How Career Coaches Help Job SeekersFebruary 17, 2012 by Steven Rothberg
Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes an Economic News Release outlining the duration-of-unemployment in the United States. As of February 3rd, 2012, the numbers indicate that longer than six month job searches still prevail. According to the survey, in January 19.3 percent of job seekers found work in less than 5 weeks; 22.4 percent in 5 to 14 weeks; 15.4 percent in 15 to 26 weeks; and the majority, 42.9 percent, found that their job search extended past 27 weeks.
According to Laura M. Labovich, founder of Aspire! Empower! Career Strategy Group, a DC-based career firm, “As a job seeker, getting expert career advice at the onset of a search is critical, and can shorten the duration of unemployment in the long run.”
A career or job search coach can be a job seeker’s ally in a myriad of ways:
- Goals assessment. Working with a coach can help job seekers crystallize what is really important and help them identify a job that is a best fit with personality, values and work preferences.
- Resume and cover letter development. A resume writer can write a compelling document that speaks to the issues that company and/or industry is facing, and clearly articulates the unique selling proposition (USP). A professionally written resume alone will help shorten a job search, often by positioning a job seeker for a senior-level job, at a higher rate of pay. This investment will more than pay for itself.
- Networking and job search strategy. A good coach will provide a job seeker with a Personal Marketing Plan (or a blueprint) for a search that will drive daily, weekly and monthly activities and take the guesswork out of a confusing and frustrating search.
- Interview and salary negotiation preparation. As most job seekers know, it is optimal to prepare and rehearse answers to “Tell me about yourself” and other common (or less common) questions in advance of an interview. A coach can help a job seeker fine-tune the answers to these, and more complex, questions.
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