Should You Hire a Job Search Firm? Understanding Capabilities ... And Know What to Ask

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NEW YORK, N.Y. /Send2Press Newswire/ -- Selecting a firm to help your job search is an important decision, say the experts at ITS. The field includes career counselors, outplacement firms, career management firms, resume writers, and career coaches. Most are just advisory services. A new type of service has emerged where the emphasis is on using technology to enable people to get all the job market information they need online - in one place.

Whatever you decide to choose, you need to fully understand what these firms can do and their guarantees - and what they don't do. No one can guarantee you a job. The good services will spend time educating you about they do and provide clear written service agreements.

ITS, provides clients with a money back guarantee covering the first 30-40 hours of their work. You get to become acquainted with their staff, review all job hunting recommendations, approve all the resumes and letters they professionally write, see the Web site they create and host for you - prior to making a decision to go forward with the rest of their service.

Here are some questions you can ask to select a firm that's right for you:

1 - What do they do to help you, before you start a search?
Your career / industry options should be identified, the goals you should pursue need to be clarified, solutions for minimizing any liabilities must be provided, the transferable skills you should market need to be pinpointed, and a campaign action plan should be provided to guide your search.

2 - Will they professionally write your resumes and letters... or just guide you?
A word of caution. There are hundreds of firms who say they will equip you with a better resume. Then, after you become a client, you discover that they are just advising you on how to develop a resume or offering to edit your existing resume.

3 - Will their technology connect you to all the published jobs?
Having access to a maximum number of openings is what job hunting is all about, especially if you don't have good connections. So, be specific in assessing just what openings a company will supply. Ask for a visual presentation. At ITS, through their Job Market Access Center (JMAC), 97 percent of all published openings, including openings on all job boards, all newspapers and magazines, over 100,000 employer Web sites and 3,500 recruiters are brought together in one place. This makes searching for published openings much easier.

4 - How will they help you connect with unpublished jobs?
As you go up in income, the unpublished job market becomes more important. From $100,000 to $150,000, 75 percent of all jobs are unpublished. Above that, unpublished openings can account for as much as 95 percent of all situations. So, be specific in questioning any firm about precisely what they will do in this area. Too often people get disappointed because they only received "advice" about how to uncover these situations. And, there is no such thing as the "hidden" job market.

Robert J. Gerberg Jr., the president of ITS, has the clearest explanation as to what the unpublished job market really is: "There are only six ways to uncover and compete for unpublished openings. They include placing your resume with (1) officers of key employers, (2) with non-Web recruiters, (3) with venture capitalists, (4) with board members, (5) uncovering leads through events which may signal emerging jobs, and (6) from expanded networking, especially by using emails which connect people to your personal marketing Web site. We help people with a large world-class research staff that is part of our Job Market Access Center (JMAC).

Here are the services we provide to help people connect with unpublished jobs. We write their resumes and create and host their Web site, place client credentials with key employers, key recruiters and VCs, supply continuous daily leads to emerging opportunities, supply influential alumni they should contact, supply influential executives to contact by industry, and supply continuous research."

5 - Will you get help with interviews and negotiations, and will research be supplied?
Most firms will make a single counselor available to advise you during interviews. How much they can help will depend on their experience. For example, there is no individual counselor who can possibly stay abreast on all negotiations. Many packages are very complex and there is a lot at stake here. Ask about the true depth of expertise they have available. Find out if they are active in negotiating deals throughout in all major industries. Research can be also critical to your job search. Can you draw upon a full-time research staff as needed?

6 - How do they bring you current on the latest strategies?
Do they give you a book or manual to bring you up to date? You need the following to be addressed before you begin your search. (1) What to do if you're unemployed; (2) the best ways to answer ads; (3) how to get the most from recruiters; (4) advanced networking - how to make this process easier; (5) how to create your own job; (6) advanced interviewing; (7) personal image and dress; (8) best ways for handling references, both good and bad; and (9) advanced negotiating. You may not have looked for a job in years. Or, perhaps never at your current income level. And, the job market has changed more in the last 5 years than in several previous decades. So make sure the firm you select will supply these things in writing.

7 - What happens if you don't get a new job within 90-120 days?
This is an important issue. If a company says you are marketable, they should stand behind their service with a performance guarantee. What will they do if things don't go right. The ITS approach is to provide all clients with a clear performance guarantee. Here's what it is: If you don't succeed within 90 days of our agreement: (1) they assign a new marketing team; (2) they create a revised plan; (3) they rewrite several resumes and 12 marketing letters: and (4) they will re-implement all distributions that are part of your service.

More information: or contact Tom Mortenson at 877-298-5021, or .

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