Can a pro help?

    A “professional” WHAT is the question. Candice Choi, Associated Press, writes about this.

    Unemployment is officially 9.7% but many people have given up and in some locales, it’s 20%.

    Anyone can say they are a job coach or a resume writer.

    Ask friends for referrals if you want a fresh eye on your materials. Check references.

    Get the deal in writing—you will do what, the person will do what, when, and how much.

    Resume writing usually starts with an interview of an hour or more. The writer can get you started—help you see how your experience fits together and can be used to best advantage.

    I say it’s like going to a psychiatrist.

    You should get your draft resume in a week, with the option to make changes.

    A job coach is a bigger commitment. You should get tips on networking, on your resume, on interviewing.

    You may even get homework assignments.

    You may pay around $160 an hour (Choi says, I say less), with several sessions a week. You might be able to attend a small group session for less.

    One cheaper way I have done this is to “bookend.” Call a friend, say you are calling five people or going to lunch with someone, or whatever, then call again and say, “I did it.” This keeps you accountable.

    And it’s fun to chat a little about how it went.

    Libraries and churches also have free sessions. And don’t forget job fairs.

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