1. Get Organized. Think about the items you will need for all of these job finding events – a resume, cover letters, letters of recommendations/references and a portfolio. Get these as close to finished as you can. It will make filling out those applications easier if you are organized. It will help you prepare for an interview (you may not have as much time as you would like to prepare so get ready now). It also ensures that you are giving your references enough time to write you a stellar letter of recommendation.
2. Expand Your Horizons. Depending on your location, school counseling jobs can be far and few between. This is why I suggest you try to expand your horizons. Perhaps you are completely set on elementary school but there isn’t a position open. Consider applying for middle or high school if you license allows you to do so. You may be surprised to find out that you actually love working with that age group. Another option is to expand where you are looking. Perhaps you have a radius of 1 hour. Expand it to 2. This increases your chances of an interview and ultimately a job. I realize that not everyone has the ability to do this but if you can – do it.
3. Think. Think about what you think administrators are looking for in a school counselor. This isn’t something I had thought too much about until I went to my first job fair/applicant screening interview. The interviewer asked me about how I have collected data, used my findings, and then evaluated what I did. This caught me off guard; however, if I had thought about what an administrator wanted in a school counselor it probably wouldn’t have. It is equally important for you to really think about what you want in a school. What are you looking for from the administration, the school population, and what you hope your school counseling program will look like. Thinking these things through will help you prepare questions to ask during and at the end of an interview. Remember an interview is a time for you to learn about the school that you could be working in too.
Bonus: Take care of yourself during this time. Its stressful. You are finishing your program with graduation on the horizon. Interning. Job hunting. Potentially moving. There are lots of changes in your future – great changes that hopefully you will be thrilled with BUT even great changes can be stressful. Self care is important now and it is important once you are a professional school counselor.
Good luck on your search and thanks for stopping by!