Career Advising with American Admissions
It may seem odd, or it may not, that we’ve begun advising professionals and recent grads in Austin and Austin on career transitions and the job search.
Our background is based strongly in the academic details needed to successfully apply to and then gain acceptance at competitive colleges and graduate schools in Texas and across the country. Off hand, our advisors know what percentile a certain GRE or SAT score falls in, college and graduate school rankings, and the distinguishing qualities of different programs.
So how does career advising complement this skillset?
In the four year life of our company, we’ve worked with hundreds of high school, college, and graduate students. We’ve helped them apply to dozens of different programs and draft hundreds of essays and resumes. A unifying thread in all of this work has been talent identification and personal branding.
If you apply to a selective program, you face a lot of competition. At most ivy league schools, you’re competing with over thirty thousand applicants for less than two thousand spots. Many clients feel understandably nervous or discouraged at the statistical likelihood of being rejected.
In the face of this adversity, a candidate must prepare accordingly. He should identify what makes him and his experiences or talents a good fit for said program, and then effectively convey that message to the admissions committee.
For most students, this is a daunting challenge. It’s not necessarily easy to figure out why you deserve to be among the accepted, much less distill it in a compelling way in a resume, personal statement, or interview.
Whenever we begin the process of working with a client, part of our job is to figure what makes him or her unique and qualified for a particular program. Frequently, a student says something along the lines of: “I don’t know what’s special or unique about my life.” After a few questions and a bit of prodding, we’re often floored by the fascinating anecdotes that come out of their mouths.
We then help our clients retell their meaningful life experiences when responding to the types of prompts put forth by college and graduate school admissions committees. As with all writing, showing supersedes telling, and a student’s relevant experiences form the underlying plot that makes the case for why he or she is an outstanding fit for the program.
Our job as educational advisors is not just to advise, but to facilitate and collaborate in the telling of a student’s story. We uncover why the student is valuable to the selected program, and guide her in putting that down on paper. Not only that, but we’ve found once a candidate has realized why she’s well-suited for a particular program, she’s much more confident at the prospect of interviewing.
We use a similar process of identifying and then conveying strengths as it relates to career counseling or searching for a new job.
We help our clients understand why they’re valuable and then help them convey that information to potential employers.
Further, with our unique insight into the state of various industries that we’ve honed through advising students on potential career paths, in conjunction with our advisors’ combined decades experience in the job market, our career advising is based on accurate and relevant data points.
Just like applying to an educational program, our career advising is comprised of 4 main steps:
Not as esoteric as it sounds, the self-discovery phase helps job seekers figure out who they are, what they’re good at, and where they’d like to be. This process can be fairly straightforward, requiring a session or two, or it can be a longer, more involved process. Either way, this crucial step pays dividends down the line. You cannot effectively get where you’re trying to go if you don’t know where you’re going or if you don’t know how you’ll get there.
Your road map for success. Once a client has a decent idea of their strengths and weaknesses, and has drafted a set of requirements for their ideal job or career, it comes time to insert this information into a Personal Strategic Plan. Goals are fine, but they’re nothing if they’re not effectively acted upon. We help out clients put together a timeline for their job search, define the parameters for success, clarify expectations, and explore potential pitfalls. This planning process is comprehensive and allows the implementation stage to work more smoothly.
Where the rubber meets the road. Since we’ve done our due diligence in steps one and two, we can easily begin the process of helping a client find a new or better job, or change careers completely.
Concretely, we help clients effectively and succinctly describe their strengths and career experiences in a resume, draft compelling intro letters, and revamp their LinkedIn page. We teach them importance of working their network, digging up job leads, and setting appropriate expectations for their future employers. We also use proven strategies to help clients prepare for interviews and teach them to negotiate the best possible salary.
Getting your dream job isn’t always as easy as sending out a few resumes and acing the interview. Finding the right position that pays the right salary can be a lengthy process that sometimes needs tweaking. We act as an ongoing resource for our clients before, during, and after the process of applying for jobs.