Finding a Job - Let the Pros Handle It by Myrtis Smith

When it comes to looking for a job, most people take the Lone Ranger approach. They rely on themselves to figure out what they want to do, write their resume, prepare for interviews, and create a job search strategy. And while in the Information Age, it is possible to do all these things on your own; the real question is "is it smart?"

There are many career specialists available to assist you with the various aspect of the job-hunting process. Below, we highlight career coaches, resume writers, and headhunters.

Career Coach

What do they do? A career coach can be your partner in the job search process. They can help you decide what it is you want to do, work with you to create an action plan, and assist you with practice interviews. Career Coaches are great accountability partners if you are struggling to set and maintain goals. In addition, a career coach can stay with you find a job to create a plan for success in your new role.

Should you hire one? If you’re asking yourself "What's next in my career?" and you don’t have an answer, a career coach may be a good resource for you. If you are able to create an action plan but have trouble following through, a career coach can create accountability and examine potential reasons why you aren't achieving your goals.

What to look for? There are lots of people calling themselves coaches. When looking for a coach, find someone associated with a professional organization or training institute for coaching (Coach U is one of the more popular ones). Also, only work with a coach who will give you at least one complimentary session; this will give you an opportunity to see if your personalities "click."

Professional Resume Writer

What do they do? A professional resume writer will take information you provide about yourself and your previous work experience to create a top-notch resume. They have excellent writing skills and are familiar with what key words recruiters look for when reviewing a resume.

Should you hire one? Simply put, if you’re sending out a large number of resumes but not getting any interviews it is time to hire a professional resume writer.

What to look for? Find someone who will spend time interviewing you and helping you decide what to include on your resume. If they simply ask you to fill out a form without a live conversation, find someone else. Also ask about fees up front and be sure you understand what is included.


What do they do? Headhunters (sometimes called Recruiters) match employment opportunities to available candidates. Headhunters generally have a good knowledge of the companies they represent and can pre-screen potential candidates, saving both the employer and the job hunter time.

Should you hire one? Using a headhunter is a good idea if you have a very specific skill set that companies may not advertise. Headhunters are also very useful if you are conducting a passive job search and just want to stay aware of openings in your field.

What to look for? The key thing to remember about headhunters is they work for the person who pays them (sounds obvious doesn't it?). If a headhunter is being paid by the hiring company (and they often are) keep that in mind as you listen to their advice. If you are paying a headhunter, know what you're paying for. Do they charge a flat fee or a percentage of your first year's salary? If you find a job without their help, do you still have to pay the fee?

Myrtis Smith is the founder of Premeditated Life. At Premeditated Life we have one focus - Your Career. As a career coach I offer a variety of services designed to improve your professional skills, support you in your career goals and transitions, and empower your job search. For a FREE Career Assessment contact us at [ parked domain].

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