How do I say this… [Career Coach]

POSTED BY: Don Oehlert
Managing Partner,

Legalshield Services

“Practical advice on your next career move.”


Title: How do i say this. An image of a stop sign to symbolize roadblocks and adversity.

So, how to begin today’s job search sermon… Well, it’s been a challenging 3 weeks for yours truly. I’ve submitted proposals to over 100 people looking for career coaches, interview coaches, or simply resume writers on LinkedIn’s ProFinder site.

The good news is, I’ve come down to the last 2 on a good number of occasions, which feels great. In a few of cases, I thought I did great – we both hit it off on the phone really well, and everything seemed to be moving along quite well.

Like a job seeker, though, getting really good, usable feedback from those that turn you down is very hard to achieve, if not impossible. In my case(s), I got no feedback from over 100 of those potential clients.

In fact, in most of those cases (over 99%), I didn’t even hear back from the prospects at all.

Just… Crickets…

well i’ll keep my head up

In that sense, then, like I say on page 8 of my eBook, I guess I have to start feeling a bit more objectively about how I approach my business here, and stop taking rejection so personally. It is indeed frustrating, but it isn’t a reflection on my skill set – I just haven’t found the right person yet, that really believes that I have the skills they need to succeed themselves.

And since I was on the sales team for over 40 years, you’d think I’d have learned this skill well by now. Only difference is, in my past live(s), I’ve worked for someone else. Someone else designed, created, and put on the market the offering I was selling.

Given that I’ve now designed, created, and put on the market the offering that I’m providing, it seems a tad tougher to take rejection than it used to.

But this is an excellent time to reflect on the offering. Is my pricing out of line? Not that I can tell, given the research I’ve been doing on pricing for these services over the past 4 years. That correlates with you doing salary research for your next position. How much should a person of your experience level make?

Is my offering correct? Does the market want it? Since I’ve only been in business for a bit over a year, I’m not sure yet. When you want a new resume, there are so many steps that need to be taken before a good resume can be written, that I don’t see how I can do a good job for a client without taking at least a number of these steps.

foresight is tricky

The key is, the prospect needs to know they need to take those steps before they’ll be willing to buy in to my offering. That’s tough to see how to fix, frankly. It is also the reason why the business of career coaching and resume writing has a questionable reputation, I guess. In my case, I was born and raised in a small town. If you messed up when you were selling something, your mom was going to hear about it, and Thanksgiving wasn’t going to be pleasant. I guess that means that I know I’ve got integrity.

Having said that, I have been helping people write their resumes for over 17 years now, helping over 700 people land new positions. Many of them have said that my process is a good one. But of course, that was in the context of a faith-based job ministry, and the services were free. Mentally I go back to pricing again. Since I can’t get specific feedback, I’d only be guessing on this one. Guessing doesn’t do anyone in sales any good. You’ve got to know what the client (thinks they) want, and ask them how to deliver it to them.

Because I’ve written a book about job search process, I can honestly say that I haven’t been lighting up the sky with that, either. The title is “The Not Just for Executives Job Search Guide.” I’ve also assembled a “Companion Workbook” that contains a bunch of templates and ideas for how to create your own set of tools, without the need for a career coach at all.

For less than $25, a person can get started on their own set of tools:

  • handbill (AKA Networking Brief)
  • Networking business cards
  • Skills matrices
  • Elevator pitch contents
  • SAR Story template
  • Franklin T Chart
  • Suggested informational Interview questions
  • LinkedIn Summary suggestions
  • Cover letter suggestions
  • Thank you note suggestions
  • Resume

Can you come up with all of that on your own? Sure you can. How much time will it take, and how much money will you spend guessing what works and what doesn’t?

If you’ve been earning $100,000 per year, then you’re losing about $50 per hour for each hour you’re out of work. How can you say “no” to 30 minutes of salary?

That’s about 7 cups of coffee at Starbucks, and I’ve written down what I know works.




#careercoaching #resumewriting #resumes #gethired #legal

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