There was a time when finding a new job was as simple as applying to job ads. If things went according to plan, you worked for one company until you retired. Today, automated systems filter resumes before a human sees them and you’re likely to change careers several times in your life. There’s also a projection that by 2027, more than half of all American workers will be freelancers. It’s enough to make your head spin. That’s why you should consider getting some advice as you try to find a new job or switch careers. Career coaches can be very helpful.

What a Career Coach Can Do

A career coach can help you find a job faster. If you have been out of the workforce for a while or you’re an older jobseeker, it can be difficult to get hired. A career coach can help you to create a plan, improve your networking skills and prepare for interviews. They will also help you to set goals for yourself and hold yourself accountable. Your friends may be able to assist you some extent, but they don’t have the expertise and experience of a professional.

How you present yourself has a significant impact on the career opportunities you will be offered. A career coach can help you to draw on your resources, highlight your achievements and special talents, and set yourself apart from the competition. After you get a resume template from a site like LiveCareer and begin to fill it out, your coach can help you to strengthen it. They will also look at your online profiles to ensure they are optimized and help you to target specific employers or recruiters. The aim is to have a solid job search strategy. If you try to do all this on your own, you can quickly become overwhelmed or confused by conflicting suggestions.

It’s possible that you may need to upgrade your skills and knowledge in order to get a new job or switch careers. A coach can guide you on the courses, workshops, and webinars which you need to invest in. Every training program is marketed as the best one ever, but a career coach can help you to identify which ones are truly necessary for you.

How to Choose a Career Coach

To get any of these benefits, you need to choose the right coach. Talk to three or four potential coaches before you make a decision. Ask them about the systems they have in place to ensure accountability. Look at their website and LinkedIn profile to learn about their qualifications and professional experience. You should also look for reviews and testimonials from former clients. Try to find a coach who is empathetic but serious about pushing you when necessary. Don’t dismiss your gut feeling if one career coach doesn’t seem right.

Once you choose the right career coach for your needs, they can be an invaluable ally. You’ll have to do a lot of work yourself but you’ll have the support and guidance you need for every step of your job hunt.