Our team is hard at work recruiting and selecting our tenth cohort of Children’s Corps members. Check out these tips on how to put your best foot forward through the Children’s Corps application process.
For the past year, I’ve had the privilege of working with Fostering Change for Children and learning about the Children’s Corps program. Last year, when I was an Master’s in Social Work intern, I read applications and participated in interviews for the Class of 2019. Since I reviewed many applications, I felt like I got to know candidates before I even met them at interviews. It always felt exciting to finally talk with them, and to meet alumni interviewers. The days were long, but totally worth it.
As we enter Children’s Corps recruitment and selection season, which is my favorite time at Fostering Change For Children, I wanted to share some tips on having a standout application.
DO: Research our program
We don’t expect candidates to have an in-depth knowledge of child welfare when applying to this program. However, we do encourage you to learn as much as you can about our program and what the work entails by reading through our website, social media, and the Children’s Corps blog. This will not only set you up for success in the interview portion of the process but also for your work in the field.
DON’T: Be intimidated
We understand that the application can be lengthy and time-consuming. Trust that this process ensures the best fit for everyone. The essays really give us a chance to get to know you and your thought process. They also give you space to process different aspects of the work. Ultimately, if you are unsure of the strength of your responses, reach out to a friend or family member to review them.
DO: Use transferable skills
Are you a math whiz? Have you worked in customer service for many years? Do you have experience mentoring youth or tutoring? Have you served as the head of a club or committee? Have you taken on a leadership role in your family? If so, we want to know more about how these types of skills and experiences will translate into you becoming an effective child welfare worker.
DON’T: Forget to spell check
Strong communication skills are essential to child welfare work. We want to see the attentiveness and care that you would put into your work reflected in your application. Review your short answers and personal essay for spelling and grammatical errors and thoroughly proofread your full application before you submit it.
DO: Be yourself
The best way to set yourself apart from other applications is to be yourself: let us get to know you and your experiences that have shaped who you are, your values, and your passions. We don’t want to hear what you think we want to hear…we want to know you! We want to know how you think, how you would approach different situations, what you are drawn to, and what inspires you. Basically, we want to know the many facets of who you are.
So yes, it is important to proofread and spell check so that your thoughts and ideas come out clearly and we get to know you better.
And definitely do research so that you understand more about what the work entails and whether you can envision yourself in this field.
Try not to be discouraged by the length of the application because by providing this exhaustive information, we are better able to understand how you think.
Remember to fine tune that resume so we can see the range of your experiences and skills.
But most importantly, be yourself because we want to really get to know you through this application so we can find the best fit for all.
Jennie Morrison is a current Communications Specialist with our team and a former Masters in Social Work intern. Before attending social work school and joining the Fostering Change for Children team, Jennie worked with children and families in schools. Material for this post was also contributed by Akanksha Singh and Ana Aparicio Calderon.