How To Properly Vet a Job Search Adviser

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Short paper covering the top three characteristics a job seeker should consider from someone giving job search advice and how a job seeker can find this information.

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How To Properly Vet a Job Search Adviser

  1. 1. How To Properly Vet Job Search AdviceBy Sabrina Baker, PHRHuman Resource Consultant and RecruiterIn recent years, the job search assistance industry has grown exponentially. There havebeen career coaches or outplacement specialist around for years, but the downturn of theeconomy has created a spike in the number of individuals offering these services. Fromresume writers to job search strategist to speakers at the local library, job seekers are facedwith a myriad of advice coming from all different directions.For this reason, job seekers need to properly vet those giving advice. They need to knowthat the information they are receiving is qualified, legitimate and accurate. This paperoffers three characteristics that job seekers should consider in the value a job searchadviser can bring. It also gives advice on how to find information about the individualsbackground and network.For the purposes of this paper, a job search adviser is anyone who coaches, consults,speaks, writes or aides in the creation of job search strategies. This could include resumewriters, career coaches, job search coaches, outplacement specialist and speakers whoteach or train on job search strategy.The three characteristics are: 1. Professional Experience and Education (Background) 2. Community 3. Passion Professional Experience and EducationJust as individuals do not go to a mechanic when they are feeling ill, neither should they goto a professional who has no career development background or education to create a jobsearch strategy. Human resource professionals, recruiters and those who have beeneducated in specific career coaching activities (professional certified resume writers forexample) have the professional experience that allows them greater insight into proper jobsearch techniques. Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  2. 2. How To Properly Vet a Job Search Adviser 2It is common place specifically in public speaking or training for individuals with varyingbackgrounds to give job search advice. While it may be true that they have someknowledge of effective job search tactics, this knowledge typically remains at a high level.In order to dig deeper the proper experience and education is required. CommunityThe absolute difference maker in the value that an individual can bring to a job search liesin their community. Job search coaches, document or profile writers and trainers should beconnected to the people on the other side of a job search. They should be active in theentire career development community. They should be surrounded by a network of peoplewho recruit in order to have a good grasp on what recruiters are searching for.Job seekers should be very wary of those offering job search advice who do not have a solidcommunity of career development professionals around them. The question to ask is:"When they do not know an answer who can they call?"Further, since the job search landscape is ever changing, how will an adviser know the newand current trends if their network is not the ones creating them or even talking aboutthem? PassionWhen people are driven to provide a service because they are passionate about thereceiver the service is always better. Someone who is passionate about coaching jobseekers out of a pure desire to help is more likely to focus on content, getting the bestanswer and being as thorough in building a strategy as they can be. The desire to helpshould be their first intention. Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  3. 3. How To Properly Vet a Job Search Adviser 3 Where to Find This InformationSo how does one know if the person they are about to hear speak on Linkedin or the personthey are considering to contract to write their resume is worth the investment in timeand/or money? Research.The World Wide Web has opened up a wealth of information with just the click of a mouse.Find the individual online and review their background and bio. If they cannot be foundonline this indicates a huge red flag to the job seeker.If you are considering going to an event at a library or public office call the place ahead oftime and ask about the persons credentials. Have they spoken on this subject before? If so,what were the reviews? Why are they qualified to speak on this topic?Use Linkedin. Job search advisers in any capacity worth their salt are on Linkedin. Notonly are they on Linkedin, but they are active on Linkedin. Look up their profile. Do theylist job search adviser (resume writer, coach etc) on their profile even if it is in a volunteercapacity? If not, how passionate are they about this topic? What do their connections tellyou about their community?Do not be afraid to ask tough questions such as how many job seekers they have helped inthe past and where their knowledge comes from. Is their knowledge industry specific orcan it be applied anywhere?Finally, be extremely cautious of groups offering things that seem nearly impossible.Training that proposes to find a job in a matter of days or a resume writer who guaranteesthat her resume will land a job in 30 days is simply false marketing. Unless they can showyou it has been done (with sources you can check yourself) be very cautious of movingforward. ConclusionThere may come a time when investing in outside help to create a successful job searchstrategy is necessary. Investing in the wrong type of help can be detrimental to a search.On average it takes a person one month per every $10,000 they make to find a job. Seekingadvice from individuals not qualified to help will only delay this further. Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com
  4. 4. How To Properly Vet a Job Search Adviser 4Acacia HR Solutions is a Human Resource consultancy and recruiting firm offering serviceswhich span the full employee life cycle. Sabrina Baker, PHR, founded the firm afterexperiencing her own lay off in 2010. She brings over 12 years of experience in corporatehuman resources and recruiting. Sending time on both sides of the unemployment line hasmade her very passionate about bridging the gap between job seekers and employerslooking for skilled talent.Acacia HR Solutions works on a corporate level with employers and an individual level withemployees (both current and potential). The main services Acacia HR Solutions offers arebroken out into three categories.RecruitmentOn a contingency or retained basis, Acacia HR Solutions used the most advancedtechniques to find the right candidate for your open role. Acting as a sourcer, headhunterand recruiter all in one, Acacia HR Solutions does not wait for the right candidate to applyfor the job. We find them.Human Resource ConsultingWe work with small business that may not have a full time HR staff or with businesses thatneed to supplement the experience of their HR staff. We have the ability to cover manyareas of human resources from handbook creation to training and development.OutplacementEmployers who need to reduce their force and would like to offer employees help withtheir transition may contract us to help each employee with all aspects of the job searchprocess. Typically contracted in number of months, outplacement services can includeresume writing, strategy development, weekly coaching and interview preparation. Theseservices are also offered to individuals wishing to obtain help in their job search efforts.In 2012, Acacia HR Solutions partnered with Social Buzz Concepts to create DiscoveringSocial workshops. These workshops are day and a half experiences designed to give jobseekers hands on training in incorporating social media into their overall job searchstrategy.sabrina@acaciahrsolutions.com847.893.9756 Acacia HR Solutions www.acaciahrsolutions.com

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