Career Counselors vs Recruiters, Coaches Offer Hands-On Approach

Career Counselors

“Understand that career counselors and recruiters offer two different services”

Career counselors / coaches offer one on one session’s. They help answer the clients many questions of “How to make a successful career transition.” When you have been networking, answering ads, meeting with support groups but are not getting results than you might think about seeing a career counselor / coach. They can help you identify why or what pieces you are missing to get lasting results. Typically recruiters look for the degree and the list of your skills in order to get you in front of the decision maker for an interview. However recruiters often don’t have the skills to help clients transition into new or different careers, ace and prep you for the interview, or negotiate the best offer. I’ve listed more below about what to look for when you use a recruiter. Here are four clear differences that career counselors / coaches provide that typically recruiters do not.

1. Career counselors provide a holistic approach to measure the correct career fit

2. Career counselors provide a systematic / step by step career approach.

3. Career counselors partner and walk through each stage of the career transition together

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Career counselors manage the client’s emotional swings with long career campaigns

Recruiters can be valuable allies for those seeking to advance their careers. But they’re not career counselors / coaches. If you choose to work with recruiters be aware of the following five guidelines..

Cheryl made a big mistake when she lost her job during a severe industry tailspin. Because she had no connections in other industries, she thought, “I’ll talk to a couple of recruiters. They’ve come through in the past, and soon I’ll have a great job.” She contacted several recruiters and waited. Several (very expensive) months later, Cheryl was still waiting.

She was baffled. She’d been a top performer. Finally, in exasperation, she asked one recruiter why he wasn’t presenting her. She was shocked when he said his clients demanded same-industry experience, and he would lose professional credibility by presenting her.

Cheryl learned the hard way that it is critical to be savvy when using recruiters but not to rely on them as if they were career counselors.

Understand their incentives
It pays to remember that recruiters don’t make money by providing career counseling (although, hopefully, that is a result of their work). They make money by finding suitable candidates for client companies. Job hunters are not the customer; they are the product.

Make sure you are a viable candidate
Companies won’t pay big fees to recruiters — unless there’s a good reason:

1. The candidate they want can’t be found by a help-wanted ad.

2. They want someone who has many years of experience in their specific industry (not career changers).

3. They want to raid a competitor.

4. They have high-turnover positions, and they want a fresh stream of bodies.

If you skills are rare and in demand, you have substantial experience in your field, or you want to work for a competitor–then recruiters can be helpful. Otherwise, they can get in your way and you may want to consider a career counselor.

Use your network to find good recruiters
Ask friends and colleagues if they have used recruiters in the past, either to find their own job or to hire someone else, and get their recommendations.

Know the types of recruiters
RETAINED RECRUITERS are hired as the employer’s exclusive agent to find the desired candidate, generally for higher-level positions. Because the employer has already committed to pay the recruiter’s fee, working with a retained recruiter will not make you more expensive.

CONTINGENCY RECRUITERS get paid only if they present the candidate the company hires. These recruiters can be useful allies in finding positions and reaching companies you might not find on your own. They can also be an obstacle to being hired because using these recruiters adds a middleman to the hiring process — and thousands of dollars to the employer’s hiring budget. This could cost you the job or handcuff you in salary negotiations.

Clearly communicate with contingency recruiters about the connections you have made on your own, so you won’t have an extra fee attached to you unnecessarily.

Be proactive and in control
Whether you’re employed or not, maintain visibility in your field. The things that get you hired also get recruiters to notice you. Be active in your professional association, keep your network vital and participate in committees.

Some job hunters find it soooo tempting to take “the easy way” when job hunting by letting the recruiters do all the work. Talk to recruiters, but be proactive and maintain control of your search. Only 5%-15% of people find jobs through recruiters. Do all you can on your own to uncover other opportunities so that:

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