Do You Need A Career Consultant?

Career consultants may be the answer if you have tried everything else without success.

Career consultants offer the job seeker a variety of services. They can either write your resume or critique the one you have. They can train you in interviewing skills, and they can help you polish you professional appearance and demeanor. They also provide you with job leads and networking resources. However, most career-consulting firms have a hefty fee that goes along with their services. Unlike corporate headhunters, a career consultant is paid by you to help you find work, while headhunters are paid by the corporation they represent. Most career-consulting firms offer no guarantee that their services will result in finding you worthwhile employment therefore making a decision to sign with a career consultant something that should be made very carefully.

There are a few circumstances when a career consultant might be considered a good investment. Individuals retiring from the military, especially if they've never looked for or held a civilian job, are ideal candidates for a career consultant. This is because many military retirees have little or no experience seeking work outside of the military. Many have never interviewed for a job, written a resume, or even begun a job search. In this case, a career consultant may be the answer.

However, much of the information a career consultant provides can be found in books, magazine articles, and on the Internet. One book in particular is geared for people experiencing major career changes, such as military personnel. It is titled, "What Color is Your Parachute," and was written by Dick Bolles. This book has been around for over twenty-five years, with new editions coming out regularly. It is very effective in helping people identify what their interests are and how they can be applied to job hunting.

A career consultant can be of assistance not only to military retirees but also to anyone that is experiencing a major career change. They are trained to help you identify your skills and qualifications and how that experience can be transferred to another career field. However, selecting a career consultant should be undertaken very carefully. There are quite a few not quite reputable organizations out there whose main interest is separating you from your hard-earned money.

When selecting a career consultant do your homework first. Check with the Better Business Bureau and find out if there are any unresolved complaints or problems. Interview them, and find out exactly what services they offer. After all you don't want to pay them for just a resume. Discover if they offer psychological testing to identify your interests and abilities. Ask for references and then follow up on those references. Research the organization on the Internet and find out what others are saying about their services. And finally, make sure they offer you something that you can't do yourself.

Job hunting can seem to be an overwhelming experience, especially if you've never done it before, like some military personnel. However, if you go about it systematically, taking it one step at a time, it doesn't have to be so daunting. In addition, many states offer free career counseling and assistance through their state's Department of Unemployment. The individuals who work there are not being paid on commission so they are fully devoted to helping you succeed. If you have tried all these outlets and still have not successfully landed the job you want, then a career consultant might be the answer.

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