WorkWise Q&A: I want a job, not a coach

December 9, 2012 


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I went to a resume writer who told me that I needed to work with a coach. She said I needed an objective.

This doesn’t make sense. I want a company that will pay me well, offer opportunity for advancement and give me benefits. Isn’t that enough to get started?


A: Dear Stalled, This resume writer cost herself money and probably suspected you wouldn’t come back. Does that tell you anything?

You’ve sketched what you want from an employer. That leaves you nothing to discuss at the outset and two points the employer must bring up.

Don’t job hunt by the seat of your pants. Not all career counselors drag out sessions with clients. Find one who’s market-driven and won’t spend forever helping you target employers.

Not convinced? Do a little exercise. Write down the five tasks you’d like to perform to win the salary, benefits and advancement potential you want. Then write down five characteristics of companies to pursue. Start developing a list of them so you’ll have them when you’re ready – and be clear about your path. If you can’t, get some guidance. Then think about a resume.



Q: Dear Dr. Culp, Several weeks ago a company recruiter spotted my resume online and called me about an opening. At the end of our conversation, he said another person would be calling me. That phone call never came. Is it too late to do anything?


A: Dear Wondering, Not at all. Call the recruiter and remind him of your conversation. Give him the name of the position you discussed and the date of the interview.

Mention his saying that another person in the company would be calling, and you waited. Ask if he knows anything about it. Pause to give him a chance to think.

He might say he has to do some research to find out. Ask when you should call him back if you haven’t heard from him.

When you do get information, listen carefully. The other person might have forgotten to call, miscopied your telephone number, gotten a busy signal, whatever.

It’s also possible that you didn’t appear to the colleague as a good match for the position. Whatever the reason, ask the recruiter if he has other openings and what you could do to make sure you’re considered for them.


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