Looking For A Virtual Job Coach?

I frequently get emails asking for recommendations on job coaches who are in or around the city where the job seeker is.  For some reason they want to be close enough to meet with the job coach in person.

My response is “send me your resume and I’ll pass it on to my coach partners.  My coaches usually specialize in a profession/area (like Project Managers or CFOs or CEOs) or an industry (like retail, banking, etc.).  If any of them see a connection between your resume and their specialty, they’ll get back to you.”

I think ALL of my coaches have virtual clients… which means they are all virtual job coaches.

It’s more important, when you look for a job coach, that they understand your profession and/or industry than whether you can meet with them, face-to-face.

Let me take that back just a little… some of my coaches prefer the face-to-face, and some clients prefer the face-to-face.  There is great power in face-to-face, whether it’s with coaching or with networking or with sales or with __________.  But I think that having a virtual job coach is totally acceptable.

To put it simply, would you rather meet with someone face-to-face who doesn’t understand your profession/industry, or meet with a job coach virtually who has helped dozens or hundreds of people who have similar career paths to yours land a job?  Getting the best of both worlds might make you lucky, and I’m not against it, but I think it’s more important to be aligned with their specialty rather than just be in the same city.

When you look for a job coach, consider WHAT they specialize in, not WHERE they are.  With that perspective, a virtual job coach makes sense, doesn’t it?

13 thoughts on “Looking For A Virtual Job Coach?”

  1. Some people, and some coaches, really work better in a face to face environment, granted, but I agree with Jason that the skill and experience that a coach brings to the relationship, and the fit between coach and client, is more important than being face to face. I have clients I have never met, even some in my hometown, and I might not recognize them if I walked right past them, who tell me they are getting tremendous value from our phone sessions.

    For the record, I live near Chicago and I have experience in Training / Development, (getting out of) Academia, and starting new businesses.

    Much thanks to Jason for creating and sustaining this blog. It is a wonderful resource!

  2. A job coach can be an extremely important asset in the hunt for a new career or just training/development and more.

    Job coaches also have other titles such as “career coaches” and serve as teachers/advisors for their clients. Clients include people unhappy at their current jobs, people who have no yet entered into a career field, or folks just looking for something new.

    When it comes to virtual vs. face to face it is all about personal preference, we do not see the problem with a virtual job coach as many traditionally approached aspects of life have now gone to digital and virtual realms.

    It is only natural that professionals will also follow in that trend. Just be sure to always get recommendations about your prospective coach and make sure they are someone that you can trust and are comfortable discussing your future with.

    Good luck!

    McKinley Group, Inc.

  3. Jason,

    Another great point, you’re on a roll this week. It’s interesting in that when I was recruiting for over 7 years, I rearely met my candidates. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of candidates I met while I had them in the interview process and I placed a lot of people.

    When I did meet with someone, usually at the clients request, I found the interaction and conversation to be quite different, not bad, just different. I did recognize that I was a much better listener when I was on the phone as opposed to a face-to-face meeting.

    If someone is going to be up here in Allamuchy, I’d be happy to meet with them at the farmers market however.

    I’ve made lasting and valuable relationships and even friendships just through phone and email contact. I do like the fact that on LI you can post a photo profile because no one ever looks like I picture them in my mind. People should work with someone they trust and feel comfortable with.



  4. Face-to-face is great but these days things are so hectic that there just isn’t enough time to meet everyone face to face and sit down.

  5. You make a good point, Jason. It’s the same with recruiters–it’s now where they are located, it’s what industry the specialize in and/or what what level they specialize in that will help the client. The same applies to coaching.

    Kathy B.

  6. I absolutely agree with Jason’s points. I’ve used a couple of different coaches (although not job coaches) and in both cases I managed to get great value from the sessions even though we did NOT meet up.

    If you really feel that you want to see the other person, then you can use free video calls through instant messaging services, but you’d be amazed at how much progress you can make on really important and personal topics just with the good old telephone.

  7. I have been a “virtual” recruiter for almost 4 years now, I also provide job search coaching services. I agree that having a virtual coach can be just as effective than meeting someone face to face. I have met a few clients and have showed them how to do some online searches, set up profiles, etc. Some people feel it’s easier to meet face to face, but you can show someone how to navigate through websites and networking sites virtually as well.

    A good job coach will benefit you whether it’s face to face or virtual.

    Make it a great day!

  8. I totally agree with the premise of this article. Who cares if you can meet face-to-face or not? In fact, face-to-face often takes up far more time than over the phone/IM/whatever. As you say, it’s the message, not the medium, that’s important.

  9. Apart from what you mentioned in your article, going virtual gives you a lot more leverage of yourself, your team and your resources. You also get to help a lot more people in the process too.

  10. As a resume writer and career coach who built my 20+ year old business with a predominantly face-to-face client base for years who moved to a much more virtual field now, I can answer Nils very old question that more than 65% of my business is now virtual. Time is a factor and even some of my local clients opt for virtual but the clients on the east or west coast definitely like the virtual option better.

    Now using Skype lets the client see me edit their career marketing materials in real time so that when we are at review time, it goes much better.

    It has also become much easier for me to coach job seekers and others on how to use social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and all the resources you have given me, Jason, Like the LinkedIn for Jobseekers DVD make life much easier.

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