I love this picture of perfection. The building is abandoned. And the time of day when I took the photo: 6 p.m. But it is still beautiful in spite of its imperfections.
This is how we all are, and how all of our work is–imperfect even as we strive for perfection.
When people ask, “what can a career coach do for me?” or “why would I hire a career coach?,” this photo is the illustration I use–everything might look great, but upon closer inspection, there’s probably room for improvement.
The career coach is the expert pair of eyes who catches the small imperfections, like:
“it’s 6:00 p.m.; your clock is set to 1:00,” or
you mean “and,” not “or,” or
you mean “completed,” not “complete.”
A career coach also helps you find the big mistakes, too. The number one problem I find is candidates who bury the lead and fail to mention the most important thing about their careers. Here are just a few examples:
- You’ve been accepted to Teach for America, but have failed to add that to your resume.
- You work in a “numbers” field like finance, but you’re great with words, too–employers need to know you have that unique combination of skills.
- And the same goes for a numbers guy who is seeking work in a “words” field, such as HR.
- You’re a co-founder in a start up, but fail to list it on your resume, which is packed with all the formal activities you’ve participated in for other organizations (yet your own organization is absent).
- You’ve taught a language, but present yourself as student of that language.
Before you send anything out, please make sure you have a second pair of eyes go over it–even if it’s just a friend or relative. If you need a professional to look over your generic resume, I will do that for $25.
Need to put together an application with a cover letter and resume that matches a specific job ad? That’s my $50 QuickCheck.
Just getting started? Let’s add a one-hour meeting for $100. See my services tab for a full list and links to detailed service packages.
Darcy Lear is a career coach specializing in job search documents, professional school applications, and interview preparation. For one-on-one support in preparing for your job search or to set up a campus workshop, contact Darcy: firstname.lastname@example.org