Whenever you email someone, the person on the receiving end is going to make assumptions and judgments about you based on what you write and how you write it. Do you actually have permission to email this person? A college rep who hands you his card at a college fair and says, "Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions" has given you permission.
Both were leaving another profession, and they clearly demonstrated an understanding of and passion for college admissions work. However, they also conveyed to me a frustration. Both thought they had the qualities to make good admissions officers and yet were struggling to "get a look" from admissions offices that were hiring.
I was sympathetic to their plight, because I could see their passion and could picture both being successful. Moreover, I started to question whether I was so out of touch with the qualities that make for a great admissions officer.
As I got to know each aspiring counselor, I started to think about my own approach to someone applying for an admissions position after working in another field. How would I react? What would I want to see? What reassurances could they provide? As I thought more about this and the challenges that might be encountered by those trying to break into college admissions later in their career, I developed the following recommendations for those seeking to enter the field.
Be direct in your cover letter. In addition to providing a description of your background, describe why you wish to make a change. Furthermore, emphasize your understanding of the aspects of college admissions work beyond working with students during transition.
Let people know you understand that there are expectations for travel away from home and family, long hours, and pressure to achieve specific goals. If possible, connect certain parts of your previous job to the work you anticipate doing in admissions.
For example, if deadlines and working independently have been core parts of your job, tie those experiences to what admissions officers do. In addition, identify realistic salary expectations in your cover letter.
I know now I was wrong in a number of cases.
Think about ways you can more directly tie your work experiences toward what a college admissions counselor does. Join the regional association for college admissions counseling ACAC. You may even think about joining a standing committee.
Contact a nearby office of admissions and ask if you can shadow some of the experiences. Reach out to an admissions office and explain your interest in learning more about the profession.To this end you may contact me at (), or send me an email at [email protected] I thank you again for the opportunity to be of service to you in the post of Admissions Counselor.
The College Answer Guy (Lance Millis) answers questions posed by site visitors and others about college admission and everything else related to college or university. Your Admissions Counselor At Vanderbilt, we believe in the importance of providing personal attention to each individual within the context of a high volume, highly selective admissions process.
Our admissions counselors are available throughout the college search and application process. A college counselor should be a strategy consultant, coach, and cheerleader all rolled into one.
Learn why you need a college counselor and how your counselor fits into your overall application timeline. The ACT test is a curriculum-based education and career planning tool for high school students that assesses the mastery of college readiness standards.
College admissions officer view a letter from a high school counselor as a powerful statement of accuracy about a student.
The Independent College Counselors & Educational Consultants’ website says, “Recognize and respect the fact that high school counselors/advisors have the perspective of knowing students in the context of school settings.