As unemployment rises, so do the number of career counselors offering the unemployed career advice, interviewing tips, and job search strategies. An entire group of professionals have taken on job search careers: Their jobs are to help you find your next job.
Working with the right career counselor can greatly boost your chances of landing a new job in 2012. Working with the wrong job search specialist, though? That can send your chances of getting a job far off-course.
Fortunately, it’s not overly difficult to identify those career counselors who are actually good at their jobs and can provide you the job search advice you need to make a professional job change.
Here are the signs you should look for when searching for the right career specialist:
1. Experience: You want to work with a counselor who’s been giving out job search advice long before the Great Recession and its slow recovery sent millions to the ranks of the unemployed. Too many people, seeing an opportunity in others’ misery, became career counselors to make a quick buck once the economy went south.
You’d rather work with a career search professional who’s been giving reliable career advice to job seekers for years, if not decades. These people know how to guide their clients to their dream jobs whether the economy is up or down. They also know which tips and strategies work and which don’t; they simply have the experience that provides this know-how.
2. Past Successes: Make sure that any career counselor with whom you interview agrees to pass along a list of past clients. Then call these clients. You want to work with a counselor who has successfully led clients to their dream jobs. You want to work with someone who is responsive and will return phone calls and e-mail messages quickly. Looking for a job is stressful. You don’t want an antagonistic relationship with a career counselor to heighten this stress.
A list of past clients is a must, then. Counselors who are afraid to pass along such a list of names aren’t worth working with.
3. A Plan: Finally, any counselor with whom you work must be able to create a business plan to help you find a new job. And this plan should include social media and old-fashioned face-to-face networking. A skilled career counselor should also be able to help you develop a resume that sets you apart from your competitors. They should coach you through the stress of job interviews and give you tips on cracking the elusive hidden job market.
If you are thinking of working with professionals in the job search careers field, consider signing up with our Get Hired Bootcamp. Our own roster of job search specialists can help you craft a professional job search designed to lead you toward your ideal job.