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It’s no secret that most people view looking for work as one of life’s necessary evils. Can you relate?
Most of us have had to do it at some point, but few of us have ever enjoyed the process.
Finding a job is often a job in itself. It is time consuming, frustrating at times, sometimes exciting, and just as quickly can turn depressing.
In order to succeed you need to put your best foot forward and make full use all the tools and resources available to you, of which there are many.
If you’re finding that your job searches are happening too frequently for your liking or taking too long to come to fruition, you may want to consider utilizing the services of a career and job search coach.
What exactly is a career and job search coach? Pretty much what it sounds like: Someone who will help you make the right career decisions and coach you through the job search process, assisting you with your job search strategies and techniques, and helping you to focus that search by targeting positions for which you are most suited and/or in which you are most interested.
There are coaches who consider themselves generalists and can assist with a variety of job search and career issues. But there are also coaches who specialize in certain areas. For example, depending on what you need help with, you may choose to work with a coach who specializes in:
- Coaching people in setting career goals and making long-term career decisions
- Coaching people to effectively navigate the interview and salary negotiation processes
- Coaching people on how to improve their networking effectiveness
- Coaching people to effectively leverage LinkedIn or other online resources in their job search
- Coaching people to troubleshoot and improve a job search that has been unsuccessful
- ….and just about anything else you may need help with
A career coach can very frequently provide the most effective services if you allow him or her to show you how to learn more about yourself. This will enable you to make decisions regarding a new job or even completely changing your career path based only on factors relevant to you. With proper coaching, you’ll discover what decision making style works best for you, identify and establish goals and then formulate strategies for successfully pursuing them.
In most cases, the career coaching process will be tailored to your needs and very personalized. Some topics you may cover include:
- Discussing and learning how to create and maintain a professional image
- Learning how to effectively use resumes, curriculum vitae, and job search letters
- Creating a LinkedIn profile that will effectively promote your qualifications
- Conducting informational interviews
- Identifying and initiating contact with potential employers
- Building and utilizing network systems as well as job shadowing experiences
- Identifying and learning how to respond to job ads in a timely manner
- Attending and actively participating in job/internships fairs
- Selecting among job/internship offers
- Learning how to leverage the Internet in your job search and better utilize tools like LinkedIn
- Increasing confidence and commitment to the job search process.
Once you’ve used what you’ve learned and implemented the suggested strategies, you should find yourself getting phone calls to set up interviews. At that point you may wish to transition to preparing for your interviews and hire a coach who specializes in this area.
There are so many factors that go into having a successful interview that the value of a professional interview coach “on your side” can not be overstated. Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. Your performance (because that’s what it is) during the interview will be more influential on the hiring decision than any other consideration.
Of course, it all depends on your specific needs, but in many cases your coach will help you with the following:
- Anticipating the types of questions that are going to be asked based on your research on the company and the industry in which it operates.
- Formulating the questions you should be asking based on the job you’re seeking.
- Practicing via mock interviews employing the various interviewing styles you may encounter.
- Preparing and practicing giving answers to questions with which most people are uncomfortable. For example:
- What are your salary expectations?
- Describe 1 or 2 or 3 weaknesses.
- What will each person you’ve listed as a reference say about you when we call?
- Evaluating your style, from wardrobe choice to vocal presentation.
- Identifying body language or nervous tic issues.
- Developing compensation/benefit negotiation strategy.
Working with a job search and career coach can put your job search success on the fast track.
If you are serious about ending your job search as fast and successfully as possible, landing a job that is rewarding to you in all aspects–personally, professionally, and financially–hiring a job search and career coach will be of immeasurable value.
It is time to turn a mediocre job search into an extraordinary career with job search coaching!
Updated and republished from an article first published on this blog April 14, 2015