Counseling Today, Your Counseling Career

ACA Career Center resources

Amy Reece Connelly December 9, 2006

This month’s column is a bit of a potpourri: a wrap-up of the series on web resources and some announcements about new resources and upcoming programs.

Online applications

For the last two months, this column has examined some of the online tools available for job searches, including strategies for identifying appropriate counseling jobs. After you have found positions in which you’re interested, here are some reminders for your application:

  • Follow the directions outlined in the advertisement for applying for the job. Think of this as your first real test with this employer.
  • Proofread submitted materials carefully. Spelling, punctuation and grammar always count — even if you’re submitting an application online. Double-check to make certain your e-mail address and phone number are correct. 
  • Make your materials scannable. The easier it is for an employer to find the information he or she is looking for on your resume, the more likely it is that you’ll be screened into the pile of finalists.
  • Use key words. Many organizations now use scanning technology to review applications. If specific terms and words are used in the advertisement to which you are responding, make certain that those words show up in your cover letter and resume. Some people have effectively employed a “key word” category in the body of their resumes, listing every term (theory, technique, etc.) imaginable. This can be particularly helpful to candidates who post their resumes on a job board, because they can be picked up in key word searches by employers using the site.
  • Cut and paste your resume for online applications. Make certain to use the correct formatting codes when you create your resume, or you could have a real mess on your hands when you paste.
  • Follow up. Check the status of your application. Showing interest in the position can yield interest in you on the part of the employer.

ACA partners with CareerBuilder.com

The American Counseling Association is pleased to announce a new partnership with CareerBuilder.com to bring you the ACA Job Center, an enhancement to our Career Center page.

The ACA Job Center has been designed to help counselors find nationally advertised, (mostly) nonacademic positions more easily. ACA staff members Martha McIntosh and Don Kenneally have spent numerous hours designing the site and refining search parameters that appropriately capture professional counseling positions for several practice areas. We will continue to tweak the system as we receive feedback from users, so don’t hesitate to send us your suggestions. This is your job search tool, and we want to make it work for you.

To access the ACA Job Center, go to our website at www.counseling.org and click on “Career Center.” Look for the ACA Job Center logo on the left-hand column of the page.

‘ACA Preferred’ still a top resource

When you’re checking out the new ACA Job Center, don’t forget to check the “ACA Preferred” listings. These are positions that are advertised in Counseling Today; they’re available online at the top, left-hand corner of the Career Center page as “Opportunities.” These listings are still one of the top resources for academic positions in counseling and counselor education. 

Just remember, as we have discussed over the last several months, while the Internet is an excellent tool in your job search, it should never be used to the exclusion of other resources, particularly networking and direct contact.

Looking ahead to the convention

Believe it or not, the 2007 ACA Convention in Detroit is less than six months away. As in the past, the Career Center will be available as an onsite resource in the Exhibit Hall. This is a value-added program available to all registered attendees of the convention.

Of particular interest to both job candidates and employers is the interview program. If you think you might participate as either an employer or a candidate, e-mail acacareers@counseling.org and indicate your name, institution (if you are an employer), position and contact information. It costs nothing to register and helps us with our advance planning.

Searching for supervision success

On a related note, this year’s convention will feature a special series targeting graduate students and new professionals. One of the programs will address supervision. If you have fulfilled your supervision requirement in a unique way, we want to hear about your approach! Please e-mail acacareers@counseling.org.

Amy Reece Connelly is ACA’s manager of Career Services. Contact her via e-mail at acacareers@counseling.org. Telephone consultation is available to ACA members on request. Letters to the editor: ct@counseling.org