DEAR HELP WANTED: I am an experienced computer consultant who has been out of work for the past 14 months.
I was wondering if an outplacement service would be of any value in a field where jobs seem virtually nonexistent. Any comments or suggestions on how to find something would be greatly appreciated.- Offline
DEAR OFFLINE: Cheer up! Career counselor Barbara Frankel, who practices in New York, has some good news for you.
But first I need to dispense with some linguistic confusion. Outplacement, as Frankel points out, is a service a company provides for laid-off employees. Private counselors figure in the equation, but the company contracts them and pays the fee.
What you want is individual career counseling. And yes, it probably would aid your job search.
"There are plenty of jobs out there, even in the IT 1/8information technology 3/8 sector," Frankel said. "However, it is more challenging, and you need to employ more creative and alternative strategies that a career counselor could help you learn."
A good counselor, she said, would do a "diagnostic" of the search strategies you've used in the past 14 months. That would include scrutinizing your resume to make sure it markets you in the best light. Frankel said she also works with a client to produce a bio, to shed more light on the job-seeker.
The counselor should also include sessions on presentations and interviewing techniques, she said.
Frankel added that you should find out something about the counselor before hiring him or her. Determine how long they've been in business and their experience in working with professionals in your field.
To find out more about career counseling, you can contact Frankel at 516-773-4802.
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