About two weeks ago I had a post for free resume tips and pointers. I said I would assist the first 10 people to respond...well...twenty-something resumes later...I completed my promise. I was pleased and surprised to see seasoned school counselors seeking tips. For we all know, that most school counselors stay in their postion until they retire or just can't get out of bed anymore (voluntarily or involuntarily). It is rare to find the seasoned school counselor who wants to change districts, levels or schools. So I commend those of you wanting or needing a change. However, I noticed a few similarities in the seasoned school counselor resumes I reviewed...
- Lack of Detail - Assumptions are being made that because you are seasoned, adminstrators should know what you do day in and day out. Bullet points are stating generalities and not specifics.
- Focusing on One Aspect of Your Job - Most of the seasoned SCs focused on the counseling aspect, fair share or administrative parts of the job. There was very few descriptions of the programmatic part of the comprehensive school program.
- Reporting Only the Good - There were very few descriptions of crisis or responsive services counseling. Unfortunately our jobs are not happy and jolly all the time. You need to show that you have experience with handling crises.
- Lack of Administrative Terminology - I have an endorsement in administration and supervision in addition to my counseling degrees, so I can tell you first hand that principals/administrators do not know school counseling lingo. I sat in a class with 30 wanna-be principals who were all teachers. I speak with principals every week. I have to "break down" counseling terms and translate them to teacher terms every other day to executive directors and assistant superintendents who do not know what I am speaking about...not because they are dumb, but because they don't know and they don't have to know! 99% of them were classroom teachers; and in K-12 public education, teachers dominate.
- Selling Yourself Short - When I read some of the resumes, I wrote back..."I know you do more than this". I have had the privilege to work at all three levels in two different states and in two different districts in each of the two states...and I was a high school department chair. Now I observe and train school counselors. Trust me, I KNOW WHAT SCHOOL COUNSELORS DO and if I am telling you, you are selling yourself short...then you are selling yourself short!
However, when I read a resume I want it to tell me about all of your experiences and what you did from September to June. I don't want to have to guess. I don't have the opportunity to ask you questions outside of the script that I am given. Those are HR's rules. All candidates receive the same questions. I cannot deviate, so if you happen to have a less than stellar interview at least I can read the fabulous experiences you have had and blame the poor interview on nerves or something else. If your resume is weak AND your interview is weak...well you're just not going to get the job. Remember you are competing against new grads who have had the latest curriculum changes, teachers who are waiting for a SC position and transplants who have come to your local area...all hungry for a job. Hungry to start their career. You should outshine them. Hands down. Your resume should stand out and SHOUT how good you are.
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