Desperate times perhaps, but there is no need for stupidity! Everyone knows someone who currently is out of work. Hell, I have file cabinets filled with resumes of laid off workers. The issue isn’t that the normal paths of finding employment have changed, its just that the paths are currently closed! Those of us that have clients still hiring and using us to fill their roles, we are grateful for, but it doesn’t mean that some “yahoo” out there who wants to charge you money is going to help you. The problem out there is that there are too few roles and too many sharp candidates to choose from.
Over the past year Career Coaches have been popping up on the internet more than people getting the swine flu! The CDC needs to create a shot to give the unemployed to keep their money in their pockets. I have been getting calls every single week from job candidates asking me about this new phenomenon. The call usually starts like this: “Have you heard of XYZ Career Coaching, Resume Writing, Interview Training, Action Plan Guiding, Branding Me Extraordinaire Networking Guru For a Fee Company LLC? They say that they’ve worked in HR for years in fact, ran the HR department for the whole company so they seem to know about jobs”. My response is “Really, they sound like a home run”!
There are good people out there that haven’t just thrown up a sign on a shingle announcing that this is now what they do. If your talking with a Career Coach or someone who claims they can help you just make sure that they’re not just an opportunist looking to make a quick buck. And just because someone wrote a book doesn’t mean anything other than, they wrote a book. I understand if you’re like me, and can’t write well, that it make sense to pay someone to help you with your resume, that’s fine. I understand that there are very talented people who can help you in that area. I’m talking about the person who claims that they are this guru at finding people jobs. If they are truly good at it then why are they not being paid by the companies?
I’ve been told that these Career Coaches charge anywhere from a thousand dollars and up. Most recruiting agencies will charge a percentage of the job candidate’s first year annual salary, typically 25%. My question is if you are such a guru at helping candidates find jobs, why aren’t you recruiting and making a lot more? Perhaps there are more opportunities in charging people than clients willing to pay a fee for someone. All I know is even in this bad economy we are still in business and doing quite well.
If someone is going to charge you money to help you find a job, there are things you should look into.
1) Check with your State to see if they are licensed with the State to charge job candidates money. I know in the States of Connecticut and North Carolina you need to be licensed and monitored by the State.
2) Ask how long have they been legally in business.
3) Get references.
4) What are their fees? Do they put that in writing?
5) What guarantee do you have that you will find me a job?
Recruiters don’t have guarantees they offer job candidates. I can’t promise anyone that I can find them a job. I also don’t charge them for my advice, preparation, editing of their resume, reference checks, cold and warm calling to my 10 plus year client list promoting their background and to top it off, I will negotiate their compensation package for them.
Some people don’t get it do they. What makes someone an expert? The best way to explain what I mean comes from movie “Back To School”. Rodney tells the professor how it works in the real world. How does he know? He knows because he has done it, and there is nothing more powerful than actually doing something. You can talk to me about theory until you’re blue in the face! Just because you worked in HR doesn’t mean you can help someone find a job. Just because you wrote a book and have a website doesn’t mean you can help someone land a job.
A free site that can assist you is MyJobCAST.com. This site has been created to assist people that are not getting help from anywhere else. I am taking the knowledge that I have gained over the years and put that into a automated web 2.0 application. We are soon adding the free job portion of the site that will allow small businesses to list their jobs for free.
I posed this question about the rise of Career Coaches in LinkedIn and I must admit the answers were excellent even from the Career Coaches themselves. They have said the same thing about checking the legitimacy of the Career Coach. I would like to end with a statement that came from Charlene Norman from Toronto Canada and she summed it up by saying ” if you can’t do, teach”. Brilliant!