What Career Services Should I Pay For?

Following up on yesterday’s post about being scammed by fake headhunters who are preying on desperate job seekers, I wanted to share some ideas on what services you *might* pay for.

You don’t have to pay for anything, of course.  You could be a Do It Yourself (DIY) job seeker and do all of this on your own.  But many people realize they are so out of touch with today’s job search that they need help.  Here’s a list of things you could pay for – leave a comment if I missed anything:

  1. Resume help.  There are tons of resume writers out there, many seem to have become resume writers during this last recession.  Some have done it unofficially.  Try and determine what level you need – some people only want a typist (those are the resume writers who charge less than $100).  Others need someone who has been in the industry and has learned what works and what doesn’t.  Others might need very specialized resume help (senior execs, etc.).  Make sure you get the right writer.  Check out Career Resume’s resume writers here.
  2. Career Counseling.  This is more of the “what do I want to be when I grow up,” or “I’m at a major cross-roads and not sure what direction I should go,” or “I’m just not happy with my career, I need some direction.”  These professionals tend to give tests and help you figure out what you should be doing, what you are good at, etc.  Seems like simple stuff but many times we are so deep into the forest that all we can see are trees… not the big picture.
  3. Career Coaching.  There are all kinds of different coaches – some like the the counseling stuff more, others will be trained in various disciplines (like personal branding, online networking, etc.).  Some will be on the lose, unstructured side and others will be very detail oriented about tasks and action items.  If you need an accountability coach, make sure they know that.  The key to getting a good coach is to make sure they are current with today’s job search environment… which is different than what it was five years ago.  These people are also called “job search coaches.”
  4. Interview Coaching.  I broke this out from career coaching because I know people who just specialize in interview coaching and have no interest in counseling or the job search coaching.  They love, however, to coach you on your interview… which is pretty critical!

One thing to consider – contact your university career center to see what help they can offer you.  Some career centers are set up and staffed to help with many things from the list above.

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