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It's time to start spending money on your career instead of tickets to the Chicago Bears game and buying shoes at Nordstrom's Half-year sale! Are you ready to hire a career professional to help you with your job search? And what is the difference between a career coach, a resume writer, an Outplacement firm and a recruiter?
First of all, you need to know that most people and businesses are suffering from either a lack of or slowing of business, or they are out of a job and/or looking to re-invent themselves.
This translates to a whole lot of people just trying to evaluate how they can make money to support themselves, making it difficult to figure out just who you are dealing with, and if what they offer will be of value to you. You need to be careful who you listen to and where you spend your money.
So what is the difference between a recruiter, a resume writer, an Outplacement specialist and a career coach?
A recruiter/headhunter is paid by a company to find them a candidate to fill a job. This recruiter either is an employee of the company or is hired by the company to fill a position. Either way, they are looking to fill a specific need. While focused on finding the best candidate that fits a particular job description they have no time to help a candidate assess their skills.
A resume writer is often more of an editor, in my opinion, than a career advisor. Most of these people are writer's rather than career specialists. They focus on the style, grammatical presentation and lay-out of a resume. Typically they will reformat a resume and offer advice on writing an effective cover letter.
A career coach is hired by the candidate to help them package themselves for a job search or career transition. They are paid by the candidate to work with them on their resume, job search, skills assessment, communication skills and career path. Many successful career coaches have worked for Outplacement firms that specialize in packaging a displaced individual for a job.
Outplacement firms are hired by corporations to help former employees re-enter the job market after they are laid off. These displaced former employees attend training modules with money paid for by their company. These firms are used by larger corporations that can afford this service and need to try to protect their reputation as a firm.
There's a place for all of these services. If you are looking for a quick update on your resume, hire a resume writer. If you are seeking more of an overall assessment of your career, go with a career coach.
Frequently, hiring a career coach is a better value, but check around. In both cases make sure you hire someone that you like and trust. Note that the cost of service is all over the board. I would not pay more than $100/hr for a career service. An initial evaluation and rewritten resume should cost you no more than $500.