So you are stuck in a crappy job search. You have tried everything you can but don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Where do you turn? Should you find a careers advice service to help you? I use those terms mainly for SEO purposes. I want those of you who use those type of terms to visit this post to help you determine what to look for when hiring someone to help you. This can be a real tricky situation and I REALLY want you to find the right person. I am not trying to get you to work with me. What is more important is if you can find someone based on what you need.
So how do you start looking for a service that will give you good career advice? I like to say instead of what to look for in a service, what do YOU need first? What is the most pressing issue you need help with. Is it motivation? Is it a good resume? Is it networking advice? What is your biggest hurdle? The best way to determine this is to answer this question: “Where do you get stuck in the process?”
Here is a somewhat common job search scenario we can explore:
Start looking for a job -> go to internet and review what is “out there” – > decide you want to do X job – > try to tweak resume to fit that job – > decide it looks good enough and send it out – > two weeks later you get no response so you go looking for another type of job – > find another similar one and start sending new version of resume – > one week goes by and no luck. Decide no one’s hiring and get frustrated. So where is this person stuck and what type of help does he/she need?
I think this person might be stuck in trying to figure out what job their most current experience and skills can be applied to. The resume creation might be a problem too but let’s start with the most basic piece first. What type of careers advice service should they look for? I say they take an inventory of their experience and skills. List in order of most recently experienced items first and then move to least experience. The more experience you have in an area the better your chances are of finding the job you want. You don’t need any advice for this I don’t think. It is just spending some time figuring out where you fit in the most; not necessarily what you want to do. That is a different story for another post.
You could get advice from someone on this but they are going to have you do the same thing. They don’t know you from another person and will need you to explain yourself to them before they can give you advice. Save your money. Once you figure out what job you should be going after (based on experience), the resume can be the next hurdle. Understanding the resume as a sales and marketing document may help you write it. If you don’t feel comfortable with the resume, then either try to find a resume writer who someone you know has worked with AND liked and give them a call. If you don’t have any referrals, try harder to find one. You will find someone if you work hard at it.
So a general rule when looking for career advice: Advice is only as good as what you put into it. If you think about what is the first piece of advice you might need, then figure out if you can figure it out. If not, seek advice from a known source. Going with someone who you don’t know can be risky. Take as many of the risks out of it by getting a referral.
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