compass-283234_640Over half of college graduates are unemployed six months after graduation and 39% of Unemployment Insurance claimants are considered long-term unemployed having been out of work for more than six months.

Research shows that job seekers receiving the right kind of help can increase their chances of landing a job by six times. What is the right kind of help? Broadly, the right help—according to the research—is teaching a variety of job search skills, providing motivation and encouraging proactivity. In the outplacement world, this can be provided using the right combination of the latest technology and a job coach.

I use the word coach, because a good coach helps people strengthen and sharpen their skills, in this case, job search skills. They fill the job search tool box with important stuff: advice, instructions, motivation, inspiration and direction.

A job coach can be many things to many people, but a good job coach will play the following key roles as part of the team that will help a job seeker land their next job.

  1. Mentor

A good job coach won’t just tell a job seeker how to do something. Instead, they explain why certain processes and actions in their profession are necessary and beneficial to the job seeker’s success. The coach will help identify and provide advice and direction on how best to target professional opportunities. They will also help develop strategies for improving performance in particular areas. This approach helps the job seeker understand not just how to do something, but why they need to do it.

  1. Motivator

For a job seeker to be successful in their job search they need to be motivated about their work history, career direction, skills and ability to move forward. A good job coach will help them identify what they are doing well and assist them in capitalizing on their strengths. At the same time, the coach will point out their weaknesses, or areas in which they need improvement, and help them develop an approach to bettering themselves. The coach needs to build an honest, trusting relationship with each and every job seeker they serve in order to help each job seeker achieve their goals.

  1. Goal-Setter

A good job coach helps chart the course of the job search through goal setting. They help set agendas, develop timetables, plan for the job search, and help the job seeker stay focused and on-track. In addition to meeting with the job seeker on a regular basis to assess progress, the coach will be available on an “as-needed” basis to help evaluate opportunities, plan for interviews and develop networking strategies.

  1. Confidence Builder

A good job coach will recognize and celebrate positive strides and remind the job seeker of the progress they’re making. They will help identify and highlight a job seeker’s strengths in a way that builds confidence.

Everyone has had a great coach in their past. It may have been a parent at home, a sports coach in school, a manager at a summer job who pushed them a bit or a mentor who took them under their wing. These were all coaches in their lives.

A good job coach can help each job seeker learn a critical life skill – job search.

For a limited time, job seekers can visit us at http://www.nextjob.com/scholarships/recent-grads/ for free access to our jobseekers toolkit where they can create their own job search plan.

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