Every year during Career Services Month MSP alum Cynthia Ransley, MA (’15) offers a “Job Hunting with a TLLP” seminar to help prepare our soon-to-be grads. Below are some of the tips she always shares.
Here’s a hint for successful job hunting after graduation: Start now.
Now is the time to prepare the groundwork for your job hunt because there is a lot to know when you are starting a new career. Job hunting with a specific and temporary license will be a new experience for most. The more you know in advance, the better.
Here’s what you should be doing now:
- Generate a list of questions you have about licensure and seek the answers. Questions should include: How do I apply for my TLLP? How long will I wait for the license to arrive? Can I begin to apply for jobs while my application is being processed?
- Line up references. Ask your faculty and practicum supervisors now (if you haven’t already!) if they will write you a letter of recommendation. Now is also the time to reach out to current or previous employers (Hello! I’m finishing my degree soon….) to confirm they will provide you a reference. Employers often want 2-3 professional references.
- Find and bookmark employer websites. Employers to seek: Community Mental Health (CMH) Departments (each county has one), CMH providers, hospitals, substance abuse treatment (nonprofit & for profit), correctional facilities, universities, community colleges (clinical and nonclinical opportunities), and the criminal justice system.
- Create online profiles for any large employers. This will include uploading your resume, reference letters, etc. Typically, you can make a profile and then use it to apply for multiple positions at once.
- Decide what you need in employment. Are you open to a contractual position or do you need a salary with benefits? How flexible can you be with working hours? Will you work in private/group homes? Save yourself some time and just seek jobs that will actually work for you.
- Figure out supervision. Some employers will include supervision as part of the employment package, but many won’t. It’s your responsibility to confirm the employer can provide a supervisor with the right credential. Start thinking about who you could ask to be your supervisor, how much they charge per hour, etc. so you can factor that in to your earning needs.
- Prepare your interview questions now. There are so many factors to consider, even after you’ve scored an interview. For example, does your employer want you to sign a noncompetition clause?
- Consider the end at the beginning. Ultimately, your goal is to apply to be a Limited Licensed Psychologist (LLP). Go to LARA’s website and take a look at what will be required at the end of your TLLP hours. What does the LLP application look like? Who has to sign where? How much information do you need to track? Of course, things could change, but it helps to know where you’re headed.