Advocating for Defence families

Getting help with your Job Hunt, working with Recruiters and/or Career Coaches (Part 1)

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Both Recruiters and Career Coaches can help you land the perfect job but the roles they perform are quite different although complimentary.

This can be a confusing field initially when you first look into it as they can both go by a variety of similar names, recruitment agent, employment consultant, employment advisor, job network provider etc. The way to tell the difference between the two quickly and easily when you are doing your research is to identify who pays them for their services.

A recruitment consultant/agent, we will refer to them here as recruiters for the purposes of simplification, is paid by the employer, they are paid a commission based on the fee the recruitment company charges the employer, normally a percentage of the annual salary you are offered. A career coach/consultant/ practitioner (coach) is paid by you for the services you choose to receive.

So when and why would you choose one or the other? And can you use both? The simple answer is yes, you can use both, if you need to, we will start by looking at coaches because as you will see this is the natural progression of your job search.

A coach works for you; they are a great option when you have been out of work for a while, or a looking at a change in career. Think of a coach as a support team, guiding and advising you to the best outcome for you.

Depending on their area of specialisation they can,

  • produce a new resume,
  • help build your online profile,
  • review your job search strategy,
  • identify your transferable skills,
  • they can help you prepare for an interview or
  • Identify skills gaps or further training that you need to develop to land your perfect job,
  • And help you plan your career progression.

Not all providers offer the same range of services; some may create a fantastic new resume for you and advice on updating your LinkedIn profile but may not be as knowledgeable on career options in your chosen field or how to leverage your strengths. So before you start make sure you know what you want to achieve.

However career coaching can be a largely unregulated field so it pays to do your research and ask for testimonials as well as a clearly itemised quote specifying what services are covered and the timeframes. You can look for a registered coach to assist you with Career Development Association of Australia, or alternatively ask friends for recommendations on who they have worked with.  

As with any professional service we would recommend discussing your requirements with a couple of coaches to see who you feel most comfortable and confident with, someone who you feel you can talk freely, openly and honestly with. You will get the best results with a coach you have a good rapport with.

The services offered by coaches general fall within the professional employment services category of the employment assistance offered by the ADF to Defence Partners through the DCO PEAP  program and may be funded so long as they meet the eligibility criteria. But remember that services cannot be covered retrospectively, the application must be submitted and approval received first.

So, can a coach find you a job?

A coach can help you plan and prepare for your job hunt but they won’t arrange interviews for you or connect you directly with employers. A coach doesn’t work directly with an employer, that’s where you would start working with a recruiter. We will delve into working with a recruiter next time.

Nejula Blake
DFA Project Officer – Employment

The information contained in this post is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice.

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