that application forms do not accurately represent a candidate's potential so perhaps this is also an option for you to look into.

I hope this helps in some way.

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