What is a job skills coach?
A job search skills coach is someone who has a lot of experience searching for jobs, networking and interviewing and is eager to share job search skills, tools and tricks with you.
Why should I work with a job skills coach?
If you wanted to increase your score on the SAT/ACT you’d hire a tutor. If you wanted to learn how to play the piano you’d hire a teacher. If you wanted to improve your weight training expertise then you’d hire a coach.
If you are in college now or a recent college graduate, chances are you have not yet needed to search for a professional job. You’ve gotten babysitting jobs because your parents gave your name and number to their friends. Or you attended a sleepaway camp and then when you aged out of being a camper, you became a counselor. Or you saw a “Now Hiring” sign in a store or restaurant, filled out a paper application, interviewed and got the job. In the above examples, you did not need to SEARCH too hard for jobs, you did not need a professional looking resume and you definitely did not need to build a professional network of people to help you identify and land jobs.
Now that you’re a young adult, the stakes are higher and the jobs are harder to find and secure. You need a plan. You need skills and you may even need someone to hold you accountable to setting goals and completing tasks. 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. That’s where I come in. I will coach you via weekly one-on-one coaching phone calls and teach you how to navigate a successful internship or job search.
There’s a pandemic. People are out of work. It’s not a good time to work with a job search skills coach, is it?
It’s actually the perfect time to work with a job search skills coach for many reasons. Think about this: 6-12 months from now, a prospective employer is going to ask you 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 you apart from your 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 you shine when you answer the above question.
A good part of what I will teach you is how and why to set up informational interviews NOW to help you land an internship/job LATER. Given the pandemic, 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.
Lastly, connections made today in informational interviews are the foundations for tomorrow’s opportunities. Meeting and staying connected with relevant professionals greatly improves your chance of landing a coveted internship or job next year.
What job search skills will you be teaching me?
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!
How long do you suggest I 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 yourself as THE best candidate before, during and after interviews. If you do the weekly custom homework I assign to you, then you will feel confident continuing your job search on your own. After 10-15 coaching sessions, some students sign up for one session a month to ask me questions, brainstorm how to overcome obstacles or revise your resume. I charge $120 an hour for these catch-up calls.
Do you find internships or jobs for students?
No. Even better! I teach you the skills you need to navigate and conduct your own successful job search, skills you will use again and again during your career.
My college has a career department. What do you offer me that I can’t find at my college’s career department?
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 students one-on-one focused attention on YOUR personal job search and I hold you accountable each week by giving mini homework assignments. I don’t just tell you what to do; I explain how to do it. No college career department offers one-on-one custom job search skills coaching.
How long will it take me 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 as early as their freshman year of college. The sooner you start to network, the more likely you will make the professional connections that will lead you to discovering relevant professional internship and job openings. By networking, you will uncover what is referred to as the “hidden job market.” What does that mean? You will discover job openings BEFORE others do because you are deeply networked and eventually, the people in your network will start referring job openings to you.
One-on-one coaching sounds interesting. What will I be doing between coaching sessions to improve my job search skills?
During each coaching call I give you 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 your college’s career department, reaching out to 5 pre-identified professionals or making a list of professional organizations in your field(s) of interest.
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