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Cover letters are extremely important documents because they can be one of the only ways that you can make a first impression with a prospective employer. Psychology practicums are much like internships for students seeking degrees in psychology. Practicums are usually required for students because they provide students with hands-on experience in practicing clinical psychology.
Start by making sure you cover all of the requirements laid out in the practicum posting. Before writing any content for your cover letter, make sure you have addressed all of the minimum requirements. For example, if the job posting calls for information regarding your education--such as past work experience and dissertation--make sure those are included.
Begin your cover letter with a short paragraph or two addressing where you heard about the practicum and your current situation. Your current situation should include the completion date for your degree and your availability to participate in the practicum. You may want to include information about prominent researchers or professors in the field that you have worked with.
Look at the practicum description and highlight elements of your background that correspond with the needs of the practicum. For example, if the practicum calls for experience in children's trauma and emotional disturbance, be sure to highlight any experience or education that makes you a good candidate for that particular sub-field. It is important to choose only relevant background information because you only have a limited amount of room on your cover letter.
Include well-rounded content about your background. You should include information about your educational background and research so that you show the hiring managers of the practicum that you have a grasp of important psychological theories that the practicum would require. You should supplement that background with practical information about experience and how you applied the theories you have studied.
End your cover letter with your availability for an interview and several methods of contact. It is always important to close the letter making it easy for a prospective employer to reach you.
Add content that shows you have researched the practicum opportunity. Catering a cover letter, instead of using a generic letter, will let the prospective employer know that you are serious about participating in the practicum.
Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.