Monday, March 30, 2015

Resume Tips for Upcoming School Counseling Graduates

A few weeks ago I sent out a communication that I would review 10 resumes free of charge for school counseling graduate students. Ten ended up being 20+. I received resumes from all over the country. It was really pretty neat. Some grad students' resumes were right on the money. Some needed some assistance...and that's ok. The bottom line is that it is all about securing a job! However, I noticed a trend with the school counseling students' resumes I reviewed...

  1. Format - School districts are pretty conservative. Heck! The system of education is actually. Keep resumes traditional and standard. There are plenty of free templates out there that can assist you. No bright or loud colors. No cutesy fonts. Try to keep your resume to one-page. Remember to keep it simple. Stay away from busy designs.
  2. Objectives - Your objective should capture the interviewers attention. It should make me want to interview you...and stay away from writing the obvious (school counseling graduate looking for a job...).
  3.  Explain. Explain. Explain. - Just don't list your internship and practicum experiences. Be sure sure to have a bulleted list of all the activities you participated in. Also make sure you list the schools where you had your experiences. When it comes to listing who your site supervisor was...leave it out of the bullet points and place it where it the references section.
  4. Focusing on the counseling aspect of the job and not the programming. EVERYONE writes individual counseling, small group counseling and classroom/large group guidance lessons in their resume. Then some other activities. However very few state the programming part of the comprehensive school counseling program...which are the activities that make up the program. I can't tell you how many times I asked if certain activities were performed.
  5. Assuming the interviewer should know what you did in your internship - What is that old saying about when you assume? You make an ASS out of U and ME! So stop assuming I know what you did during your placement, because I don't. I know what you should have done. I know what I would like for you to have experienced. All sites are different. All site supervisors are different. All universities are different. All school districts do not function the same way.  So, I cannot possibly know what you accomplished, were exposed to and/or participated in, etc.
Recent grads, you are competing with other recent grads, seasoned counselors who moved to your area, teachers who have a masters in counseling and are waiting for an opening and seasoned counselors who want to change schools or school districts. Your resume must be TIGHT!!!! There is too much competition out there for it to be sub-par; and when a sub-par resume comes across my desk...NEXT!!!

For resume review services please click here.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Resume Tips for the Seasoned School Counselor

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...

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

For resume review services please click here 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Digital Learning Day - March 13th

With all of the technology we have going on in K-12 education, we cannot afford not to 


"Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen 

student’s learning experience. It emphasizes high-quality instruction and provides access 

to challenging content, feedback through formative assessment, opportunities for learning 

anytime and anywhere, and individualized instruction to ensure all students reach their full 

potential to succeed in college and a career. 

It encompasses many different facets, tools, and  applications to support and empower 

teachers and students, including online courses, blended or hybrid learning, or digital 

content and resources. Additionally, digital learning can be used for professional learning

opportunities for teachers and to provide personalized learning experiences for students.

Digital learning advances school reform by increasing equity and access to educational 

opportunities, improving effectiveness and productivity of teachers and administrators, 

providing student-centered learning to ensure college and career readiness for all students, 

and recognizing teachers as education designers."  - taken from website

Digital Learning Day