Five Times You Should NOT Hire a Career Pro

Five Times You Should NOT Hire a Career Professional

I know the title of this post may seem strange coming from me. You may be thinking, ‘Shouldn’t she be encouraging people to sign up for her services?’

I definitely believe there are numerous benefits to finding the right career professional to help you navigate your career. But there are some circumstances when, frankly, hiring a career pro wouldn’t be the best use of your time and money.

Because this decision is an important one, consider if any of these situations might apply to you:

1. You ask your friends, your friends’ mothers, and your friends’ mothers’ cousins for their opinions about your professionally written résumé.

I understand the desire to want to get additional opinions, but that should be done prior to the hiring of a career pro, not after. You can determine in advance whether or not you would like the work of a career professional by:

  • having an initial conversation to ascertain the career pro’s personality and work process
  • reading the recommendations that clients have made
  • getting the names of 2-4 clients who can talk with you about their experiences with this career professional
  • looking at samples they may have on their website

If all your research checks out, the best thing you can then do is TRUST the person you have hired to do his/her job.

2. You expect to do nothing but pay the career professional you hired.

Now, I may be good at many things (such as identifying accomplishments that my clients had previously overlooked, capturing the essence of their unique talents and experiences, and asking LOTS of questions to ferret out key talking points), but mind-reading is not one of them.

Interaction via email and phone with my clients during the process is imperative! Their commitment to providing me in-depth details of their career stories is a requirement. My ability to richly develop the career narrative is only as good as the information I get from my clients.

(Actually, if you hire someone who has little to no interaction with you during the process of crafting the career materials that you intend to use to market yourself, you might consider that a red flag. How can that person really know your career if you don’t tell him/her about it?)

3. You believe that a good résumé is all that is needed to land a job.

Résumés can be very powerful documents, but they do not have the ability to generate offers of employment. They may be useful tools for getting your foot in the door, yes, but virtually no one is going to hire you because you have the most amazing résumé. No one.

People give jobs to people, not to pieces of paper/electronic documents.

4. Your job search strategy consists of the spray and pray approach.

That’s not really much of a strategy. You’re just firing off your résumé to as many postings as you can and hoping that something sticks. A more robust strategy entails analyzing the employment landscape, picking the best targets, and planning your optimal approach through multiple channels.

The best résumé in the world won’t help you if you are not going to use it properly.

5. You feel that the investment level of the career professional you are considering is too high.

When you question the worth of the investment levels, you are not valuing or respecting what the career professional is bringing to the table — certifications and other education, membership in professional organizations, experience, a valuable third-party perspective, and so on.

If you really think about it, you are also not valuing the worth of your own career with that mindset. Should you really be trying to find bargain-basement deals on career services, or should you be willing to make an investment that can lead to healthy, robust career management?

What does your career mean to you?

Image courtesy of Michael Ruiz

Melissa Cooley of The Job Quest, LLC unearths clients’ career examples to showcase the talents and results that make them must-hire candidates. Click here to learn how to partner with Melissa for your career success!

Melissa is a contributor to the book Nourish Your Career, has been quoted on, The Daily Muse, and, has interviewed numerous times for The Voice of Job Seekers podcast, and has written guest posts for multiple job seeker blogs.

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