Why should I hire someone to coach my student to help her find an internship or job?
As parents, we invest in our kids to give them the opportunity to develop new skills, learn, grow and achieve success. Hiring a job search skills coach is no different than investing time and money in dance or tennis lessons, SAT/ACT prep classes or college counseling. At this time in your child’s life, you’ve decided to invest thousands of dollars in college tuition with the hope that your student will land internships and jobs and launch a successful career. But how will s/he accomplish this goal without knowing how to properly conduct an effective job search? How will s/he proactively find relevant professional internship and job opportunities instead of just falling into a job/career simply because it’s available, a result which can be unfulfilling or stunt her career growth?
Unfortunately, colleges do not teach students HOW to network, HOW to discover unpublicized job openings or HOW to be the top-of-mind candidate when it comes to hiring. In order for your student to uncover internships and jobs, s/he needs to learn and practice job search skills.
There’s a pandemic. People are out of work. It’s not a good time to hire a job search skills coach, is it?
It’s actually the perfect time to for your student to learn job search skills. Why? Many professionals have extra time to set up informational interviews. And, since the world is topsy-turvy right now, people are looking for ways to feel good. Talking to or mentoring a young person on the phone for 20-30 minutes may just be the “feel good” a person needs right now.
Also, think about this: 6-12 months from now, a prospective employer is going to ask your child the following question: “How did you spend your free time while in quarantine?” And while one answer could be, “Well, I took summer classes online. And I spent time doing jigsaw puzzles with my family and scrolling through my Instagram account,” employers will be looking for answers that set your student apart from his peers. After all, companies want to recruit interns and employees who go beyond the status quo, demonstrate resilience and turn lemons into lemonade. In fact, due to the current situation, in addition to coaching my normal job search skills curriculum, I am helping students identify a meaningful project to complete this summer to help them shine when they answer the above question.
Lastly, connections made today in informational interviews are the foundations for tomorrow’s opportunities. Meeting and staying connected with relevant professionals greatly improves your student’s chances of landing a coveted internship or job next year.
How long do you suggest my student work with a job search skills coach?
Most students work with me for 3-4 months (which equals about 10-15 one-on-one coaching sessions). This is roughly the time it takes to teach students the art and science of searching for jobs, how to build a relevant professional network, and how to position themselves as THE best candidate before, during and after interviews. If students do the weekly custom homework assignments I give them, then they will feel confident continuing their job search on their own. After 10-15 coaching sessions, some students sign up for one session a month to ask questions, brainstorm how to overcome obstacles or revise their resumes. I charge $120 an hour for these catch-up calls.
What job search skills will you be teaching my college student?
Well, I can’t give away all of my secrets but here are some of the topics I cover during my coaching calls: how to write a WOW resume, how to network and why it’s so important, the value and importance of setting up informational interviews, what to say during a phone call with an industry professional (and what not to say), what to write in introductory and follow up emails, how to come across as interesting and interested during an interview, how to prepare for interviews, how to follow up after an interview, how to nurture your professional network all year long (not just when you need an internship/job), how to use social media properly to research and follow up with professionals, how to create a professional LinkedIn profile; the pitfalls of using sites like Indeed.com and Monster.com, how to leverage college resources, how to get the most out of college career/internship fairs, and more!
My student’s college has a career department. What do you offer my child that his school does not?
Sadly, most college students have never been to their college’s career department. Or, if they have, they tell me their visit was a waste of time. I personally research each of my student’s colleges AND career departments so I know exactly what services and opportunities are available. I also give my students a list of questions to ask their college and/or career department BEFORE they visit. Armed with this list of questions and goals, students know what to ask of the career department and they find their visits more productive.
In addition to the skills I teach, I give your student one-on-one focused attention on THEIR personal job search and I hold them accountable each week by giving mini homework assignments. I don’t just tell them what to do; I explain how to do it. No college career department offers one-on-one custom job search skills coaching.
Some of my students are unaware that their college or career department offer an alumni mentorship program. In fact, I know of at least one college that matches students with a different mentor EACH YEAR they attend the university. That’s FOUR potential people who would be willing to help your student find an internship or job NOW and LATER. But sadly some of my students partially missed out on this opportunity because they were already a junior or they missed out entirely because they had already graduated.
How long does it take a young adult to find an internship/job?
Experts say it takes 3-6 months to conduct a successful job search; which is why I highly recommend working with students starting in their freshman year of college. The sooner a student starts to network, the more likely they are to make the professional connections that will lead them to relevant professional internship and job openings. By networking, students uncover what is referred to as the “hidden job market.” What does that mean? They discover job openings BEFORE others do because they are deeply networked and eventually, the people they have relationships with start referring them for jobs.
Do you place my student in an internship/job?
No. I give your students the skills they need to conduct their own successful job search, skills that will last them a lifetime.
One-on-one coaching sounds interesting, but what will my child be doing between coaching sessions to improve his job search skills?
During each coaching call I give each student a few assignments to do before our next call. These assignments are customized and should not take longer than 1-2 hours. The assignments vary and may include: visiting their college’s career department, reaching out to 5 pre-identified professionals or making a list of professional organizations in their field(s) of interest.
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