Application help: ‘relevant experience’

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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PRC24
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Application help: ‘relevant experience’

Post by PRC24 »

I’ve applied this year and made two assessment/selection days but wasn’t invited to any interviews. I’ve got an MSc in Clin Psych and years worth of experience. (I currently work as a specialist advisory teacher for children with Social, Emotional and Mental needs within a local authority). As part of this I work with families with complex social situations including significant unduring mental health needs, developmental trauma and neglect as well as having to assess children for any underlying pervasive developmental disorders. I use CBT (Certificated) as well as other therapeutic interventions (also certificates). We follow evidence based practice and our work is multi-disciplinary: we also draw on a range of psychological models, typically interpersonal neuroscience and Trauma Informed Practice. I am ADOS trained and part of my role is also support the neurodevelopmental pathway for autism within the city and NHS trust. I am also the lead Physical Invention tutor and Lead Restorative Mediator and trainer within the LEA.
I’ve been in this post for 6 years now. Prior to this I was a class teacher (5.5 years) and before that a support worker, assistant psychologist and SEND support assistant with other time spent travelling.

Some feedback I’ve had has suggested that I need more ‘clinically relevant experience.’

With such a range of things I’ve done AND do in my current role, I’m not 100% sure what to emphasise in my future application.
I have to worked in am multi-professional manner, lead small teams around child on caseload as well as complete assessment and action or deliver interventions.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Many thanks,

Paul
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miriam
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Re: Application help: ‘relevant experience’

Post by miriam »

Client groups other than children? NHS employed roles? Roles supervised by a CP? Research/publications? These are all missing from your CV so far, from what you've written.
Miriam

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Spatch
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Re: Application help: ‘relevant experience’

Post by Spatch »

Some feedback I’ve had has suggested that I need more ‘clinically relevant experience.’
With such a range of things I’ve done AND do in my current role, I’m not 100% sure what to emphasise in my future application.
I have to worked in am multi-professional manner, lead small teams around child on caseload as well as complete assessment and action or deliver interventions.
Any ideas would be much appreciated!
You have some good experience and have clearly got to a stage in your current career where you are skilled and hold responsibility, so some transferable stuff there. It is also really hard to know how to give specific advice as we haven't seen your application form.

However, a couple of things strike me. You mention you have sat two selection tests, but it is unclear how you performed on them. Even if you have a perfect application elsewhere, if you are falling on this hurdle, that is clearly an area you will need to focus upon (or avoid selection test based courses in the future).

I also wonder if you may have fallen into what I used to call the "therapist trap" back when I was shortlisting for courses, where we would get experienced counsellors, ABA therpists, CBT therapists or other psychotherapists applying. They would usually end up on the discard pile because they focussed on their love for therapy and how great they were in their job, and not really address their suitability for other aspect of the CP role. They would frequently be rejected in favour of people earlier on in the path, who may not have been as experienced in their one field, but had covered more of the CP bases (research, clinical, academic and organisational) and who demonstrated 'potential to grow' through their reflection.

Bearing in mind that Clinical Psychology covers the lifespan, with placements in child, adult, older adult and LD, and with a variety of core skills, you need to think about how your profile stacks up against the competition. You can see from the succesful applicants thread they will often have touched on various aspects of the role, and demonstrated their commitment to CP. I can imagine if back in the day shortlisting and I had come across your background in an application, I could easily have thought "Oh, this looks like someone who was strongly gearing up for a CYP or educational psychology role, why are they applying for clinical?"

You can't control who else is in the pack of applicants, but the things you can do is to work on are:

- work on your narrative of employment in future applications.
- Get a good clinical psychologist supervisor or mentor who can a) help you develop as a person, b)show you your blind spots, c) socialise you to the profession.
- Any or all of Miriam's suggestions
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
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